Election Night Cheese, Bacon and Beer Dip
Growing up with a father who was a professor of Political Science meant Federal Election night was a big deal in our house. As the polling stations closed, we’d gather around the TV and watch the voting results roll in from east to west across Canada. We’d watch the televised election map transform into red, blue, and orange of the political parties as they were in the lead (or declared) and compare the results to electoral forecasts. It’s not called an election race for nothing. Often, long-standing incumbents lost their seats to new challengers and other times unknowns triumphed. For us, election night was more exciting than watching the Academy Awards. Made even more eventful when our father was on TV himself offering analysis and returning home late at night, his face coloured an eerie shade of orange from the TV make-up.
With the 2015 Canadian Federal Election coming up on October 19, 2015, it seems an ideal time to make a night of it and serve a few tasty snacks on what promises to be a lively night. There’s no more patriotic ingredient to include in your culinary plans than Old Tomorrow, a new craft beer named for Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s Father of Confederation. He’s the perfect icon for a new Canadian craft beer.
The folks at Old Tomorrow have given supplied us with a beer recipe to share. They call it Old Tomorrow Cheese & Bacon Victory Dip but in honour of the upcoming Federal Election, we’ve temporarily renamed it to Election Night Cheese, Bacon and Beer Dip. No matter what you call it, this gooey dip spiked with the sweetness of maple syrup and smoky bacon is delicious and is guaranteed to be super popular with your guests, no matter what political party they belong to. For vegetarians, lots of veggie options are available.
A bit more about the beer itself. Old Tomorrow is a Canadian Pale Ale with a velvety smooth body and a crisp finish. I was introduced to it at the TIFF Bask-it-Style Gift Lounge (read more about that in the blog post Celebrity Swag includes Luxury Travel by Wandering Carol). Old Tomorrow has a low bitterness rating of 18 IBU’s ( International Bitterness Units) which means it isn’t as hoppy as many of the new IPAs, but it’s got plenty of full flavour that holds up well with spicy foods, strong cheeses and BBQ meats. It’s like drinking a frosty mug of Canadian Heritage
- 1 ½ cups of Old Tomorrow Canadian Pale Ale ( or beer of your choice)
- 2-3 sweet onions (about 2 cups) – diced into small pieces
- 2 cups of diced white mushrooms
- 3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 cups of shredded skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup of light cream cheese, cut into small cubes for easier melting
- Chopped chives
- 2-3 Tablespoons of maple syrup (according to taste preference)
- 1 Tablespoon of flour
- Salt & Pepper
- ADD-ONS FOR FLAVOUR:
- 8 slices of cooked, crisp bacon – cut into small bits
- 1 Tablespoon of horseradish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger (powdered spice)
- Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Place the diced sweet onions in a heavy skillet with 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil. Stir together to coat onions and cook covered for about 15 minutes. Onions should be browned and soft and start to carmelize. (You can add a teaspoon of sugar to add sweetness to the onions.)
- Add the mushrooms until they soften.
- Separately, mix the Old Tomorrow Canadian Pale Ale and flour and whisk to remove lumps. Add to the mixture in the skillet above.
- Then slowly add the cream cheese cubes and stir so that they melt into the mixture; then add the sharp Cheddar cheese until melted, followed by the Mozzarella cheese until it melts.
- Stir the maple syrup into the mixture so that evenly distributed. Fold in the bacon pieces, horseradish (optional, ginger and dash of cayenne pepper (optional) along with salt & pepper to taste. Top with chopped chives.
- Serve immediately as a hot dip with plain crackers, pita bread, crusty breads, sliced apples or other vegetables. Dip can be made ahead and reheated in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. Stir before serving and then top with chopped chives.
- #1 new craft beer product in 2015
- It’s available in more than 300 LCBO stores including the Great Toronto Area, Greater Kitchener/Waterlook/Cambridge Area, Great Ottawa Area, London, Kingston, Sarnia, Windsor, Peterborough, Muskoka, Sudbury, North Bay and a growing number of communities.
- It’s growing in popularity and is already #31 in popularity
- Watch for the in-store promotions that kicked off in September 2015
- Fun Fact: Oliver Dawson, the esteemed beer expert of the Beer Lovers’ Tour Co. who led the fascinating Beer Lover’s Cultural Tour of Oaxaca has a position on Old Tomorrow’s advisory board, so you can be extra sure Old Tomorrow is a great beer.
- Follow Old Tomorrow on Facebook.com/oldtomorrowbeer or @oldtomorrowbeer on Twitter and Instagram.