February 28, 2014

Mardi Gras Cajun Beer Cheese Dip

 
 
Living in Louisiana has it's ups and downs but I must say one of my favorite things about this state is Mardi Gras! I'm a Mama now so the drunken craziness in NOLA doesn't appeal to me but the family friendly food, parades, and festivals statewide are a blast!

To celebrate Mardi Gras I made a Cajun inspired Beer Cheese Dip. I used local Abita beer, Louisiana favorite: Andouille sausage, and Cajun spices and Louisiana hot sauce! Finally I served them with festive Mardi Gras chips from my local grocery store! Fun and colorful just like Mardi Gras!
As is the slogan of Mardi Gras: Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll)!

Last year, Ashton and I took Ava to Nachitoches, LA, a small river front college town about an hour away. Nachitoches is best known for where the film Steel Magnolias was based and filmed. My girl was still an itty bitty baby and even with all the music and noise she SLEPT through the entire parade and half of dinner afterwards! But we still had fun celebrating her first Mardi Gras and our first Louisiana Mardi Gras Parade.
 
Ava in her Mardi Gras outfit last year and me modeling all the beads I caught!
My cutie all bundled up with her Daddy Mardi Gras 2013

This year, my mom is visiting so we are going to Lake Charles, LA, another town about an hour away. This Sunday they have a children's festival and Children's Mardi Gras Parade and then a boat parade later in the evening. View info on the events here: http://www.swlamardigras.com/events/ .
 I am so excited...stay tuned for pics! 

 
Enter our giveaway on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/fortheloveoffoodblog
 

Ingredients:

  • 8oz Philadelphia cream cheese, softened and cubed
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 7-8oz Andouille sausage, chopped (about 1/2 a package)
  • 1 bottle Abita beer (I used Purple Haze)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning (I used Tony Chachere's)
  • 1/2 tsp (or more to taste) Hot sauce ( I used Louisiana brand)
  • Tortilla chips or crusty bread, for dipping

Directions:

  1. In a skillet add sausage and cook until crispy (the sausage should be already cooked).
  2. Remove to a papertowel lined plate and drain.
  3. In a large saucepan add cubed cream cheese and beer. Heat over medium, stirring until melted and smooth.
  4. Toss shredded cheese with flour and then mix into the cream cheese mixture until melted.
  5. Finally add seasonings and hot sauce and remove from heat.
  6. Stir in sausage and serve warm.
  7. Serve with tortilla chips or crusty French bread for dipping.
 To add to the Cajun part of this dip I added chopped Andouille sausage.
It's already precooked so you just have to heat it and crisp it up for a few minutes before adding it to the dip.
Crisp up the sausage in the skillet for a few minutes then drain to a paper towel lined plate.
You have to have beer for Beer Cheese Dip! I used local Abita beer as the base and mix with cubed cream cheese. Everything's better with cheese!
Toss the shredded cheese with flour and then add to the saucepan.
Stir until melted.
Add hot sauce, garlic powder, and Cajun seasoning and then remove from heat.
Finally, mix in sausage.

All done and ready to serve!
Creamy and with a kick, this dip is sure to be a hit!
Serve with tortilla chips or crusty bread for dipping. 
Don't you love these fun Mardi Gras chips I found at my grocery store?!
Happy Mardi Gras!
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