These are technically two separate side dishes, however, I found them in one recipe together, and they accompany each other well, so I’m going to leave these together. Beer cooked mushrooms and cheesy roasted potatoes are a match made in heaven. Don’t skimp on the cheese or the beer for these, kids, they are the key ingredients in making these so good. 

Drunken Mushrooms and Roasted Blue Cheese Potatoes

Ingredients

Drunken Mushrooms

  • olive oil
  • 12 to 15 large button mushrooms, sliced (if you’re like me and feeling lazy, buy sliced mushrooms and use them asap)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz dark beer (I used Revolution’s EuGene Porter)

Roasted Blue Cheese Potatoes

  • 20ish small fingerling potatoes, washed and sliced in half
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 2 oz crumbled blue cheese (I used Trader Joe’s gorgonzola crumbles)

You can make these in roughly the same time frame, so do so if you feel so included! First, preheat your oven to 425, take your halved potatoes, toss them with olive oil and sea salt, and then spread them on a baking sheet. Put them in the oven, and roast the potatoes until they’re a nice golden brown, between twenty to thirty minutes. 

While the potatoes roast, take a pan and heat 2 T of olive oil over medium heat. Add your sliced mushrooms in, stir to coat in the olive oil, and then raise the heat to medium high, and cook for five minutes. Add the garlic in, and cook another minute or so, until the garlic is fragrant. 

Add half the beer in, bring to a simmer, and then cook for about five minutes. Add in the remaining beer, and cook until the liquid has reduced by about half, and thickened, another ten to fifteen minutes. 

While the mushrooms are doing the final cooking, your potatoes will likely be finished. Take them out of the oven, and sprinkle the gorgonzola over them, and then place them in the oven on a lower or middle rack, turning the oven to broil. Broil five minutes, until the cheese has melted. 

And then, enjoy your cheesy potatoes and beery mushrooms!

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Looking for a new way to try your vegetables? Just add beer and bacon!  Seriously. I found the green beans for a buck a pound on special last week, and it turns out Ale Asylum (a local brewer) just put out a new stout, so this was perfect timing in several senses. 

Stout Glazed Green Beans and Bacon

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 lbs green beans (note to self: reduce to 1 lb for the future, 2 lb was way too much)
  • .5 c stout (I used Ale Asylum’s Big Slick stout)
  • pinch smoked paprika, salt, and pepper

Cook your bacon in a pan to desired doneness. Remove, let cool, and chop. 

Add your green beans to the pan, and sear until slightly browned. Then, pour your stout in, drink the rest of the bottle, and cook until the beer reduces into a glaze (about ten minutes or so). Sprinkle with smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and chopped bacon, and toss in a serving dish to combine!

This is a very approximate recipe, especially as originally done by areyoutryingtodeduceme, but damn if it isn’t a great nightcap to a day of cooking, unexpected fridge cleaning, and tearing apart the lid of a sealed mason jar to unwedge it from my sink disposal. There are no particulars for this recipe; use whatever beer you want (I used a bottle I was gonna use for another recipe but ended up not), and whatever cheese you want that melts well (I went with an Irish stout Dubliner cheese).  It’s also very adaptable to whatever variation you want to put on it.

Beer Grilled Cheese
Makes one sandwich, with plenty of beer cheese left over

  • cream cheese
  • dijon
  • beer
  • (optional: garlic powder)
  • bread (definitely go thick if at all possible)
  • butter
  • cheese (I went with the Kerrygold Dubliner with Irish Stout, because don’t you want some beer cheese with your beer cheese?)

Have both your butter and cream cheese out for at least a half hour before hand, to soften up.

Take your cream cheese, dijon, garlic powder (if you use it), and mix it together. You should have more dijon and cream cheese than beer, but not by much. This will leave you with a large amount of beer cheese, to be used for future beer grilled cheesiness.

Take your butter, spread about a third of it on the outside of the bread, leave the buttered sides face up, and melt the remaining butter in a small pan over medium high heat.  Once the butter is melted, take the non buttered side and spread beer cheese on it. Put it in the pan, and then layer the cheese on top of it (see pics two and three). Spread more beer cheese on the other non buttered side of the other piece of bread, and then sandwich it on top.  Flatten the bread, and then grill it like you would a normal cheese, until a golden brown.

