Can we take a moment and freak out a little bit about how it’s already March? I know February is a short month, but I feel like we just celebrated those #FoodieExtravaganza pies!
Each month we take turns hosting and selecting a foodie holiday associated with that month; March includes Noodle Month, Celery Month, and Frozen Food Month. Today we’re celebrating noodles! Thanks to our host, Lauren of From Gate to Plate, for not picking celery. 😉
The noodle I am featuring in my recipe today are the classic elbow macaroni. But that’s all that’s classic about this dish! This macaroni and cheese is a guy’s dream – bacon and beer! I made this indulgent pasta for my husband’s birthday earlier this year. It would make for a wonderful Father’s Day meal, too.
Having beer in the cheese sauce really reminded me of fondue! I don’t care for beer, but it works amazingly well in macaroni and cheese! Especially when there’s a crust of bacon on top.
This recipe makes way more than the two servings quoted in the original recipe. I’d go ahead and say this macaroni would feed 4-6!
Beer and Bacon Mac & Cheese
- 2 1/2 C dry elbow noodles
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 C milk
- 1 bottle (12 oz) beer
- 1 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 C shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 C panko bread crumbs
- 8 strips center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water until barely al dente, about a minute less than the recommended cooking time. Drain.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden. Add the milk and beer, whisking continuously. Slowly add the cheeses and stir until melted. Cook, stirring, 6 minutes until thickened. Season with the paprika, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Add cooked noodles to the cheese sauce.
- Divide macaroni between ramekins or use a casserole dish.
- Combine the panko and cooked bacon. Top the macaroni.
- Bake until bubbly and the crust is golden, about 20 minutes. Allow macaroni to cool 5 minutes before serving.
*This recipe is adapted from Melanie at http://melaniemakes.com/blog/2014/02/bacon-crusted-beer-mac-and-cheese.html*
Be sure to check out these other recipes involving noodles:
One Pot Garlic Pasta by From Gate to Plate
Haluski (Fried Cabbage & Noodles) by Making Miracles
Homemade Chinese Noodles by Fearlessly Creative Mammas
Spicy Shrimp with Peanut Noodles by cookinandcraftin
Sopa Seca de Fideo – Spicy Mexican Noodles by Food Lust People Love
Green Bean and Squash Laksa by Caroline’s Cooking
Kakaós Tészta (Hungarian Cocoa Noodles) by Tara’s Multicultural Table
MiMi’s Baked Ziti by Cooking With Carlee
Tortellini and Tomato Salad by The Freshman Cook
Homemade Noodles by Our Good Life
Tossed Homemade Macaroni Noodles by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Soft Noodles with Veggies and Poached Egg by G’Gina’s Kitchenette
If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.
Today is another Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the secret recipe club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.
This month I was assigned A Calculated Whisk written by Becky. Becky cooks and bakes gluten-free and mostly paleo foods. Those dietary restrictions don’t have any impact on her recipe index and I found myself pinning 7 dessert or breakfast recipes! (Maple Apple Spice Cake, Srawberry Creamsicle Sherbet, and Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cupcakes to name a few)After #BrunchWeek I really couldn’t justify making another sweet in my kitchen – I’ll be on a sugar time-out for a while. I turned instead to Sweet Potato and Roasted Garlic Hummus (Actually, if my husband knew that was an option I’d probably be in trouble right now for not picking it. Don’t worry, it’ll happen!) or Creamy Beer and Black Bean Queso.
I decided on the queso along with the idea of turning it from an appetizer into a meal. I had two chorizo links in the freezer and thought of using the queso for tostadas. Instead I decided on nachos. Tortilla chips, chorizo, black beans, and mushrooms were covered with creamy beer and black bean queso and baked for about 5 minutes then topped with fresh lettuce, tomato, and scallions.
I actually found the texture of the queso to be more of a fondue. I don’t know if that’s because I let too much of the beer evaporate or if it’s supposed to be that way. Either way it was delicious and I would happily serve it with bread, veggies, and apples in a fondue pot! (It could be the use of alcohol that made me think fondue.) I had halved the recipe as it was just the two of us, but honestly – we could have easily eaten another tray of nachos – not because we needed to but because it was that good! I will be making this queso again!
