Not exactly a revelation but a suggestion from my dear friend Aarti who replied to my desperate tweets on a Sunday afternoon, answering my “what should I eat today” question. She sent me this beautiful link from Curvy Carrot adding that If I was up for something elaborate then this is what I should make.
Looking at the blog’s beautiful pictures and totally mesmerized by the words ‘Pretzels’, ‘beer’ & ‘cheese’ in one sentence I knew this is what I would make.
I tweaked the recipe a bit to suit whatever ingredients I had handy that afternoon, but the results were nothing short of ecstatic. Once the pretzels were hot out of the oven and the beer cheese sauce gooey and warm, I nestled myself on the couch in front of the television, refusing to acknowledge this world or any other existence. For 20 minutes until there were but crumbs on my plate did I lift my head up to realize, the television was on, playing something absolutely unnecessary.. but did I care? No!!!.. this sauce is a fuzzy warm beery heaven, a grotto of pleasure worth visiting every time you can make any excuse for a dip.. at least I do..
as for the beer cheese sauce…
Ingredients for the beer cheese sauce (adapted from curvy carrot)
6 tbsps butter (I used salted)
1 cup spring onion
1 bay leaf
4 tbsps flour
1.5 cups beer (any beer is fine)
3/4 cup cream (I used single cream)
1 tsp fresh ground pepper (not so fine pieces)
1/4 tsp allspice
nutmeg (a pinch)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cream cheese (room temperature)
Salt to taste
a dash of cayenne
Making this sauce wasn’t difficult at all. In fact I started making it once the pretzels were popped in the oven.. working fast I melted the butter on medium heat in a pan of choice.
Add the onions and salt and cook until translucent. Add in the bay leaf, pepper and mix for a couple of minutes.
Add the flour and mix for a bit, the roux will look all sorts of lumpy and dry but really it’s a good thing.
Slowly start adding in the beer, and keep mixing constantly to remove any lumps and, watch it all thicken.. apart from the beer facial you will get when you keep smelling it constantly. I did this for a couple of minutes .. kept smelling along with mixing.
Now add in the cream and stir as usual. add in the nutmeg, allspice and cayenne. Cook and stir and mix and let it lightly simmer. ensure that this mixture thickens as you’re cooking it on slow heat. Mine took about 15 minutes.
Just as it has thickened add in the cheese, turn off the flame and let it all melt and meld together.. of course keep whisking and stirring and mixing until all cheese has melted in it.
Serve warm ..
This is it.. beer cheese sauce. You can adapt, make changes to suit however you want your dip or a sauce to be. you can use all cheddar or any other cheese you fancy. I used whatever I had on me that time and it turned out fabulous.
The point is, when you have beer, cream and cheese all together you can’t really go wrong with it.