Seeing as how I really enjoy both beer and food, it’s natural I’d want to cook with beer. My favorite appetizer is a beer and cheese dip with pretzels; it’s actually way too good and I had to stop making it because I couldn’t help myself and overindulged every time. Last week I whipped up a batch of Ranger IPA mashed potatoes. And last night I decided to try my hand at beer macaroni and cheese.
I’ve always loved mac & cheese, and I went with one of my most favorite Colorado beers to put in it: Ska’s Modus Hoperandi. It was pretty much delicious. Want to see for yourself? Here’s my recipe:
2 c. macaroni, cooked according to pkg. directions, and drained
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
8 ounces milk
8 ounces beer (your favorite kind, though I don’t know if dark beer will work)
8 ounces freshly grated cheddar cheese
4 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pinch of black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (I think I end up adding a bit more than this)
basil leaves, chopped for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 375.
Heat a saucepan over medium high heat and add butter. Once melted and sizzling, whisk in flour to create a roux and cook until bubbly and golden, about 2 minutes. Add milk and beer into saucepan whisking constantly, then add cheeses and stir until melted. Turn heat down to medium and continue to stir, cooking for 5-6 minutes while mixture thickens. It might not thicken like regular mac and cheese because of the beer, but you want it to thicken a little bit by adding a bit of flour. Stir in pepper, paprika and nutmeg.
Add noodles to a casserole dish, then pour cheese over top, mixing gently to combine. Top with panko bread crumbs and bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then top with fresh basil.
I’ve always got my eye out for new and interesting ways to cook with beer. If you have a recipe I must try, please share. I’ll try it myself as long as it’s vegetarian.