My 2013 New Year’s Resolution was to learn how to cook. I had some basic cooking skills but it wasn’t like I could give Rachael Ray a run for her money. I also remember the “wise” words of my Mother “You’d better marry someone who can cook, otherwise you’ll starve”. Not the most encouraging words, but I have proved her wrong as I have yet to starve. Which I guess is lucky as there are no wedding plans in my near future.
I will admit however, cooking with beer is what kick started my culinary adventures. And like an old friend, beer has only encouraged me to continue cooking and baking. Speaking of friends, we had a small gathering the other day and my friends listed off all the tasty foods I had made and shared with them over the past few months. I was delighted as it appeared that not only have I learned how to cook, but I can also cook good food! Phew!
So in an attempt to prevent myself from starving (not that I am really worried about that) I have decided to carry on my quest for new beer food recipes. This week we will be making beer mac and cheese; which was inspired by How Sweet It Is’ easy beer mac and cheese.
2 ½ cups uncooked noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
8 oz Milk (about 1 cup)
8 oz beer (about 1 cup)
8 oz grated cheddar
4 oz grated parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch of black pepper
pinch of nutmeg (I omitted this as I didn’t have any around and I feel it turned out just fine!)
½ cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat your oven for 375 F degrees.
You will then want to get your pasta cooking. Cook per the instructions, but pull the noodles out a few minutes early as they will cook the rest of the way in the oven.
Next you will take the butter and melt it in a medium sauce pan. Add in the flour and whisk to make the roux, which is needed to help thicken up your sauce. After you have combined the flour and butter, add the milk and beer. Turn the heat down to medium and add in the two cheese, while stirring as to prevent the cheese from burning to the bottom of the pan. You will keep over medium heat, stirring periodically for 5 to 6 minutes. The mixture should thicken up during this process. After the 5 to 6 minutes add in the smoked paprika, pepper and nutmeg.
Next add the cheese sauce to the noodles and combine. Transfer the noodles, covered in sauce to a baking dish and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top. I also added grated parmesan cheese over the top of the bread crumbs because I pretty much add that to everything noodle based that I bake. I like the hard crunchy crust it forms on top!
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes and let it rest 5 minutes before serving.