3/4 pound sharp cheddar, grated
6 ounces Parmesan, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons West Town Tavern Hot Sauce (recipe, page 33)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon West Town Tavern Rib Rub (recipe, page 32)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
1/4 cup beer, or more as needed
1/4 cup sliced flat-leaf parsley
Drew and I created this savory cheese spread while attending college in Wisconsin. The inspiration was a Sunday morning Bloody Mary. Could we make a cheese spread with Bloody Mary flavors? After many trials, errors -- and Bloody Marys -- we came up with a mixture that has been a staple at the Tavern and at our parties for years.
In a medium bowl combine the cheeses with the hot sauce, Worcestershire, rib rub and garlic and toss well. In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade pulse the cheese mixture in batches to combine and then purée mixture adding enough beer to make a thick spread. Scrape the cheese spread into the bowl. Stir in the parsley and serve at room temperature with raw vegetables, crackers or toasts.
Raise a Glass
Pinotage is unique to South Africa. Created in 1925, it is a cross between pinot noir and cinsault. In its most challenging forms it can be cigar-stinky and sour. In most bottlings it displays bergamot, peat, black cherry and strawberry. It is an excellent accompaniment to the dryness of the Parm and creaminess of the cheddar. The spiciness in the beer cheese amplifies all of the exciting varietal characteristics of the pinotage. Simonsig is a good value in South African pinotage.
Use pilsner or ale, a lighter style of beer.
Substitute regular chili powder blend for the West Town Tavern Rib Rub. Substitute bottled hot sauce for West Town Tavern Hot Sauce.
Reprinted with permission copyright West Town Tavern: Contemporary Comfort Food by Susan Goss with Drew Goss