Beer Mac & Cheese

Hi friends! This has been quite the month. Steve and I leave for Belgium SO soon and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve also closed on our first home and I can’t wait to add in some posts here about design/home updates, etc! However, I wanted to get you one more recipe before I take a week and a half off for our vacation. Since we’re going to be tasting all kinds of Belgium beer, I thought a Beer Mac & Cheese would be appropriate!

This is an ooey gooey cheesy noodle dish and while it was good as leftovers, I felt like it tasted best fresh. Kind of like how kraft mac n’ cheese is just not the same when you heat it up the next day. I encourage you to use a light beer and nothing too astringent in this recipe. While the alcohol cooks off as you make the sauce, the taste from the hops and malt remain. Enjoy!

Beer Mac & Cheese

A thick white cheese sauce over your favorite pasta or veggie based noodles! 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese, pasta, plant pasta
Author Jessi Holden

Ingredients

  • 1 box pasta (I used Banza pasta for added protein and fiber since I didn’t add veggies or meat IN this dish)
  • 3 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour (You can use all purpose too)
  • 2/3 cup beer, at room temp (I used an IPA)
  • 1 and 1/3 cup milk (we keep powdered milk on hand and make it as needed)
  • 2 cups mozzarella (1 block or pre shredded)
  • dash salt, for pasta

Instructions

  1. Cook noodles according to packaging. I’ve been experimenting with Banza pasta right now and you definitely want to add in a dash of salt to the water and spray the noodles with some cooking spray after you drain/rinse them. This way they don’t stick together.

  2. Put your noodles aside.

  3. Use the same pot and add your butter and 1/2 of your chopped green onions. Saute until butter is melted.

  4. Add your flour for 1 minute and use a whisk to mix it with the butter, it will be thick and chunky.

  5. Start pouring the beer into the pot. Don’t dump it it from above, pour it gradually in and whisk it with the flour/butter.

  6. Slowly pour your milk in and whisk. Turn up your heat to get it bubbling/simmering lightly.

  7. Start adding your shredded cheese and continuing whisking. Whisk and let it sit for a bit until bubbles rise. Whisk again and wait, repeat this until it starts to become a thick gooey cheesy sauce. This can take about 5-8 minutes. Do not let it sit and boil without whisking it, it will burn.

  8. As soon as it’s thick cut your heat. Add your noodles back to the pan and mix to coat. Add some green onions for garnish or red pepper flakes for spice.

Recipe Notes

Chef Notes: 

  • I added jam and bacon bits as a fun topping. The sweetness from the jam cut into the thick cheese nicely.
  • You could also add veggies to this dish easily such as roasted broccoli and cherry tomatoes.

Did you make this recipe? Tag me @The_Beer_Dietitian on Instagram!

Beer & Food Pairing: Thanksgiving Food

So I’m sitting here watching the Great British Baking Challenge’s newest season, which is my current fave show but it has been delaying me from writing this post! I just want to write and listen to what they’re doing at the same time, which doesn’t work. Last year, my mom surprised me at Christmas with Mary Berry’s baking book. Time to bust that out again as the holidays are upon us.

I thought you’d be interested in learning more about beer & food pairings. The two can in the most beautiful way compliment one another or they can be contrasting and leave you disappointed in both your food and drink. There is an art and science when it comes to pairing food and beer together. One of the first things to acknowledge is that everyone has different taste buds and will taste beer/food differently.

So to start our beer & food pairing, let’s talk about Thanksgiving! (disclaimer: Steve and I worked on this together as I’m still learning!) Many dinners start with a variety of appetizers throughout the mid-morning to afternoon. For a starting beer, you want to go for something lower in ABV and something that feels easy to drink. Gotta leave room for all the good food! I suggest starting with a fruited kettle sour. The acidity from these beers will get your mouth watering and your palette ready for the food to come.

During the meal you’re traditionally going to eat dense food like mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green bean casserole. You want your drink to enhance this food and not try to compete with the flavors.  Try a big, brown ale or if you do want to try a bit of a hop-forward beer try an amber ale. Steve went as far as to say a Scottish ale might be worth trying since they are very malt forward without being a heavy/full bodied beer.

Lastly and my absolute favorite part…the pumpkin or pecan pie! Here’s when to reach for your high ABV beer like a barley wine or a bourbon barrel aged (BBA) imperial stout. These are going to enhance the sweetness in your pies whether you sip/eat separately or try them together. The barley wine will be malty with tastes of dried fruit, toffee, and molasses sugar while a BBA will typically be a boozy and roasty beer with notes of vanilla and chocolate. Below is the Creme Brulee beer I’ll be enjoying from Southern Tier Brewing Co with my dessert.

Do you have any favorite beers to pair with your Thanksgiving food??  Feel free to ask questions if you have them but until then…

Cheers!

Did you try and beer & food pairings? Tag @The_Beer_RD on Instagram and hashtag it #theBeerRD