Time for an Improv Cooking Challenge!
Improv has been a challenge I have participated in for over a year and absolutely love. I love the different themes and getting brainstorm different recipes. The theme for this month is pasta and cheese. Considering these are two of my favorites things I was, needless to say, thrilled to come up with a new recipe.
It is football season across the country and in Wisconsin that means a few things: beer and brats. Grilling brats on game day is a staple for us Wisconsin folk......as is drinking beer. When I was thinking about what to make for this challenge my mind kept wandering to a beer and brat mac and cheese. I used my basic recipe, but added in a bit of beer to the cheese sauce. I used Miller Lite for the beer in my recipe and I would recommend sticking to a lighter beer over a dark beer.
The beer flavor was absolutely perfect and paired with the cheese it tasted delicious with the grilled brats. This would be a great way to use up any leftover brats from game day, or to celebrate while watching at home.
4 Bratwurst Links
1 lb pasta of choice (I used elbows)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl salted butter
4 1/2 Tbl flour
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup lite beer (I used Miller Lite)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup shredded Monterrey jack
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Grill or pan fry brats until completely cooked. Cover and set aside.
Cook pasta according to package instructions. While pasta cooks, heat oil and butter in a medium pot or a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute till soft. Stir in flour. Gradually whisk in the milk and allow the sauce to bubble for about 4-5 minutes stirring often.
The pasta should be done at this time. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
Whisk the beer into the sauce and allow it to bubble for and additional 4-5 minutes stirring often.
Fold in the cheese and stir till completely melted. Gently stir in the pasta. Season with salt and pepper.
Top with sliced bratwurst and serve.