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Archive for the ‘Cooking With Malt Extract’ Category

Stewed Apples and Cider

Posted by Bob Skilnik on September 19, 2007

I hate to admit it, but looking out the window, the tell tale signs of fall are beginning to cloak the grannyapples.jpgChicagoland area. This time of the year, however, gives a reprise on the use of the household air conditioner—and the whopper of an electric bill that comes with the mechanical cooling—and more apples to pick from than any other time of year. 


Apples have had a long culinary history in the U.S., actually beginning in the earlier colonial era. Having adapted so well in exploiting the bounty of other local crops, colonists, especially New Englanders, also turned to the pressings of an abundant supply of apples to create a light alcoholic soft cider [cyder] through fermentation, or the stronger apple jack after distillation. Creative drinkers, looking for a little extra kick, would even leave their soft cider outside on cold winter nights to allow it to partially freeze. By siphoning or pouring off that part of the liquid that didn’t freeze (the alcohol), anyone with access to a few apple trees could be awash in high-octane liquor made from benign apples. 


So, with that little history lesson in mind, turn off the air conditioner, open up the windows and fill the house with the fragrance of cooked apples and crisp autumn air!



4 to 6 whole cooking apples
(I prefer tart Granny Smith Apples, but you can use any kind that will hold up to cooking).
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup brown sugar (or 1/2 cup brown sugar plus 1/2 cup of dried light malt extract)
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup hard cider

Core and peel apples and repeatedly score the sides of the apples about 1/3 down from the top. Fill the scores the best you can with raisins, place in the bottom of a crock pot and top with brown sugar and dried malt extract, pressing the sweet mixture lightly toward the center of the fruit. Pour the cider over them, seeing that some of the cider goes into each apple center. Cover and cook at “Low” for 3 to 4 hours, or until apples are soft. Serve with excess cider sauce poured over apples. Top with whipped cream, if desired (believe me, you’ll “desire” this addition). Serves 4 to 6.

Johhny Appleseed would be proud!


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Oktoberfest Glazed Onion, Kraut & Apple Bratwurst Pizza (& Milk An Alpine Cow!)

Posted by Bob Skilnik on September 14, 2007


I wanted so badly to video this recipe preparation but my camera is down and probably out for the count. Nonetheless, I swear to you that as silly as this recipes reads, IT’S DELICIOUS! The underlying sweetness that runs right over the lactic character of the Swiss cheese, the red pepper flakes and the somewhat medicinal tang of caraway seeds demands an Oktoberfest-styled beer.

Since my video camera is down, I’m asking one more time (for about the 100th time) that someone PLEASE send my a 10-minute or less video of this Oktoberfest Pizza’s preparation, or for that matter, any beer/food dish preparation. The first person to contact me ASAP with an assurance that their video rendition of this recipe is on the way will receive a signed copy of “Beer & Food: An American History” and my everlasting gratitude.

Don’t forget. Oktoberfest actually begins in September, the 22nd this year if I remember correctly. Click on the official link to this yearly German spectacle and learn all about its history, the famous beer tents, and how to curse in German (better yet forget that. Just be familiar with the terms if someone happens to call you a Rauschada).

So here we go;

1 twelve to fourteen inch prepared pizza crust
2 tablespoons of a Bavarian Style sweet mustard. Please don’t use a Dijohn.

For the Topping:

8 quarter-inch slices of cored and peeled tart apple. Granny Smith, for instance.
3 tablespoons (or more) of a light bodied olive oil, divided
2 cups of thin-sliced yellow onions, about a pound or so
1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar, or better yet, a light-colored dry malt extract
1 cup of well rinsed and dried sauerkraut
1/4 cup of an Oktoberfest beer, with its typical somewhat sweet character
2 tablespoons of a Bavarian Style mustard
1/2 pound of Swiss cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 pound of pre-cooked veal bratwurst, thinly-sliced (the white, finely-ground kind)                           precooked-veal-bratwurst.jpg
red pepper flakes to taste (don’t go wild with them or you’ll ruin the sweet balance of the toppings)
1/4 teaspoon of caraway seeds, roughly crushed
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese


Pre-heat your oven to 450F. Brush the pizza crust with the 2 tablespoons of Bavarian sweet mustard

Heat a heavier frying pan (cast iron, stainless, etc) and coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Saute the apple slices until their lightly browned, then remove from pan and set aside on a paper towel. Don’t crowd the pan or the apples might get mushy. After you remove the first batch, add some more oil if necessary and make sure it’s heated before you add more apple slices.

