Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Beer Cheese Macaroni with Crushed Pretzels

This  month's recipe challenge is all things pasta. Basically, the most important food group there is. I am super pumped to see all of the recipes everyone came up with this go round since the potato challenge has kept me feed for over the last month, I made so many of them! If you are here from my other blog then you know I have already made one macaroni dish for you today and am serving up another gooey version for you here. In the same green dish no less;) 

If I had a weakness it would probably be beer cheese. This is somewhat amusing seeing as how the thought of beer by itself sends me into a state of shudders. Gimme wine or whiskey any day and keep the brew to yourself. That said, beer adds such flavor and depth to so many dishes and this is by far my favorite use for a cold one! 

Beer cheese is probably one of my absolute go to appetizers for any gathering or get together. It is super easy to create and crazy delicious. Last year for a party I was asked to make a dish and I had a bunch of beer cheese left over and didn't want to waste it. I had a random thought to toss it over some pasta and cheese macaroni it was. 

The crushed pretzels was a last minute decision. If you know me at all then you know that if you serve me macaroni with bread crumbs you are dead to me. No ma'am, my macaroni wants a topping of just cheese. This was no different, the pretzels just happened to be laying around as extras from being used for the beer cheese dip and I figured "Hey, pretzels and beer supposedly go really well together" Why not try it out?" 

And...for me, I will admit I did somewhat like the added crunch, it wasn't my favorite but I certainly didn't hate it. However, the other 6 people who tried it were somewhat insistent that the pretzels made the dish and so here we are. I am no fool and will listen to the masses. Unless the masses call for baked on bread crumbs and I am outta there. No foolin'. I think one reason I liked the pretzel was because I literally just crushed them up and put them on top. I didn't bake them on. 

1 lb pasta cooked
4-6 oz cream cheese
1/2 cream or half and half
4 oz beer
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded colby jack
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
dash red pepper flakes
salt/pepper to taste
1 cup crushed pretzel

in a sauce pan, dump in the cream cheese, cream, and beer and place on medium heat. Once it begins to bubble up, make sure to whisk thoroughly and add in the remaining cheeses, whisking constantly. Add in the mustard and spices and stir. Toss with pasta and add to serving dish. Top with crushed pretzels and serve. 

* This is a lot of cheese, I love mine cheesey and gooey, feel free to adjust to your taste. Same thing with beer and cream. Add more if you would like a stronger taste. This is kind of a recipe that you can play around with to perfect just the way you like it.