I come from Chicago, the land of cheese fries, and hot pretzels. When I first moved to California I was shocked that cheese fries just weren’t a “thing” here. Hot pretzels you can find in a any mall, and they often come with a nasty cheese dipping sauce, or cream cheese. Neither really did it for me, so I set out to make my own cheese sauce. I use this sauce for cheese fries, and for dipping home made hot pretzels. You can find my recipe for whole wheat pretzels here. This sauce really makes game day for me. My family devoured this last weekend… to the point of silliness. Baby Girl actually likes to dip better than eat, so there was cheese sauce everywhere.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup warm milk
1/4 pound cheddar cheese
1 cup beer
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
salt to taste
When making the pretzels, follow this recipe. Instead of rolling them into pretzel shape, leave them in long skinny ropes. Let them rise for 20 minutes in ropes, covered with a towel. Then brush with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse salt and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden.
To make the sauce, heat the butter in a sauce pan on medium. When it is melted, add the flour and whisk for two minutes. Add the milk and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens. Add the cheese and whisk until the cheese is melted. You can switch to a wood spoon at this point, sometimes the cheese clogs up the whisk. Add the beer and stir in, then add the garlic and salt to taste.
Serve immediately. The pretzels are really best the day you bake them. If you have extra cheese sauce left (what’s wrong with you?) you can reheat it slowly on the stove. You may need to add a tablespoon or so of milk to loosen it.
a votre santé!