Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Everything Is Better With Cheddar...& Beer

This past weekend, we held the Third Annual Ultimate Michigan tailgate party in Ann Arbor before the University of Michigan vs Illinois game. Unfortunately, the Wolverines lost, but there were plenty of food, drinks and wild times.

Amongst the great food, was this cheddar ale spread. It was packed with flavor, and was rich and creamy. I had some technical difficulties making it - I was out of town and forgot to pack my food processor (how could I have forgotten that??), so I tried to make it with a friend's smoothie maker, not a good idea, it kept draining the beer out - then a mini chopper which was far too small. In between switching the mixture back and forth between the appliances, I finally made it work. Although I had to use more beer than the recipe called for to make it blend, it was a hit, and besides, you would never hear from Canadians that there is too much beer! In honor of the guests, I used Labatt's Honey Brown lager, even though the recipe called for ale.

I served it with carrots (as depicted in the action shot below), pretzels, celery sticks and tortilla chips. It makes a lot, so if it's for a small gathering, I would cut the recipe in half.

Cheddar Ale Spread

8 oz. cream cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard I used 1.5 tbsp Dijon
2½ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese I used Canadian old cheddar
2 tablespoons heavy cream I used half & half cream
¼ teaspoon salt I used 1/2 tsp freshly ground red, white and black peppercorns
¼ cup beer (pretty much anything but a light beer) I used about 3/4 of a bottle of Labatt's Honey Brown Lager but that may be too much if you are blending it properly
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley I used 3 tbsp
I added 2 cloves garlic

Combine the cream cheese, mustard, cheddar cheese, cream, and salt in a food processor. Process for 30 seconds, add the beer, and continue processing until very smooth. Pulse in the parsley until just dispersed.

This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You will want to take it out an hour before serving if you do refrigerate.


Laura P. said...

your dip looks yummy! Just wanted to say your dip dish looks just like the casserole dishes my mom had! (that's not a bad thing, don't worry ; )

Melissa said...

Laura - that was my friend's old school Corelle dish!

Michelle said...

So glad you enjoyed this, I'm anxiously awaiting another excuse to make it :) And you're right - everything IS better with cheese and beer!

Molly Jean said...

Oh wow YUM. This looks so good! Glad you posted (even though it's an older entry)!