When you’re done with the apples, add at least 2 more tablespoons oil to the frying pan. Add the sliced onions and turn up the heat a bit for 2-3 minutes—just to get the carmelization of the onions going. Reduce the heat back to low, cover the pan and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionaly.

After 10 minutes, remove the cover and add the brown sugar (or dried malt extract) and the kraut and stir until its heated through.

Add the beer (and drink the rest) and cook at a high simmer until the mixture is somewhat glazed (and if you’ve been slamming a few too many Oktoberfest beers as you’re making this, you might be a bit glazed yourself. Slow down, we still have to bake this sucker!) Once the beer has evaporated, add the mustard, stir and remove the pan from the heat.

Grab the pizza crust and spread out half of the Swiss cheese on it. Now spread out the onion/kraut mixture on the crust. Top this with the sliced brats and cover with the rest of the Swiss.

Now layer it all with the apple rings and finish the pie off with the red pepper flakes, the caraway seeds and the Parmesan cheese.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted an bubbly.

Pull from the oven a let it sit a minute or two. Sliced right, you’ll get 8-servings and just as many compliments.

While you’re enjoying you Oktoberfest pizza and too many beers, why not try your hand at milking some Alpine cows. Just watch out. These large-breasted German beauties are hiding baseball bats behind them! Click on “Spiel Starten” when you are ready to play.

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Food Recipes Using Malt Syrup (Extract)

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 25, 2007

New Englanders have made Boston Brown Bread a nostalgic part of their culinary history, but it wasn’t always so. Sometime after wheat’s abundance, and the resultant light-colored bread that became common in New England, a longing for the coarser breads of harder times inspired the creation of this dark bread. The combination of rye and cornmeal or Graham meal and cornmeal, plus the addition of molasses—cooked by steaming—are the keys to making authentic Boston Brown Bread. Malt syrup, however, pushes traditional molasses aside in this next recipe. 

Boston Brown Bread

1 cup rye-meal

1 cup granulated corn meal

1 cup graham flour

½ cup Schlitz Malt Syrup (hop flavored)

2 cups sour milk, or 1 ¾ cups of sweet milk or water

¾ tablespoon [baking] soda

1 teaspoon salt    

Method: Mix and sift the dry ingredients, add the Schlitz Malt Syrup (hop flavored) dissolved in a little hot water, and the milk. Stir until well mixed, turn into a well buttered mold and steam for 3 ½ hours.

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Maltose & Malt Extract-Glazed Pork Ribs

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 14, 2007

bbq-ribs.jpgMaltose is a syrup (or powder) that can be made from wheat, rice, barley or other grains. I recommend the barley malt syrup in this rib recipe. The chemical structure varies slightly with which grain is used, but the end product will be similar. You can find maltose at any local homebrew shop or go online and do a search for a mail order homebrew shop. Homebrewers who brew malt extract batches sometimes like to use maltose to add body or “mouth feel” to their beer, something that might be lacking when making homebrew from malt extract and not from grain.

Even Amazon carries maltose made from rice, but it comes from China. After poisoning dog food and contaminating cheap toothpaste with anti-freeze, I’ll personally take a pass on the Chinese stuff. But I digress…

Maltose & Malt Extract-Glazed Pork Ribs

1 rack St. Louis-style or baby back ribs

1 cup of beer, preferably a dry beer such as a Japanese beer. I’m thinking Sapporo, but even a domestic ice beer will do. I know, this doesn’t follow the philosophy of using only craft beer, but you need the dryness here to balance the sweet maltose and malt extract sauce. Trust me…

2 teaspoons Szechwan peppercorns

4 quarter-size coins ginger root

6 to 8 cups unsalted chicken broth (enough to cover ribs)

Maltose & Malt Extract Sauce:

