I'm all for the current beer-and-food-pairing trend—and in winter, I'm even more into beer as an ingredient. I stumbled onto my favorite new beer recipe the other night when a friend came over and threw together an ingenious, couldn't-be-simpler rice dish from four of my kitchen staples: white rice, butter, salt and Guinness.

He cooked a cup of rice in 1 3/4 cups of beer, 1/4 cup of water, a small pat of butter and a sprinkle of salt. (To make things even easier, you could use a 12-ounce bottle of beer and a half-cup of water instead.) About twenty minutes later: Guinness rice—slightly nutty, malty-tasting and soothingly delicious. Apparently the dish comes from somewhere in the Caribbean, but in my rudimentary research I haven't yet found anything on it.

The best part of the dish—besides eating it—was that as the rice steamed, the yeasty beer made my entire apartment smell like a bread bakery. I'll have to remember that if I ever put my place on the market; I'll bet a steaming pot of Guinness rice would be an even sneakier (and certainly easier) sales ploy than an apple pie or cookies in the oven.