Thursday, December 31, 2009
Mexican Beer-Cheese Spread
From the Kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is one of my go-to cheese spreads. Success with this recipe depends on the quality of cheese that you use. Here in the Pacific Northwest, I use Tillamook Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar and their Pepper Jack cheese to make my spread. Having lived in other areas, I can tell you that premium Wisconsin and Vermont cheeses can also be used and will produce an equally great cheese spread. It takes 5 minutes to prepare and it's close to effortless if you use a blender or food processor to make it. I like to make this several days before serving it in order to allow all the flavors to blend. Truth be told, it can be served in eight hours if you are in a bind. The spread will keep in the refrigerator for 10 days or so. Because jack cheeses vary in heat, I've included an optional addition of hot peppers or pepper flakes in the recipe. If you like heat and feel the base mixture is too tame, go for it. Otherwise take a pass. I think you'll like this spread for its great flavor and ease of preparation. Here's the recipe.
Mexican Beer-Cheese Spread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 small grated onion and juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup flat Mexican beer (i.e. Corona), divided use
1 tablespoon tomato based steak sauce (i.e. Heinz 57)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 pound freshly shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 pound freshly shredded pepper jack cheese
Optional: 1 small, finely minced jalapeno pepper or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1) Combine minced onion and onion juice, garlic, 1/2 cup beer, steak sauce and mayonnaise in the bowl of a food processor. Process until blended.
2) Add cheeses and process until perfectly smooth. Add additional beer by the tablespoon until mixture has a spreadable consistency. Fold in optional jalapeno pepper or pepper flakes if using. Transfer to a refrigerator container and chill for several days before serving. Serve at room temperature with crackers or crisp chips. Yield: about 2-1/4 cups.