Beer Mac and Cheese
What makes this bubbling version of the basic “Mac & Cheese” special?
Yes, beer can be a base of essential “Mac & Cheese”. Here is how it is done…
First, cook up a pound of bite sized pasta.
Next, find a sauce pan that can hold a quart of stuff. Then find a small bowl, cup, glass or saucer. You will also need a tablespoon (the big spoon), a bowl big enough to hold two cups of stuff, a table knife (the dull kind), a rectangular oven-safe container that can hold a quart of stuff, and a whisk. If you don’t know what a whisk is you can use a fork but you better be in good shape.
Now turn the oven on and set the temperature to 350F.
Begin by taking all the odd scraps of cheese you have hiding in your refrigerator and I mean all of them. Gather about two cups full of odds and ends of cheese… it’s not hard. Well actually it can be hard, soft, semi-soft… any cheese will do to get two cups of the stuff.
First, find a bag of flour and remove two tablespoons of the flour and put in a small bowl, cup, glass or saucer.
Next, take a stick of butter and cut off two tablespoons of the stuff, (It’s marked on the paper that wraps the butter stick.) and melt it (over a medium heat) in a sauce pan that can hold a quart of sauce or any other liquid.
While the butter melts open a bottle of beer (anything… just remember that you are going to taste that flavor with every bite of the mac & cheese), take a swig and put it aside.
While you are feeling like you really want another swig of brew reach into the refrigerator and find a quart of milk and take it out and place it next to the beer.
You should now have a bowl holding two cups of cheeses, an open bottle of beer, and a carton of milk of undetermined volume and a saucepan with hot melted butter bubbling in it, and your whisk or fork in hand.
Toss, yes toss, the flour into the bubbling butter and using the whisk, or fork, begin to mix the two together and watch as the mixture quickly begins to stick into clumps of dough. This is the time to begin to pour the beer you have left in the bottle (you better have more than nine ounces) slowly into the butter and flour mixture, stirring like mad with the fork to make sure the mixture turns into a smooth sauce rather than a mass of what looks like wet scrambled eggs. If you use a whisk and have someone else pour it into the saucepan while you hold all strady it is all the better.
Once you have what looks like a sauce (and if it doesn’t look like what you know of as a “sauce” stop right now and try something else… going on will just really tick you off) keep stirring until it smooth’s out. Should you have to add more liquid you should make use of the milk.
Now add the cheeses and continue stirring to keep the sauce as smooth as possible but don’t worry… baking will melt most chunks. When all the cheese is melted into the sauce you are ready to add it to the pasta, remember, it was the first thing to do?
Take your big bowl and put the pasta in it. Add the cheese and mix it all up.
Take your rectangular oven-safe container that can hold a quart of stuff and fill it with the pasta and cheese. (Any left-over can be frozen or refrigerated and cooked at a later date.)
Place the rectangular oven-safe container that can hold a quart of stuff filled with pasta and cheese into the oven, on the top shelf, and bake it for half an hour.
Take it out and it should look like the pasta in the above picture.