And then, enjoy, for yea, you have beer and grilled cheese.  And you can drink the leftover beer with it for even more beerception.

It’s been raining outside for most of the day, with a gentle breeze wafting in from the windows, so this seemed like a perfect rainy day soup to make. This sort of cool, rainy weather is honestly one of my favorite types of spring days, so here’s hoping we get more of those.

The original instructions on this are kind of vague, so I will be adding more detail.  Be sure to find a nice porter for this (I used a local brewery’s), along with a good cheese for the baguettes.  This will take a while, but the results are absolutely worth it.

Portered French Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • five large onions, sliced in half long ways, and then sliced thin into half-moons (see pic 1 for what I’m talking about)
  • 1 12 oz bottle of porter (I used Ale Asylum’s Contorter Porter)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or if you’re still not in the growing season where you are, 1 t ground)
  • 6 c beef stock
  • 2 demi-baguettes, sliced
  • cheddar (I used part of a leftover block of the Fawn)

Melt your butter while heating your olive oil over medium heat, and start slicing your onions.  When the butter/olive oil mixture starts to sizzle, add your onions as you finish slicing them, and cook them for a half hour, stirring every five minutes so that they don’t burn.  By the end of the half hour, they should be a rich brown, and very very soft (see pic 3).  Once they’re that nice brown, turn the heat to medium high and add your bottle of porter, stirring to get whatever bits of onion may have stuck to the pot.  Cook for five minutes, until it’s simmered and reduced a little bit.  

Add the salt, pepper and thyme, along with the beef stock, bring up to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, simmering for about 40 minutes, until it’s been reduced by 20% (see the dif between pic 6 and 9). 

While your soup simmers, slice up your demi baguettes and cheese, topping generously.  Set your oven to broil, and then put the baguettes and cheese under it for five minutes, until the slices start to brown at the edges and the cheese gets bubbly and melty.

Once the soup has been reduced, add your baguettes to it (or if you’re me, save them for lunch later this week), and enjoy the amazing richness of it.

Let’s be real: the words beer cheese potatoes should tell you all you need to know about this recipe.  Beer and cheese in Wisconsin generally make up for the fact of how cold it gets, but with it hitting negative fuckass degrees way too many times this year, it gets a bit debatable.  Either way, all of this in a cast iron skillet smells fantastic as it’s cooking, even though grating the 2.25 c of cheese necessary for this recipe takes FOREVER.

Beer Cheese Skillet Potatoes
Lasts appx 6 lunches as a side

Ingredients

  • 2/3 c IPA (or pale ale or black ale) (I used Dogfish Head’s Burton Baton)
  • 2 c grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus .25 c grated (I used smoked cheddar from the dairy store down the block from where I work)
  • .5 c milk
  • 1 t salt
  • .5 t pepper
  • 1 t garlic powder (I used significantly more than that because garlic ❤ )
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 2 T butter
  • 1.5 lbs potatoes, sliced (I used reds, they’re my favorite)
  • 1 c panko

Grate your smoked cheddar (all but the .25 c), and then put it in a blender with the beer, milk, salt, pepper, cornstarch, and garlic powder. Puree on high until blended and smooth (see pic 1 for what it should be looking like) and set aside.  Preheat your oven to 350 (325 if you’re me). 

Melt the butter over medium high in a cast iron skillet (or some other ovenproof skillet), and then add your potatoes, cooking them over medium high heat until lightly browned on each side (about five minutes each).  Spread them evenly throughout the skillet and then pour the beer cheese over them, simmering for ten minutes.

Once the ten minutes are up, pour the panko over the top, and then sprinkle the remaining .25 c smoked cheddar over the top, put it in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

And then, enjoy, because you have beery cheesy potatoes!

This is another recipe I haven’t made in a while, but honestly, with the level of improvisation that I applied this time around, it’s a whole new recipe.  This recipe features the three Wisconsin greats: beer, cheese, and bacon; put your money and quality into these three ingredients, and honestly, it doesn’t matter what else you do to it, there’s nothing you can do to the recipe to fuck it up.  The bacon is from a local vendor who sells at our farmer’s markets, the cheese is from the University dairy store that’s literally a block down from where I work (and smoked and aged on top of it), and the beer is from a local brewer.  And the result is absolutely fanfriggintastic, and one I’d make again.

