I’ve partnered with Pints and Plates to share a simple, classic beer cheese recipe served alongside crispy fried cauliflower bites, toast soldiers, and crunchy dark pretzels.
As real-deal autumn finally settles in and the air feels a bit crisper and a few leaves tumble in the breeze here and there, I’m always taken aback by the memories the changing season pulls to the surface.
Some of my best childhood memories of fall are tied to football: relaxed Sunday afternoons, brisk walks outside, a fire crackling in the fireplace, family and friends gathered in the living room, and football on TV. Of course, there were snacks, too. Popcorn, chips and dip, maybe even a big bowl of chili. The more important the game, the better the snacks.
That’s where this beer cheese dip comes in. It’s delicious enough for the biggest of game days, but it’s so simple to put together, you should just enjoy it on the regular.
This classic beer cheese dip is made with sharp cheddar (the sharper the better) and malty Miller Lite. Bubbly and crisp, Miller Lite balances the richness of cheddar beautifully. All kinds of dip-ables are great with beer cheese, and here I served crunchy pretzels, sourdough toast soldiers, and panko-crusted fried cauliflower bites. The crispy cauliflower bites have just a hint of garlic and chipotle chili powder, and were delicious smothered in melty beer cheese.
With all those salty snacks, it’s a great idea to have a crisp, refreshing beer on hand, and Miller Lite fit the bill perfectly. Light bodied and bubbly, with a hoppy finish, it’s the perfect beer for a relaxing afternoon with friends.
A simple, classic beer cheese recipe served alongside crispy fried cauliflower bites, toast soldiers, and crunchy dark pretzels. Beer cheese recipe courtesy of Pints and Plates.
- 1 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch florets
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder, or chili powder of choice
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil, plus more as needed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup Miller Lite
- 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 red chili, seeded and sliced (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
- pretzels and toast soldiers, for serving
To make cauliflower bites, sprinkle florets with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Place a wire rack on a rimmed tray, and slide into oven.
Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine panko, garlic, chili powder, and remaining sea salt. Dip florets in egg, making sure floret is entirely coated, then gently press into panko, turning to coat all over. Set breaded florets on a small tray.
Heat oil in a cast iron, or other large, heavy-bottomed skillet, over medium/medium-high heat. Oil should be very hot, but not smoking – adjust heat as needed. Working in batches of 5 - 6, fry cauliflower on all sides, until golden, about 1 minute per side. Remove cooked florets to prepared rack in the warm oven.
To make beer cheese, melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add flour and continuously whisk for 2 minutes. While whisking, pour milk into flour mixture and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Slowly add beer and whisk until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add cheese, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook and stir until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately with cauliflower bites, pretzels, and toast soldiers. If desired, garnish with sliced chilis and chili powder.