Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kentucky Beer Cheese – Love at Third Bite

Very few love Kentucky Beer Cheese at first bite. As you crunch your first taste, the palette quickly identifies a sharp cheddar cheese spread, but then stale beer fills the nose, and you instantly think, “I should have gone clam dip.”

But after three or four bites, you stop thinking about your college dorm room carpet, and your palette adjusts to the unusual flavor profile, and this humble cheese spread becomes as addicting as any I’ve ever had. In a way, it’s sort of analogous to drinking your first beer, but that’s a whole other post.

The texture is much smoother and creamier than it looks, and that little hint of raw alcohol provides a fermented funkiness in the background that is the key to the recipe. Well done, Bluegrass State. Well done. By the way, you can upgrade the beer if you wish, but then you will not be eating real Kentucky Beer Cheese.

People around those parts may argue about the amount of pepper, or if you should throw in a chunk of cream cheese or not, but everyone agrees that this spread requires a cheap, domestic beer. Preferably from a can.

So, if you’re looking for something a little different for your Super Bowl party, I hope you give this Kentucky Beer Cheese recipe a try. If it’s a big hit, you can bring it back for your Kentucky Derby party. I’m sure it’s fabulous with mint juleps. Enjoy!

Ingredients for  about 3 cups Kentucky Beer Cheese:
16 ounces of cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup flat beer


Josh said...

I bet a porter would do wonderful for this dip.

FSB said...

Whoa!! My Zig-Zag eatra blanc papers were made in France... "nos coins coupes facilitent le roulage des cigarettes". Who you tryin' to kid?

Chef John said...

Yes, original Co. was in France, but have/had factories in U.S. too.

Unknown said...

I guess they were all out of Twinkies when this recipe was invented?

Looks great Chef John.

Zac said...

It's kind of thrilling to hear you say the name of my home state so many times in one video. You should visit sometime. Actually, I'm not sure how exciting it would be to visit, but it's a nice place to live!

Unknown said...

Cheese spread looks good. How much for the table?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FSB said...

re: Zig-Zag... shows you how old I am! And how long it's been since I used them.

Chef John said...

Gerry, I'm too embarrassed to say. ;)

Anonymous said...

This looks great - I will definitely try this! In the meantime, you should also check out Obatzda, a very similar Bavarian cheese that is typically served in beer gardens. Recipes vary, for example:

1) Squash 250g Camembert (ripe) with a fork, add 10g butter (lightly creamed) and one minced onion. Add salt, pepper, paprika and caraway. Add about 5 tbsp beer and mix thoroughly. Let rest for at least one hour.

2) [Taken from] Squash equal parts of sharp Remoudou, Comembert and butter with a fork. Add minced onion, salt, pepper, parpika and lots of caraway. Maybe add heavy cream.

You get the idea. Works great on pretzels and likes the company of beer.

Unknown said...

When explaining about the acquired taste, I thought you were going to joke that it happens right after the 24 ounce beer is all used up! Great recipe but I think I'll change the beer for cream cheese or sour cream since I cannot give this to my kids yet! Thanks!

Julie M. said...

Hey CJ, A Kentucky Boy here. One tip that makes it a lot smoother is adding a couple of TB of milk.

beemo said...

My adventures in Beer and Cheese

When the cheese for this recipe was already grated and in the food processor, I happened to notice the barely visible word 'LIGHT' -- as in calorie-reduced -- on my pack of 'Old' cheddar cheese. Once again, I had fallen for this contemptible low-class grocery-store behavior, but of course caveat emptor, I had nobody but myself to blame. I instantly went into a rage. I was so angry I shotgunned a beer on the spot, and then pitched a tablespoon of ghee into the cheese mix to bring the fat level back up a bit. After that I felt better.

I frequently make mistakes in the kitchen that send me into angry fits. I should start a youtube channel called Le Cuisinier Enragé

Anyway, the result was delicious, light cheese notwithstanding. "Acquired taste" nothing! I adored it immediately.

J. Francis Lehman said...

This looks great, and I will be trying it. I'd love your take on making a bacon horseradish cheddar spread. I searched the blog but didn't find anything. In the meantime, I may pair this with your bacon jam on snack tray. Great channel, great ideas! A+++

Unknown said...

In my part of Ohio we use Swiss cheese. Of course,we use Swiss cheese for everything in my part of Ohio. But try it sometime with maybe half smoked Swiss and I think you will be happy you crossed the state line.