Khok: Eating beer

OKTOBERFEST kicks off sometime in September. It is a moveable feast because the date varies. This year, it is from Sept. 18 to Oct. 3. Next year, it will froth from Sept. 17 to Oct. 3.

While it is a two-week German beer festival, it has become a global celebration. In BC (Before Covid) days, Cebu City restaurants and hotels would by now be advertising parties that revolve around this yeast-fermented malt flavored with hops.

There have been shifting quarantine levels and liquor bans, and so the festival this year might be cancelled.

Let’s just remember why this “beery cheerful” event was started. It was held to toast the marriage of Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen on Oct. 12, 1810.

What joy it must have been to witness two people who pledged to always love one another. But Ludwig later proved unfaithful.

The latest on the liquor ban, as of this writing, is that while drinking alcoholic beverages in public is still prohibited, buying liquor is allowed for as long as it is consumed in the house.

We have to follow this protocol not just because of the penalty imposed for violations. We obey the protocol because it is for our safety.

Rather than drink beer at home, why not cook with beer? It is easy to cook with this drink.

TENDERS. Make chicken tenders or fish fingers using batter mixed with beer.

For dredging: Have on hand three cups all-purpose flour, one tablespoon (tbsp) salt, 3 tbsp finely grated garlic (1 tbsp if using powder), 1 tbsp black pepper, 1 tbsp paprika (optional), powder seasoning of choice (to taste). Combine all ingredients and set aside.

For the batter: In another bowl, mix together 1 1/3 cups flour, salt, pepper, three egg yolks and 1 1/2 cups beer.

Slice three large chicken breasts into strips or four fish fillets into fingers or squares. Dredge chicken or fish in the flour mixture. Shake off excess then dip in batter, then coat with flour mixture again.

Deep-fry in hot oil until golden brown. Serve with bottled sweet chili sauce or mayonnaise mixed with ketchup.

CALDERETA. This caldereta or beef stew becomes a hybrid with beer. Cook the stew as usual: Saute onion and garlic. Add beef cut into cubes and cook until it loses its pink color. Add water to cover and boil to tenderize the meat.

When meat is tender, add tomato sauce, red and green bell peppers, paprika (optional) and beer.

Simmer, then add liver spread, olives and garbanzo beans (both optional), potatoes, green peas, hot sauce to taste, salt and pepper. Serve hot.

You don’t have to drink alcohol to celebrate a milestone. Eat it instead. Yum.