Sunday, February 7, 2010

Beer-Cheese Spread


This dip is a quick, easy, and delicious party dish. You can literally whip it up in about 5 minutes. It is wonderful with crusty bread, pretzels, or crackers. My friend Jen also used it as a spread on grilled smoked turkey sandwiches, as well as tossed into some mashed potatoes and said it was "super yummy". If you don't like beer, I'd imagine that you could substitute 6 oz. of white wine in place of the beer. Then again, if you don't like beer, what on earth are you doing reading this blog??? :) The cheeses you use in this could be substituted with almost any variety; however, I've found that the sharper the better (although I'd stay away from using blue-veined cheeses, I suspect those would be TOO intense). The beer should actually be something light in color and flavor... a basic American pilsner *gasp* will do fine.


1 clove garlic
1 stick of butter, room temp/softened
8 oz of extra sharp cheddar, room temperature
8 oz of Monterey Jack, room temperature
about 1/3 to 1/2 bottle of beer
few pinches of salt, to taste (if needed)

In the bowl of a food processor, chop garlic clove until minced finely. Chop cheese into roughly 1" cubes and toss into food processor with butter and the 1/3 bottle of beer. Puree until everything comes together in a smooth paste; this may take a few minutes, as the cheese will have to incorporate fully into the mixture (this is why the cheese should be room temp). If the spread seems too thick, add a little more beer to get a nice rich but spreadable/dipable consistency. Keep in mind that the spread will firm up a bit in the fridge because of the cheese and butter. Add a pinch or two of salt if needed, blend (whether or not you'll need salt and how much depends on how salty your cheese is to start with). Transfer to a lidded bowl and refrigerate at least 1 hr. Will keep a few days in a covered container in the refrigerator.