Three Cheese Jalapeno Skillet Beer Cheese Dip, made in a skillet, warm and bubbly
I’ve hit a benchmark of sorts. A way of measuring if I’m actually becoming successful at this weird chosen profession that I, essentially, just made up.
Money has never been much of a benchmark for me, other than in a “can I pay my bills and still have at least a little left over” sort of way. To this day, the time in my life when I had the most money, I was the least happy. Measuring quality of life by the quantity of money is like judging how good your meal was by how much was on your plate. Sure, money’s great, but it’s the icing, not the cake.
My benchmarks aren’t normal, but I’ve never really been a “normal” sort of person. The first time I was paid to go on a trip was a giant step upwards that I’ll never forget. The first time I was contacted by someone wanting to hire me, rather than having to chase down a lead, I felt like I was standing in the center of podium hearing a cheering crowd. The day I was able to make the leap from part-time-normal-job/part-time-weird-beer-cooking-writing-photography-job was a gigantic leap that I almost didn’t believe would stick.
Now, I have a new one. I was given a column! A beer column for a magazine. An actually, real life, feel it in your fingers, print magazine. It’s not a lucrative gig, but that was never the point. Maybe for some people there are other things I’ve done that seem better, more impressive, “bigger”. But for me, this is huge, it feels validating.
I won’t be writing about cheese dip or food for that matter, it will be beer-centric. Local Washington beer, to be more specific. But that doesn’t mean food isn’t involved. I did eat this entire pan of cheese dip while I was finishing my last essay. That counts, right?
- 1 tablespoon (8g) olive oil
- 1 cup (70g) sweet white onion, diced
- 2 large jalapenos, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane
- 2 tablespoons (12g) cornstarch
- 1 cup pale ale
- ¼ cup (23g) heavy cream
- 7 oz smoked gouda, grated
- 5 oz fontina cheese, grated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- dash hot pepper sauce
- 12 oz white cheddar, grated
- ¼ cup (7g) chopped green onions
- Chips or bread for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, cooking until just starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Stir in the jalapenos, cooking until softened, about 5minutes.
- Stir in the garlic. Sprinkle with cornstarch, whisk to combine.
- Whisk in the beer and cream, reduce heat to a very low simmer.
- Add the gouda and fonitna cheese, a hand full at a time, stirring until the cheese is well combined before adding more.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Remove from heat.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Sprinkle with the white cheddar, place the skillet under the broiler until the cheese is lightly browned.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with green onions, serve immediately (take care when serving, the pan will be very hot).