6 Bar Foods You Can Make at Home
Bar food, unlike other options in fine cuisine, has the distinct task of providing incredible flavor while completely disregarding any sort of nutritional value or caloric nuance.
Or, in other words—it needs to be really, really tasty.
Whether you’ve just arrived at the bar or you’re well past the point of no return, at some point, all of that alcohol’s going to make you hungry. This isn’t much of a problem during a night on the town, but if you’re at home, driving out to your local gathering spot isn’t exactly smart or legal.
In the interest of all of the home parties and drinking games to come, here are six bar foods you can make at home to appease any drinker and keep the party going.
Stringed Cheese Sticks
Cheese sticks hold a permanent spot on most bar menus for its simple nature and universal appeal. Seriously? Who doesn’t like cheese sticks?
If you’ve got a craving for cheese sticks but forgot to pick up some frozen or pre-made options, chances are, you can make cheese sticks at home using individually wrapped string cheese.
To make these sticks, start heating up oil while mixing egg and milk to get enough batter for however many you’re attempting to make. Then, gather up breadcrumbs to serve as the crispy outside layer.
Dunk the stringed cheese into the batter, then the breadcrumbs, then into the heated oil. Cook until golden brown, remove and wait as long as your body lets you before chowing down. A simple solution to a classic craving, indeed.
Deep Fried Cheese Curds
While you’ve got your homegrown deep fryer set up, how’s about we go for some cheese curds?
While similar to the stringed cheese sticks, cheese curds are made from a milder cheese and are often easier to eat in droves. Plus, they might even be easier to make.
To make some cheese curds, start with cubes of mild cheese and coat with a batter made of flour and egg. If the conception is too thin, you may want to add some milk. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, substitute out the milk for your favorite beer. Make sure the cheese is coated evenly in the batter, then drop into the deep fryer and pull out when finished.
Much like the recipe implies, these cheese curds go great with beer and can keep hungry guests from raiding the more important items in your kitchen.
Pretzels and Cheese
In keeping with cheesy tradition, leftover pretzels from an appetizer plate can be quickly repurposed to fulfill the desires of anyone for a cheese fondue sauce. Assuming you’ve already secured enough pretzels, here’s how to go about making the dipping sauce:
Start with light cheeses, preferably swiss, and gather enough for however many people you’re hoping to feed. Then, grab some white wine and begin to simmer. Pour in the cheeses, add flour and salt to thicken up the mixture, and toss in some nutmeg if you have it handy.
This versatile fondue is going to go with pretzels, but if you’re not in the mood for a salty treat, you can pretty much dip anything imaginable into this mixture. We’d recommend broccoli or fresh bread, but you may want to try out french fries, chips, and anything else you’ve been craving and need to add a little bit of cheese too.
It’s not something you’d find in a San Diego Night Club but it’s certainly a good guilty pleasure treat you can try out before heading downtown.
While popcorn, unsalted and without butter, can be one of the healthiest snacks available, the bar variety is often loaded with a host of other foods you may or may not have ever considered adding to this simple item. Our loaded popcorn suggestion is filled with America’s two favorite bar staples: bacon and cheese.
Start with bacon strips and begin cooking as normal. Once finished, break and cut the strips up into small bits and pull out the cheese. We recommend liquid cheese, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can try melting your shredded cheese by making a roux and thickening with milk and spices.
Place your freshly popped popcorn into the serving container, cover liberally with cheese, and sprinkle on bacon bits. You might need a doctor’s appointment the morning after but you’ll certainly enjoy this treat tonight.
Out of all of the bar foods listed here, this one is the most dependent upon a fully stocked chicken. However, if you’ve got the wings and sauces on hand, there’s no reason why you can’t make a perfectly good buffalo sauce to douse your wings in.
Start with your favorite hot sauce and whisk in butter and vinegar. Worcestershire sauce is the difficult item to obtain, but assuming you have it, you’ll only need to add in a few teaspoons and finish up with some garlic. Heat and stir until consistent, use with your wings, and turn on a sports game of your choosing.
Loaded Mac and Cheese
Using essentially every other item on this list, we have one last bar food to suggest that hopefully won’t leave too much damage on you.
Everyone approaches loaded mac and cheese differently. Instead of overloaded with ingredients, however, we suggest a simpler and more intentional approach.
After cooking the macaroni, utilize the roux method we mentioned earlier to melt some cheese and make it as delicious as possible. If the macaroni you own come with a cheese packet, then feel free to dump as much of that in there as your stomach can handle.
Coat the macaroni liberally with your concoction and bake in the oven. If you want extra consistently in shape, consider throwing in some egg as well. Once finished, cover in bacon bits, herbs, sour cream, and anything else you may desire. You may want to eat this one before thinking about the health implications too hard.
Try out these bar food recipes at home and substitute out anything you need to with your kitchen setup. The goal of bar food is not accuracy or quality, but flavor.
After all—who goes to a bar for a salad?