Beer Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese


Beer Cheese Mac 'n Cheese

Beer Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese

Beer cheese soup meets pasta in this winter favorite that pairs twisted noodles with a creamy cheese sauce spiked with an amber brew.  A sprinkling of rye bread crumbs turns into a crunchy topping.

Beer Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese Recipe 

Beer Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese

12 oz. gemeli (twisted pasta) or fusilli (corkscrew pasta)

4 Tbsp. butter, divided

¾ finely chopped onion

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 cup amber beer or non-alcoholic beer

1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, cut up

1 1/3 cups whole milk

12 oz. sharp aged yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (1 ½ cups)

¾ tsp. salt

1 ½ cups fresh rye or pumpernickel bread crumbs *

3 Tbsp. thinly sliced green onions

Heat oven to 375 F.  Spray 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray **.  Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook onion 4 to 5 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Increase heat to medium-high.  Add beer; bring to a boil.  Boil 1 minute to reduce slightly.  Whisk in cream cheese until melted.  Whisk in milk, cheddar cheese and salt, whisking constantly until cheese melts.  Simmer 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly thickened (sauce will be quite thin), stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.  Stir in pasta; spoon into baking dish.

Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Stir in bread crumbs and green onions until coated; sprinkle over pasta.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until casserole is hot and bubbling and bread crumbs are browned and crisp.  Let stand 10 minutes before servings.          6 (1 cup) servings

Tips:  *  To make fresh bread crumbs, tear day-old bread into pieces; place in food processor.  Pulse 30 to 60 seconds or until coarse crumbs form.  One bread slice yields about ¾ cup.

      **  To serve in individual dishes, spray 6 (1 cup) gratin or casserole dishes with cooking spray; place on large rimmed baking sheet.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

(Recipe for Beer Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese was in Cooking Club Magazine, Fall 2012)