I drove through Kentucky a few summers ago on my way home to Texas from a trip to Virginia (I took the scenic route), and there I discovered the thing my heart loves: beer cheese.
Beer cheese is a traditional Kentucky dish with roots in Cook County. It’s exactly what it says it is: beer and cheese. It’s easy to make and easy to store, but the flavor profiles of a sharp cheddar against a lager are out of this world.
Beer cheese is usually used as a dip, but in Kentucky, they also spread it on a piece of thick toast. This would be delicious as a Friday night appetizer or snack in front of a good movie.
Beer Cheese Dip
32 oz Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbs smoked paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
12 oz flat Shiner Bock beer (any lager or pilsner but no “lite” beer)
Use a box grater to grate the cheese by hand.
Meanwhile, pulse the garlic in the food processor until minced but not pasty. You can also do this by hand and add them to the food processor. Add the cheese, cayenne, paprika, salt, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Pulse three or four times until just combined.
Turn food processor on, and slowly pour the beer through the chute until the cheese mixture is smooth and creamy. Be careful not to overmix.
Beer cheese will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Serve cold with pretzels, crackers or raw vegetables.
Note: Pre-shredded cheese in the bag is mixed with cellulose to keep it from sticking. Using pre-shredded cheese will also keep your beer cheese from combining into a smooth, creamy consistency. It’s worth it to grate it yourself.
Open beer about 12 hours before preparing your beer cheese to let it go flat and warm.
Makes 6 cups
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 644, Fat: 25 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 79 mg, Sodium: 664 mg, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 31 g, Protein: 19 g.
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