Ale and Cheddar Soup
Lasts 5 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • .5 lb bacon (thick cut, if you can get it from a farmer’s market or a local vendor definitely go for it), sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • .5 t ground thyme
  • 2 T butter
  • .25 c flour
  • 1 12 oz bottle ale (I used Ale Asylum’s Madtown Nutbrown)
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 1 T Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • .5 c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 c cheddar cheese (I used smoked aged cheddar from the university dairy store)
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

Cook your bacon over medium heat to desired doneness, and then put aside all but 2 T of the bacon grease.  Take your chopped onions and jalapenos, and cook about ten minutes, until tender.  Then add your garlic and thyme, and cook until fragrant, which is usually one minute.

Melt your butter over the garlic, thyme, onion and jalapenos, and then sprinkle the flour over the top, until it coats everything and turns golden brown (see pic 5). 

Then, add your beer and chicken stock, followed by your bacon, cooking over medium heat for ten minutes.  Then, add your heavy whipping cream, the Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, and the smoked aged cheddar.  Stir continuously, until the cheddar is melted into the soup, but don’t bring it to a boil.  

Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne, and enjoy your little taste of Wisconsin.

So, sometimes I question the recipes I come across.  Like this one.  Velveeta for the beer cheese.  Velveeta.  REALLY?  Happily, the farmer’s market was this morning, and I found a WAY better substitute.  Don’t ever be afraid to substitute things you think would be better in the recipe (so long as it doesn’t inherently alter the recipe, and even then a quick Google can save you). 

Also, I ended up screwing up the first batch by baking them too long, so be careful of that.  The dough was a lot stickier than it probably should’ve been, too, but that’s because I ended up adding a bit too much water after the fact to dampen it, and then adding more flour to compensate.  First times trying a recipe usually involve this sorts of interestingness.

Also, if Hayley reads this post, I’m sorry.  😛

Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese
Makes at least 9, screwed up first batch, and enough beer cheese dip to fill a medium Pyrex bowl

Ingredients

Pretzel Bites

  • 1.25 c warm water
  • 4 t active dry yeast
  • 5 c water
  • .25 c white sugar, plus 1 t
  • .25 c brown sugar
  • 1.5 t salt
  • 4 T butter, split in half and melted
  • 2 egg whites
  • sea salt to top

Dissolve your yeast and 1 t of the white sugar in your water, and let stand for about 10 minutes.  It should get a bit foamy during this time.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine your flour, sugars, and salt.  Add your 2 T of melted butter and the activated yeast, and stir until you have more or less one big ball of dough.  Then knead for about 6 to 8 minutes until your dough is smooth.  (You may need to add more water if it’s too dry, or more flour if it’s too wet.  If this happens, you may not be able to hit a perfect balance.  Just accept this.)  Cover your bowl, and let it rise for about an hour.

Towards the end of the dough rising, heat your oven to 450 (425 if it runs hot, I actually turned it down to 400 cause it was so ridiculously hot in my kitchen).  Also, prepare two separate bowls – one with a combination of 4 c water and ½ c baking soda, and the other with the remaining 2 T melted butter and your egg whites.

Once your hour has passed, punch down your dough and knead for another minute.  Tear off chunks, and roll into appx 1 inch balls, dip the balls into the baking soda water, and put on your lined baking sheet (I used aluminum foil).  Once your sheet is filled, brush the balls with the egg white and butter wash, and sprinkle with sea salt.  

Put them in the oven, and cook appx 10 minutes, until the part of the pretzel that has the wash on it is browned.

Beer Cheese

  • .5 c cream cheese
  • .5 c beer (I used New Glarus’ Spotted Cow)
  • 1 T horseradish sauce
  • .5 t garlic powder (I used closer to a t)
  • .5 t cayenne pepper
  • dash ground black pepper
  • 1 c cheese, cut into cubes to make it easier to melt (use something that will compliment your beer well – in this case, smoked cheddar from my farmer’s market)

Microwave your cream cheese in for 30 seconds in a glass proof bowl large enough to hold your entire recipe. Then add your beer, horseradish sauce, peppers, and garlic powder, and microwave another 30 seconds, and stir until smooth.  Add your cheese, and microwave until melted.  This will likely take longer, the better quality cheese you use – mine took closer to 2 minutes.  Once melted, stir again to combine.

And then, dip the pretzels in the beer cheese for the best snack evar.