1 teaspoon corn or peanut oil 3 firm plum tomatoes, trimmed and quartered lengthwise

3 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked until soft, drained, then chopped coarsely

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

¼ cup of a dry beer

2 tablespoons packed dark malt extract powder or brown sugar

1 heaping tablespoon creamy peanut butter

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese chili sauce

¼ cup maltose

1/3 cup thin-sliced green and white scallion rings

1 tablespoon fine-minced garlic

1 tablespoon fine-minced ginger root plus diagonally sliced green and white scallion rings, for garnish

To make ribs: Peel the translucent skin from the backside of the ribs. Cut the rack between the ribs into 2 or 3 pieces and place in a nonreactive large pot where they fit snugly. Add the beer, peppercorns, ginger and enough broth to cover the ribs by 2 inches.

Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, partially covered, about 1 hour or until the ribs are very tender. Remove the ribs to a baking sheet and allow them to cool in a single layer. Discard the cooking liquid. Ribs can be cooked a day or two ahead, great if you don’t want to fuss too much with company on hand. Now I’m usually dead set against boiling ribs, but simmering them in this spicy mixtures adds a definite depth of taste to them.

To make sauce: Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the plum tomatoes and toss briskly 1 to 2 minutes, or until seared and browned in spots. Scrape the tomatoes and any juices into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and process until smooth.

In a nonreactive pan, combine the tomato mixture with all the remaining ingredients except the garnish. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the maltose dissolves. Let cool to room temperature.

Either throw them on the outdoor grill to finish them off or keep inside and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If you’re going with the oven technique, place the ribs, curved side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and brush with about two-thirds of the sauce. Bake uncovered in the center of the oven about 15 minutes or until glazed. Personally, I throw them on the grill and cook them on indirect heat while basting them with the maltose glaze, just enough to get some carmelization on them.(Can be cooled at this point and refrigerated for up to a day. Let come to room temperature before finishing.)

About 30 minutes before serving (if necessary, preheat the oven again to 375 degrees), cut the rib racks lengthwise into individual ribs. Glaze the top and sides of each with the remaining sauce and put the ribs, curved side up and not touching on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until well glazed and hot. Serve at once heaped in a tangle and garnish with a thick sprinkle of ginger and scallion rings. Makes 4 servings.

You can also follow the general directions and instead, substitute the oriental theme with a homemade BBQ sauce or mop, just be sure to incorporate the maltose into the recipe. Lucy Saunders, author of Grilling With Beer, has a plethora of recipes for making mops and BBQ sauces. Find one in her book and adapt it to this recipe, if desired.

Posted in Cooking With Adjuncts, Cooking With Malt Extract, Food That Demands To Be Paired With Beer | 1 Comment »

Malt Extract Cooking, Day 2, Counting Down To St. Paddy’s Day With Oatmeal Cookies

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 11, 2007

Oatmeal is almost as much a part of the Irish food culture as the potato. With that thought in mind, how about a oatmeal cookie recipe from a 1928 publication titled Schlitz Malt Syrup in the Home? An industry wide attempt to guise the use of malt syrup as merely one more food item in the kitchen — and not the reality of malt extract chiefly used as a base for homebrewing — was fortified with numerousSchlitz Malt Syrup Ad attempts by once big-named brewers (now malt extract manufacturers — wink, wink) in publishing food recipe pamphlets that promoted the use of extract as a key ingredient. This recipe for oatmeal cookies using Schlitz Malt Syrup, “the World’s Finest Malt Syrup,” is but one example.

Check out Beer & Food: An  American History for more.

Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter or lard
1 tablespoon Schlitz Malt Syrup (plain)
2 eggs
2/3 teaspoon baking soda
10 tablespoons sour milk (leave out overnight or simply add a few drops of lemon juice to the milk)
1 cup raisins

Sift the flour, salt and cinnamon together, and add the oatmeal. Cream the sugar, butter and Schlitz Malt Syrup. Add the eggs to the creamed mixture. Dissolve soda in sour milk. Add the flour to creamed mixture, alternating with the sour milk and soda mixture. Add the raisins. Bake in a moderate oven (350°-375° for 10 minutes or less).           

