Chef Jonathan Lundy’s creamy, smoky beer cheese takes all the virtue out of eating crudites. It’s so yummy, you’ll soon be scooping more cheese than carrot. Anyway, we figured it would whet your appetite for more Lundy recipes. (Check out his original Calumet Baking Powder biscuit recipe, passed down from Lundy’s great-great-grandfather William Monroe Wright, founder of the Calumet Baking Powder company and a cousin of flight-tastic Wilbur and Orville) Wright sold his baking powder concern to General Foods for $40 million back in 1929 and used the profits to create the Calumet Farm racing stables in Kentucky. (The most successful in American history, with six Kentucky Derby winners.) In this day and age, Chef Lundy’s contributions to his family legacy include the work he does at his Lexington, KY, restaurant, Jonathan at Gratz Park, to resurrect and refresh all sorts of Kentucky dishes. He shares many of them in his Jonathan’s Bluegrass Table cookbook.
Makes 3 cups
- 14 oz sharp yellow cheddar cheese
- 4 oz smoked cheddar cheese
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tbsp caramelized onions
- 12-oz bottle of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale (from Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.) or a bottle of your favorite ale
- 1 Tbsp bourbon
- 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black peppercorn
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
- Shred yellow and smoked cheddar cheese.
- In a food processor, puree cream cheese, shredded cheese and caramelized onions
- With processor running, slowly add beer
- Stop processor and scrape down sides. Turn machine back on and repeat as needed until you’ve achieved a smooth consistency
- Add remaining ingredients and continue to puree
- Store in crock in refrigerator. Flavors develop and improve over a few days time. Cheese will keep for two weeks. Serve with fresh-cut crudites, dense, thin-sliced German pumpernickel or breadsticks.