Beer cheese dip good for what ales you

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - BOOKS -

Slow-cook­ers are renowned for cre­at­ing stews and braises, but they can do so much more. This dip is just one ex­am­ple. Sim­ply add the in­gre­di­ents, pro­gram the cooker, and walk away. When your guests ar­rive a few hours later, your dip will be ready and wait­ing.

What makes this dip so good? Maybe it’s the al­ways-right combo of cheese and beer. It could be the way the spices com­ple­ment the tex­tures of corn and pep­pers. Per­haps it’s the ba­con. In any case, it all works.

If you’ve never imag­ined beer and cheese to­gether, let this pale ale corn dip be your “gate­way food” to many more such com­bi­na­tions. Once you try it, you might even be in­spired to host a beer and cheese pair­ing party.

You can use frozen corn ker­nels to make the prep eas­ier, but go for fresh when it’s in sea­son. Pick up the gar­lic and pep­pers at the farm­ers mar­ket while you’re at it. If you like heat, in­clude the seeds of the jalapeño and add a pinch or two of cayenne or some minced chipo­tle pep­per in adobo sauce.

This slow-cooker pale ale corn dip is best served hot, so just keep it in your slow-cooker on the “warm” set­ting, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til your guests ar­rive. Then trans­fer the dip to a stoneware serv­ing dish and of­fer it with tor­tilla chips.

In­gre­di­ents

3 cups frozen sweet corn ker­nels

1 jalapeño, seeds and stem re­moved, minced

1 red bell pep­per, seeds and stem re­moved, finely diced

2 cloves gar­lic, minced 1 cups Mon­terey Jack cheese, grated Salt Freshly ground black pep­per

12 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1inch pieces

4 strips ba­con, cooked un­til crisp and chopped

Green onions, sliced, for gar­nish Tor­tilla chips (as­sorted col­ors)

In­struc­tions

In slow cooker, com­bine corn, jalapeño, red bell pep­per, gar­lic, Mon­terey Jack cheese, sour cream, pale ale beer, cumin, chili pow­der and onion pow­der. Add gen­er­ous pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pep­per. Stir to com­bine.

Scat­ter cream cheese pieces on top of corn mix­ture.

Cover slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high, or 6–8 hours on low.

When ready to serve, stir melted cream cheese into corn mix­ture un­til in­cor­po­rated.

Gar­nish with ba­con and green onions. Serve im­me­di­ately with tor­tilla chips.

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