05 Mar

Use Beer to Make Tastier Tacos

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Tacos are a beloved dish, and few things complement a tasty taco better than a cold beer. Ambitious home cooks who want to combine these two tailor-made companions can thank the Stone Brewing Co. for the following recipe for "Arrogant Bastard Ale Avocado Tacos," which can be found in John Holl's "The American Craft Beer Cookbook" (Storey). This recipe is great for avocado lovers and vegetarians or anyone who simply enjoys a good taco.

Arrogant Bastard Ale Avocado Tacos

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Salsa Fresca

11/2 cups seeded and diced plum tomatoes

1/4 cup diced yellow onion

1/4 cup seeded and finely diced jalapeño peppers

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Arrogant Bastard Ale Battered Avocados

2 cups Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale, chilled

3/4 teaspoon Cajun spice blend

1/2 teaspoon ground dried chipotle chiles

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

41/2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and quartered

2 cups panko breadcrumbs



1 cup Stone Levitation Ale BBQ Sauce, or similar barbecue sauce

18 small corn tortillas

1 cup grated Asiago cheese

Microgreens or chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1. To make the Salsa Fresca: Combine the tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, lime juice, and cilantro in a bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days to allow the flavors to mingle.

2. To make the batter: Pour the ale into a narrow, high-sided container. Stir in the Cajun spice blend, chiles, garlic, salt, and paprika.

3. Sift the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl, then add them to the beer mixture slowly, whisking well until the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Add more flour if necessary to create a tempura-style batter for coating the avocados. Set the batter aside.

4. Preheat the oven to 200 F. Prepare a deep fryer or pour 2 to 3 inches of oil into a deep cast iron or heavy pot that is at least 4 inches deep. Heat the oil to 360 F. Pour the breadcrumbs into a shallow dish.

5. Use tongs to grab the avocado quarters and dunk them in the prepared batter. Shake off any excess and roll the avocados in the breadcrumbs to coat all sides. Fry the avocados in batches until golden brown, 1 to 21/2 minutes each. (Do not overcrowd the pot, as this will lower the temperature of the oil significantly.)

6. Transfer the cooked avocados to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Season with a sprinkling of salt and keep them in the oven until the entire batch is ready.

7. Assemble the tacos: Heat the barbecue sauce in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Warm the tortillas on a griddle or in the oven, if desired.

8. Place one avocado quarter on each of the tortillas. Top each avocado with the warm barbecue sauce, salsa, cheese, and microgreens. Serve immediately.

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