The holiday season and entertaining family and friends always brings challenges. I won't discuss family feuds or drunken relatives, we all know a few of those. I am talking about what to prepare -- something different that may be the talk of the party. When asked what to bring, you usually get saddled with appetizers or dessert, so let me help with this. As I have said before, beer and cheese go so well together, but now let's add some onions, bacon and maple syrup. With this dip, you cannot go wrong. Now, I can hear you asking for a healthier version, but suck it up, Buttercup. It is the holidays; worry about the waistline as a New Year's resolution.
Beer-braised cheese dip with caramelized onions and maple bacon
10 ml (2 tsp) oil
160 g (2 cups) cheddar cheese, grated
30 ml (2 tbsp) all-purpose flour
11/4 ml (º tsp) cayenne pepper
250 ml (1 cup) lager
5 ml (1 tsp) Dijon mustard
125 ml (1/2 cup) cheese curds
4 slices smoked bacon, cooked and finely crumbled
30 ml (2 tbsp) maple syrup
1. Peel onions and slice thinly.
2. Heat oil in a heavy-bottom skillet, add onions, stir and cover.
3. Cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and browned
4. In a large bowl, mix the grated cheese, flour and cayenne
5. Add the lager and the Dijon mustard to the onions in the skillet, stir to heat through simmer for a few minutes then add half the cheese mixture.
6. Stir until the cheese has melted but not boiling
7. Add the rest of the cheese and continue to stir until melted.
8. Remove from the heat.
9. Add the curds and stir until melted.
10. To serve, pour in a warm bowl (or serve in the skillet) sprinkled with bacon and a drizzled with maple syrup.
11. Serve with bread or crudité vegetables.