Marcena Collier told her twin sons that when they turned 16, she would take them on a trip to pretty much wherever they chose. They opted for Philadelphia.
She asked them, “Why Philly? You wanna see the Liberty Bell?”
Nope. It turned out that they were big fans of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and wanted to see some of the locations that had been featured on the show. While they were in Philadelphia, they also ate a lot of Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and Marcena indulged in one of her favorite vacation traditions: sampling the local beer. That’s where she first tried Yuengling, a brew based in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, about 96 miles northwest of Philadelphia. It’s produced at the oldest brewery in the country.
David G. Yuengling — pronounced ying-ling — began the Eagle Brewery in Pottsville in 1829, a year after he arrived from Wuerttemberg, Germany. The brewery’s name was changed to D.G. Yuengling & Son in 1873, when David’s son Frederick joined the business as a partner.
Yuengling’s beers were initially available just on the East Coast but began to show up in the South in 2008. Yuengling announced in June that its products would be available in Texas on August 23, news that brought much joy to many beer aficionados.
“Yuengling is coming to Texas. I repeat, YUENGLING IS COMING TO TEXAS!” one excited user wrote on the Cheap Beer discussion thread at SportsJournalists.com. (A six-pack of 12-ounce bottles of Yuengling lager cost $7.97 at H-E-B a few weeks ago. A tall glass of lager at Buffalo Wild Wings was $5.)
In a totally unscientific survey on my Facebook page, positive comments about Yuengling outweighed the negative, 19-2.
The beer that’s sold in Texas is brewed at the Molson Coors facility in Fort Worth. Initially, Yuengling made four beers available in Texas, including the traditional lager, the flagship product of the brewery.
The taste of the lager reminds Collier of Shiner Bock, and even though the beers are about the same color, the Yuengling is a much lighter-bodied beer than the Shiner. Jacob Green, the co-founder of Keep Waco Loud and co-owner of Stay Classy Waco, said on my Facebook page, “I’m a fan! It’s a darn good beer. It’s like if Shiner grew up in Pittsburgh.”
His wife, Katie Selman-Green, said she would often bring Yuengling back to Texas on her trips to the East Coast.
Lagers pair well with a wide variety of foods. It works with seafood, such as calamari, oysters, crab and salmon. It can be served alongside a cheese
plate, especially one that features mild varieties of cheese. And, like any good beer, it goes especially well with a hot dog.
Lager also works with spicy food as well as citrus. For our recipes, we’ve included a peppery chicken adobo, but it doesn’t include the adobo chili popular in Mexican adobo dishes. In Filipino cuisine, adobo is a way of marinating food and usually includes vinegar and soy sauce.
We served the chicken over rice flavored with coconut, which cut down a bit of the spiciness of the chicken and added a sweet kick. For dessert, there are a couple of citrus-based sweets. And, finally, for those who might indulge in a bit too much Yuengling, there’s a recipe for a simple breakfast taco with ingredients that will help cure that awful hangover.
Filipino Chicken Adobo
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 10 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups cider vinegar
- 10-ounce can diced tomatoes, with the liquid
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Olive oil
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 2 whole scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
The day before cooking the chicken, combine the soy sauce, garlic, pepper, vinegar, tomatoes and bay leaves in a large bowl or casserole dish. Add the chicken, turning to coat all sides of each piece, and submerge as much as possible. Cover and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.
To cook the chicken, carefully pour the chicken and liquid into a heavy 4-quart pot. Bring to a gentle boil, cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until the center of one of the thighs registers 175 F on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove the chicken from the pot and place on a plate. Skim as much fat as possible from the liquid, increase the heat and bring to a boil, cooking it down by half. Using a submersible blender, puree the liquid.
In a large skillet on medium-high heat, pour 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, carefully place the chicken in the skillet, skin side down, being careful not to burn the thighs.
When the chicken is golden brown, turn the pieces over, continue to cook, and add the onions. Move the onion pieces around so they don’t burn. When the chicken is golden on both sides, use a slotted spoon to remove it and the onions to a serving bowl. Pour the boiled-down pan juices over and serve the chicken on a bed of rice. Garnish
with scallions, if desired.
Makes about 6 servings.
Fluffy Coconut Rice
- 2 cups jasmine or long-grain white rice
- 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
Rinse the rice in cold water 4 or 5 times, or until the water runs fairly clear. (To rinse, place the rice in a bowl, add water and swish it around. Pour the water out as best you can, or through a colander. Pour the rice back into the bowl and continue rinsing.)
Drain the rice and soak in clean water for 15 minutes, then drain again.
In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, add the rice, coconut milk, water, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer so the entire surface of the liquid is rippling.
Give the rice one (just one!) stir, place a lid on the pan and quickly turn down the heat to low. Let the rice sit for 14 minutes.
After 14 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and let rest undisturbed for 10 minutes. Fluff with a spatula and garnish with toasted coconut.
Makes about 4 servings.
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Zest of 1 lime, finely grated; divided
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped grapefruit flesh
- 2 teaspoons grapefruit juice
Heat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a 12-well madeline pan.
Sift the flour and baking powder together into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Add the eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, lime juice and half the lime zest to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip for 10 minutes or until the eggs have quadrupled in volume.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the flour mixture until most of the flour has been absorbed. Then fold in the melted butter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Spray the madeline pan with nonstick spray and use a pastry brush to make sure each well is coated.
Using a small scoop, fill each madeline well about half full. Be careful not to overfill. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the madelines are golden brown and slightly domed.
Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
To make the lime sugar, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining lime zest in a bowl.
To make the grapefruit icing, in another bowl, combine the powdered sugar, grapefruit flesh and grapefruit juice.
To serve, dip the madelines in icing then sprinkle with lime sugar.
Makes about 12 madelines.
Margarita Pretzel Bars
For the crust:
- 3 cups pretzel sticks
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
For the filling:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, about 4 juicy limes
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
For the topping:
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8-by-8-inch pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving extra hanging over the sides.
Pulse the pretzels in a food processor until crushed. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar. Add the crushed pretzels and stir until combined. Gently press the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
Place on a rack and cool completely.
To make the filling, beat the cold whipping cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, tequila and orange liqueur. Gently fold in the whipped cream, just until blended.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with a mixture of lime zest and sugar if desired.
Makes 9 to 12 servings.
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup beans, either refried or black
- 2 tortillas
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Cilantro, minced
- Salsa of your choice
Cook eggs your favorite way.
Slather some beans on each tortilla, and top with cheese. Add the eggs, then the avocado, cilantro and salsa. Serve with strong, hot coffee and a quiet house.
Makes 1 serving.