On Saturday, May 7, 2005 Corinne e-mailed me a recipe from Food TV for Cheesy Beer Fondue. I finally decided it was time put my own creative spin on it and make a "Mac" and Cheese with it. The Cavatapi pasta and addition of some zesty ingredients make a great adult version. This is definitely a winner! Took it to a tailgate party and it was completely gone.
This makes a 2 1/2 quart casserole.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (12-ounce) bottle Lager beer
1 can chopped tomatoes with green chilies, drain out half the liquid
Couple good dashes of Worcestershire sauce
Couple good dashes of Chalula or your favorite brand of Hot Pepper Sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of adobo sauce from a can of Chipotles (optional, but delicious)
4 cups shredded mixed cheeses – see ingredient notes
1 lb Cavatapi Pasta (cork screws)
1/4 cup cream (you could use milk as well – I had cream on hand)
A handful of tortilla chips finely crushed in a ziptop bag.
Eating at home
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat oven to broil. You will use the middle rack to brown the top at the end. If your casserole is not broiler safe you can skip this step. If you will be taking it “on the road,” use a heavy casserole with a lid.
Start the pasta water to boil. Begin to prepare the fondue while the water comes to a boil. I suggest having all the ingredients ready to go.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 to 4 minutes while stirring constantly to make a roux. Add the pasta to the boiling water and set your timer. If you are going to eat the Mac and Cheese right away, cook your pasta to al dente. If you are preparing it for a party, cook 1 minute more than half of the cooking time (the pasta will continue to cook and absorb the sauce in the casserole).
Turn up the heat to medium/high and add beer and tomatoes. Bring to slow boil and then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens to the consistency of heavy cream. Add Worcestershire, mustard and cayenne, hot sauce, adobo and a couple grinds of black pepper, stirring thoroughly. Whisk in the cheese one cup at a time, melting cheese after each addition. Stir fondue until it is smooth. Remove the fondue from the heat and stir in the cooked pasta.
Pour into your casserole dish. Sprinkle with cream and top with the tortilla crumbs.
Eating at home
Place in 400 degree oven until bubbly at edges and tortillas are browned and fragrant.
Microwave on high until thoroughly heated through (I micro waved for 8 minutes, in 2 minute increments). Place under broiler until chips are toasted (this will not take long!) Heat up the lid and cover. If you have an insulated carrier this is great. If not, place a heavy towel in a flat surface of your car and place your casserole on it and wrap up tightly to keep it warm on your journey. Don’t forget to take a spoon (your hostess will appreciate it).
Dos Equis Lager (the one in the green bottle)
Rotel Tomatoes with Green Chiles (mild)
Chipotles in adobo can be poured in a zip top bag and frozen for other use.
Kraft Triple Cheddar Finely Shredded Cheese (2 cup bag)
Kraft Mexican Four Cheese with a touch of Philadelphia (2 cup bag)
original version can be viewed at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/cheesy-beer-fondue-recipe/index.html