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Beer cheese dip is an easy appetizer

Beer cheese dip incorporates 8 to 12 ounces of dark beer.

Ellen Folkman | Special to the Times

Beer cheese dip incorporates 8 to 12 ounces of dark beer.

I was recently at the Pub at International Plaza and enjoyed the Belhaven beer cheese with pretzel bread. Does anyone have these recipes? Thank you.

Kim Odom, Odessa

We got a dip recipe but not a recipe for the bread. Johna Casey of Tampa shares a beer cheese dip she found at grouprecipes.com. The recipe isn't from the Pub. It comes from Rich-O's, a restaurant in southern Indiana. I have had the Pub's Belhaven beer cheese appetizer and this is pretty close, even though I was not able to find Belhaven beer in three liquor stores. I used Yuengling, a readily available American lager. The type of beer you choose will affect the flavor so pick something you like along the lines of a lager or ale. You can hand-shred the cheese but a food processor makes quick work of the task. One pound of cheese filled the bowl of my food processor. Cubing the cream cheese makes it easier to melt. Don't rush the melting of the cheeses. When they were fairly well melted together, I added about 8 ounces of beer to thin it out a bit and traded a heat-proof spatula for a wire whisk. Don't begin with a whisk or you will get very frustrated trying to stir the glob of cheese. I added 2 more ounces of beer, for a total of 10 ounces, and the mixture became very smooth and creamy. This is a good recipe that you should not be afraid to tweak. The next time I make it, I will probably go with the entire 12 ounces of beer because the cheese dip thickens upon sitting. Serve warm with your choice of dippers. This makes a lot, but the recipe could easily be halved. Unfortunately, I have not received a response for the pretzel bread.

Recipes tested by Times correspondent Ellen Folkman unless otherwise noted. Send requests to You Asked For It, P.O. Box 1159, Crystal Beach, FL 34681 or email youaskedforit@tampabay.rr.com. Include your name, city and phone number.

>>Easy

Beer Cheese Dip

2 pounds sharp cheddar cheese, grated

16 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes

8 to 12 ounces dark beer

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ tablespoon crushed red pepper, or less, depending on how spicy you like it

1 ½ teaspoons cayenne

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large double boiler, melt the cheddar cheese and cream cheese. When melted, add 8 ounces beer, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, cayenne and black pepper. Stir well to blend. Add more beer a little at a time for a thinner texture, if desired.

Serve with crackers, pita triangles, bagel chips or crudites.

Makes about 1 quart.

Source: grouprecipes.com

Beer cheese dip is an easy appetizer 06/18/13 [Last modified: Monday, June 17, 2013 1:18pm]

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