Dinner: Long Trail Beer Cheese Burgers (and spread)

IMG_0275As I drove to the grocery store to pick up some things for breakfast, there was a guy on the radio talking about craft beer.  He mentioned that one of his best pairings of food and beer was burgers and beer.  I mean…I can’t argue with that.  That’s when I got an idea that I wanted beer cheese burgers for dinner.  Being the awesome spouse that she is, when I mentioned this idea to my wife she said, “sure”.  A quick Google search for beer cheese recipes lead me to one for a Kentucky Beer Cheese Spread that got good reviews.  It also called for a bunch of stuff that we already had in the house, so that worked in our favor (ya’ll know I had the beer).

With a quick run to the store, we had the necessary extra items to make burgers and fries.  The beer cheese was amazingly simple to make.  The longest part was shredding the cheese.  For the few of us at the house, we could have definitely cut the recipe in half.  However, for entertaining, the regular amount below would be perfect.  For this recipe I used a Long Trail Farm House Session IPA (nice VT beer thanks to my mom and Bob for brining in) to make the beer cheese.  You can definitely get some different flavors from this using different beers, but for our first try I wanted to go with something that wouldn’t back too much of a punch.  The Session IPA here definitely worked out great.

For those folks that are near Cincinnati, this recipe rivals that from Servatii’s beer cheese spread.  This stuff was legit.  We had some pretzel roll bites to dip into this stuff and we pretty much emptied the bag of the pretzel bites.  I think we would use a little less cayenne next time, but overall…we will definitely make this again.  If you get invited to our house for a part or invite us somewhere…this might just show up.

Once we had this made we quickly threw some beef patties on the grill and fries in the oven.  The wife and our friend didn’t feel like beer cheese burgers so they put together their own In-N-Out burgers (check that recipe here).  I stuck with the original plan and threw a gob of beer cheese on my patty while it was on the grill to get it a little warm and gooey.  The burger went straight onto a pretzel bun with some lettuce, tomato, and a heaping helping of caramelized onions.  Oh boy…I was in heaven.  No condiments needed on this fantastic mess.

Overall…great dinner and great new recipe found.  The wife pinned it just so we could make it again.

Dinner Beer: Long Trail Limbo IPA (eating and drinking Long Trail this night)

Kentucky Beer Cheese Spread

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 pound extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco®)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
Directions
  1. Pour beer into a bowl and whisk until beer loses its carbonation, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
  2. Place shredded cheese into the work bowl of a food processor; add garlic, dry mustard powder, black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, salt, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and flat beer.
  3. Process until smooth and creamy, pulsing a few times, scraping the sides, and blending for about 2 total minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. If adding more seasoning, pulse a few times to mix.
  4. Transfer cheese spread to a bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne pepper. Spread tastes best when refrigerated overnight to blend flavors, but it can be served right away if needed.
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