(Image Credit: Cool Materials)
Who says the ale has to stay in the glass? With easy recipes for boozy snacks, we're here to help you have your beer and eat it, too.
The classic beer cheese dip
begins with a few simple ingredients: a block of cream cheese, a cup or three of whatever cheeses you like (such as cheddar, jack, or gouda), basic seasoning to taste, and as little as 1/3-cup of beer (or as much as a cup, or even a 12oz can). The amount of beer depends on your preferred flavor and consistency of dip. The best part about beer cheese dip is that you can toss it all in a bowl and mix, then stick in the fridge until it's time to enjoy. Or you could give it some heat and mix it over your stove top before serving. Whatever floats your boat! Either way, your cream cheese should be nice and soft when it's time to get to work. And while ales and lagers tend to be the choice for these, any beer is an acceptable option.
With that in mind, here are some twists to make your cheese dip experience all the merrier:
- Make it spicy by experimenting with jalapeños, garlic, red onions, tabasco, or even sausage!
- Make it creamier by adding some Greek yogurt - two heaped tablespoons.
- Make it gourment by using sharp cheddar and a pinch of dry mustard and black pepper.
Cheesy, creamy dips not your thing? Give honey mustard a try! Your basic honey mustard sauce is, well, honey and mustard. You can go half and half, or 1/3 mustard to 2/3 honey - whatever works for you in terms of flavor, spice-level and consistency. A good tip is to add some mayo, ranch, or other creamy element to take the edge off the mustard and help blend the flavors. Once you've decided on your mix, you can add two teaspoons of any beer you like. In our opinion, the darker the better for these sauces--think porters and stouts.
The world is your pickle, friends. And speaking of pickles, let's talk about a few foods you can beer batter for maximum fried goodness. Mix up 1 cup flour, an egg, a cup or more of beer, and seasoning--you're ready to fry!
Our favorite picks for a quick dip in the deep fryer?
- Onion rings
- Green beans
- Chicken fingers
- White fish
Now that you're ready to sneak delicious beer into all of your Oktoberfest foods, here are some basic beer pairing tips:
- Stouts go great with chocolate, caramel, and pecans - stuff with deep flavors and thickness to it.
- Ales go great with sharper fruit flavors like raspberry and lime, but also bacon.
- Porters go great with coffee, hazelnut, coffee, chocolate, coffee, and any malty thing.
- Belgians go great with fruits and citrus; try it with a fruit bowl!
Go forth and party (responsibly)!