Black Bean and Beer Queso
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced (I removed half of the seeds)
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 C Mexican beer
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 6 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded
- In a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat saute shallot and jalapeno in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Add the black beans, beer, and cumin. Cook 5 minutes until slightly reduced.
- Stir in the cream cheese until melted, I find it’s best to do this a couple spoonfuls at a time. When cream cheese is fully incorporated melt in the shredded cheddar, again in batches. Stir until melted and creamy.
- Serve as a dip or as nachos (pictured).
*This recipe is adapted from Becky at http://www.acalculatedwhisk.com/2013/05/creamy-beer-black-bean-queso.html*
To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:
Today is the last day of #10DaysofTailgate hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. I wanted to end this event with a dessert, and what tailgating event is complete without beer?!
I chose my husband’s favorite beer to use in a chocolate cupcake.
While I am not a beer drinker, even I enjoyed these cupcakes. The texture of the cake is lighter than your average cupcake. The flavor of the beer comes though, but not in an over powering way. The beer mellows the sugary flavor of a traditional chocolate cupcake and lends an earthiness to the cake.
The suggested frosting for these cupcakes was for a beer buttercream but I wanted to make these a little more family friendly so chose to omit the beer. I also wasn’t convinced that a traditional buttercream was the way to go with these cupcakes. I decided instead to make both vanilla and chocolate buttercream frostings to swirl together and create the look of a glass of foamy beer. At least, that was my intention. Whether or not that image came through to you or not, I’m proud of how these look. (If you’re new to Sew You Think You Can Cook, decorating cakes is one of my weakest skills in the kitchen and would always rely on my creative friend Kate to come rescue me. Now that I am living 750 miles away I’m going to have to learn how to do these things myself!)
Boston Lager Cupcakes
- 1 stick butter
- 1 1/4 C sugar
- 1/4 C cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 C Boston Lager beer
- 1/2 C water
- 1 3/4 C flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time until combined. Mix in the beer and water until smooth.
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix until combined.
- Fill lined cupcake trays 3/4 of the way full. Bake 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes.
- Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting. In a piping bag, place both vanilla buttercream on one side and chocolate buttercream on the other. Pipe over cooled cupcakes, creating a two-toned swirl. (Frosting recipes can be found here.)
*This recipe is modified from David at http://blogs.westword.com/cafesociety/2010/04/beer_cupcakes_and_beer_milksha.php *
Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more tailgating recipes today:
For Mexican Monday I am happy and proud to share with you one of my original recipes.
In January of 2011 Food Network magazine had an Iron Chef type challenge using the secret ingredient Spaghetti. I had an idea, I made it, and I submitted my recipe to Food Network. I didn’t win, or at least I don’t think I won, it’s been over two years and I still haven’t seen the winner announced!
I decided to break up the spaghetti and make a mock risotto. To add even more of a twist I opted to use Mexican flavors instead of Italian. I used a Mexican beer in place of white wine, chorizo as my meat, and Mexican blend cheese instead of Parmesan.
Makes 2-3 Servings
- 1/2 lb spaghetti, broken
- 2 links Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 Spanish onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, deseeded
- 3/4 bottle light Mexican beer
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 C chicken broth
- 1 tomato, diced
- handful fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 3/4 – 1 C shredded Mexican-blend cheese
- zest of 1/2 lime
- In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, brown chorizo in olive oil. When cooked, remove from the pan and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Leave the drippings in the skillet.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add in the butter. Add garlic once butter is melted. After 30 seconds add in the broken spaghetti. Toast for 2 minutes. Add onion and jalapeno. Saute until onions are translucent.
- Deglaze the pan with the beer. Add in oregano. When beer is absorbed, add chicken broth in about four stages, allowing the broth to be absorbed before each addition of liquid.
- After pasta is al dente add in diced tomato, cilantro, and the cooked chorizo. Let warm through and melt in the cheese. Garnish with lime zest and cilantro.