Esta's Kitchen: Beer Roasted Veggies
By: Esta Buchanan, March 14, 2012
Don Parkinson - Esta stocks up on her favorite ingredients.
Do you ever have one of those days where all of your problems are solved by the first sip?
(If you have to ask what “first sip” means then you have never had this happen to you, so should probs leave now and go read another column.)
But for the rest of you, my lovely little Estas-in-training, you know what I mean. You crack open that beer bottle or pop the cork on that wine… you raise the glass to your lips… the alcohol hits your tongue… you close your eyes.
Maybe there is a moan, and suddenly your long-ass, non-stop 10-hour day disappears.
Next to the opening credits of Star Wars, it is truly one of my favorite feelings ever.
I know some people in my life might take issue with this being one of my favorite feelings (cough-The Jackanator-cough) but in my defense... I just don’t care.
I cook with beer because days like this exist. Sometimes, if you are lucky, the recipe includes these directions: “Drink rest of beer while veggies are cooking.”
Beer Roasted Veggies
- 12 oz fresh green beans, tips removed
- 2 T to ¼ cup olive oil, depending on your diet
- ½ cup beer (I used Sam Adams Winter Lager)
- 1 T (at least) garlic powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium-sized bowl, mix veggies with oil, spices, and ¼ cup of beer. Mix well so that all the veggies are coated.
Spread mixture on a cookie sheet (make sure you have cookie sheet with sides, as there will be plenty of liquid). Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
Green beans roast fast, but a more sturdy vegetable like carrots, parsnips or potatoes might take longer. You are looking for the vegetables to be a caramel brown color and soft, but not mushy.
Important: Drink the rest of the beer while the vegetables roast!
After the pan comes out of oven add the rest of the beer (1/4 cup) right away. With a wooden spoon or spatula toss the vegetables around in the beer and scrape up the juicy bits from the bottom of the sheet.
Leave on the sheet ‘til ready to plate up and serve.
Chances are one of “those days” happens during the dark week of stupid Daylight Savings Time. Who thought up this dumb ass holiday anyways? That was a rhetorical question: I don’t really care. I would like to share with you a few lines from a text that I received from The Jackonator earlier this week that I believe perfectly sum up my feelings on the subject:
“It’s just evil and there’s no purpose to it. If I could get my hands around the throat of the person who started this, they wouldn’t last long...”
I’m now calling her “Jackafierce.”
Moving on from why from Reason #4897 Why I Should Be In Charge of This Country, this week I decided to play “vegetarian.”
HEY! I can cook without meat. It’s a lifestyle choice. I dig it. I’m all about vegetables, especially when they are covered in cheesy sauce and sautéed in bacon grease (remember this like you remember the Alamo).
Roasting is one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables. It’s quick, it tastes awesome, and it makes people think you are very elegant. Even if you cooked them whilst in your underwear. Also a valid lifestyle choice.
The recipe for roasting veggies is pretty universal, regardless of the kind of vegetable you use. It usually involves olive oil, some spices and sometimes vinegar cooked at a high temperature in the oven. Of course, in my case it also involved beer.
I used green beans, but there are a lot of options: carrots, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and potatoes. This is a very versatile recipe but I do have one stipulation: you must use fresh veggies. If you try to roast frozen green beans, you are an idiot. I’m not saying frozen veggies don’t have their place in the world, but roasting them in the oven is not one of them.
A little swig will do ya
My problem arose after I roasted the veggies. There wasn’t enough beer taste. Which is kind of my gig. I solved this problem by throwing a couple of swigs of beer on the pan after it came out of the oven. It both deglazed the pan—which is always a good thing—and it added more beer flavor.
I didn’t want to add too much liquid before the pan went in the oven, lest I boil the veggies. Adding the beer at the end added the flavor I wanted without overcooking the vegetables.
‘Cause that’s what I do, people: solving problems...one beer at a time.