Wander all over the country tasting regional favorites — crab cakes in Maryland, barbecue in the Carolinas, chili in Texas, étouffée or court bouillon in Louisiana, clambake in New England, or chimichangas in Arizona — and chances are you will be offered a beer along with your meal. The same goes for the newest fusion cuisines, whether they go under labels like East-West, Pacific Rim, or whatever. And these days, the beer is as likely to be a local or regional craft brew as a national brand.

Here are some of my favorites from this regional bounty, as well as some all-American favorites like meat loaf and that homebrewers' standby, beer bread — all of them good partners to West Coast craft-brewed beers.

Recipes from the Melting Pot:

Spicy Chicken Wings

Crab Cakes with Chipotle Aioli

Warm Escarole Salad with Smoked Chicken

Grilled Salmon Sandwich

Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

Fish Baked in Beer Batter

Chili, My Way

Cheese and Beer Bread

Perfect Roast Chicken

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Louisiana-Style Fish Courtbouillon


Shrimp Boil

Pepper Slaw

Gingery Peach Crisp

Shrimp or Crawfish Étouffée

Cider-Brined Roast Stuffed Turkey with Giblet Gravy

Rye Bread and Apple Stuffing

Mixed Rice Jambalaya

Cranberry-Orange Relish

Leek and Potato Soup

Maggie Klein’s Squash Gratin with Garlic and Olive Oil

The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.