Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Beer-Cheese Appetizers

March 2011March 2011This St. Patrick's Day, don't drink your beer, eat it! These these easy-to-make beer-cheese appetizer recipes are sure to be crowd favorites.

Recipe: Beer-Inspired St. Patrick's Day Recipes

Beer-Cheese Fondue with Baby Cauliflower
• 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese
• 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Jarlsberg cheese
• 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 cup beer
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
• Assorted baby cauliflower


Preparation:
1. Toss cheeses with flour. Bring beer to a boil in a large heavy saucepan; reduce
2. heat to medium-low. Gradually whisk cheeses into beer, whisking constantly until
3. melted. Stir in chives. Place cauliflower in a steamer basket over boiling water.
4. Cover and steam 5 to 7 minutes or until fork-tender. Serve with fondue.

Beer-Cheese Spread
Serve this spicy beer-cheese spread with crackers for a tasty appetizer, or spread on buttered bread and cook in a nonstick skillet for a twist on the traditional grilled cheese sandwich.

• 1 (2-lb.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
• 1 small onion, minced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
• 1 (12-oz.) bottle amber beer, at room temperature
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Garnish: thyme sprig

Preparation:
1. Beat together first 5 ingredients at low speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended. Gradually add beer, beating until blended after each addition. Beat at medium-high speed 1 minute or until blended and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill 2 hours. Garnish, if desired. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Abita Amber Beer. This spread can be frozen up to 1 month; thaw overnight in refrigerator.

Grilled Beer-Cheese Sandwich: Spread 1 tsp. softened butter evenly on 1 side of 2 bread slices. Place bread slices, buttered sides down, on wax paper. Spread 1/4 cup Beer-Cheese Spread onto 1 side of 1 bread slice. Top with remaining bread slice, buttered side up. Cook sandwich in a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cheese is melted.

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