Leek, Cheddar and Guinness Dip

St. Patrick's Day has come and gone, but that is no reason to put away your stout glasses for another year.  We enjoyed this as an appetizer this past Sunday as part of our toast to the Irish and man, oh man was it a hit.  In fact, my husband and children threw their hands down and had to walk out of the room to compose themselves before returning for another round.

Onions, cheese, and beer? SOLD! But not just any onion.  Sweet spring leeks are the star in this spread.  The original recipe called for Neufchatel cream cheese, but I am not a big fan of that flavor. You know what they say-- "where there is fat there is flavor"☺.  I also added a little mustard and Worcestershire to balance the richness of the dish.  A garnish of parsley provides some freshness and color as well.

I served this with rye crackers, but you could use toast points or pumpernickel bread as well.  And in case you have any leftovers (I highly doubt it, but we did since there are only five of us), it is delicious when spread on the Guinness Caraway Rye bread with thinly sliced leftover corned beef.  Just sayin'.
Printable Recipe

Leek, Cheddar and Guinness Dip
serves 8-10

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts), rinsed and sliced into thin half moons
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces (about 2 cups) aged white cheddar, grated
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 Tablespoons Guinness
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Position oven rack to upper third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 400º F.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the leeks and salt and sauté until tender and lightly caramelized, about 10-12 minutes.  Transfer the leeks to a large bowl.  Add the cheddar, cream cheese, mayonnaise, mustards, Worcestershire sauce, and Guinness; mix until smooth. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Transfer the mixture to a 1-quart baking dish.  Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake until browned and bubbling, about 18-20 minutes.  Serve with toasts or crackers.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Everyday Food, March 2012

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