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LibraryJournal.Com Takes A Look At Beer & Food: An American History

Posted by Bob Skilnik on February 19, 2007

Skilnik, Bob. Beer & Food: An American History. Jefferson, dist. by Independent Pubs. Group. 2006. c.258p. illus. ISBN 0-9778086-1-0. $24.95. BEVERAGES

Skilnik, whose previous books include The Low Carb Bartender, traces the history of American beer from Colonial times through the 20th century in this intriguing work. The author’s search for the connection between American cooking and beer results in the inclusion of more than 60 recipes for foods that use beer as an ingredient. Over half of these recipes are drawn from historical cookbooks and culinary pamphlets. More recipes for bread, meat, and even dessert dishes are also offered in a chapter dedicated to current American breweries, microbreweries, and trade organizations, each of which contributed several of their own favorite beer-flavored recipes. Larger public libraries with a demand for a short history of beer in America—with plenty of beer-laced recipes—may find this title useful.—John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ

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Beer Battered Corn Dogs

Posted by Bob Skilnik on February 16, 2007

Beer & Food: An American History has a detailed explanation of how corn met up with American beer. If you push all the bogus history aside, you’ll see that the brewing of an all-malt product is a relatively new practice. But for all of you who think corn added to beer is a capital crime, how about adding beer to corn? Corn meal, that is, for these tasty beer battered corn dogs.

Be sure to check out the video version of this recipe in my video collection to the right.

Dry Ingredients                                                                                                                             Corn Dog Dry Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons dry, unhopped malt extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Liquid Ingredients
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup pilsner beer       
1 large egg  


And The Rest
8-pack of hot dogs
Wooden skewers
2 cups of more of cooking oil (I used a Crisco-clone and was terrified that the Chicago Trans-Fat Police might come and kick down my door).

Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. In a seperate dish, beat together the egg, beer, and buttermilk until frothy. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and blend until batter thickens. Wait 5 more minutes for the batter to set up, if necessary.                       

Skewer hot dogs. Heat oil to 350F. Pour batter mix into a tall glass. Dunk one dog at a time into batter mix, swirl, lift and let excess batter drip off back into the glass. Lay the battered dogs (just a few at a time) down into the oil and turn until they are golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Dip with some German-style mustard and enjoy with…well, I think just about any beer will do with this treat!  

Beer Battered Corn Dogs

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Sauerkraut, Pretzels, and Malt Extract Cookie Crunch Bars

Posted by Bob Skilnik on February 16, 2007

Crust IngredientsCrust Ingredients
From 12 o’ clock, clockwise:
18.5 oz German chocolate cake mix
1 egg
1 stick melted butter
1/2 crushed pretzel sticks

Making the Crust
Balled CrustPreheat your oven to 350 F. Add all the crust ingredients into a bowl and beat on slow with a mixer until the crust begins to form a ball. Take a 9″ x 13″ pan (Pyrex works well since it won’t over brown the crust) and spray well with vegetable spray. Dump out crust into pan and work it into a uniform base. Place in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Cool 1/2 hour. Crust should be somewhat dry in appearance.

Filling Ingredients
From 12 o’ clock, clockwise:                                                                                                                    
3/4 cup pecans                                                                                                             Mixed Filling
1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
1 1/4 cups rinsed and well drained kraut                                                                     
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/8 cup cane sugar + 1/8 cup light dry unhopped malt extract, combined
1/2 cup dark corn syrup + 1/2 cup light unhopped malt extract syrup, combined
2 eggs
1 cup butterscotch chips

Making the Filling
Combine all ingredients into a bowl and beat on slow until well blended. Pour filling on top of cooled crust and spread evenly. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 300 F and bake an additional 10 minutes.Remove from oven and after 10 minutes, work a knife around the edges to loosen from the cookware. Cool another hour and then cut into brownie-sized pieces.              Finished Cookie Crunch                 

Beer Recommendations
This dessert is extremely sweet and needs a beer that can stand up and counter the sweetness of the bars. Think stout, especially a coffee or bourbon stout, an IPA or a dark lager. Stay away from beers with a sweet profile.

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