Warm, doughy garlic knows speckled with smoky Shiitake bacon and served with a side of creamy beer cheese ... what could be better? The knots are cooked in a cast-iron skillet so they look like pull-apart bread, which makes for an awesome presentation. This appetizer is guaranteed to be a sure-shot hit at any party.
Garlic Knots With Beer Cheese [Vegan]
For the Shiitake Bacon Garlic Knots:
- 1 pound store-bought or homemade pizza dough
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- A pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons chives, minced
- 3/4 cup vegan Parmesan
- All-purpose flour, for work surface
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the Shiitake Bacon:
- 1 cup sliced Shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Beer Cheese Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 12-ounce bottle vegan beer
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha or hot sauce
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) vegan cream cheese, softened
- 1 block vegan cheddar cheese, grated, or homemade vegan cheddar sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
To Make the Shiitake Bacon:
- Coat sliced Shiitake in all of the ingredients, let soak for an hour or longer, and bake at 200°F for 45 minutes. Rotate after 25 minutes to ensure crispy Shiitake. Keep the residual sauce to use with bread. Set aside Shiitake bacon to use for knots.
- Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the residual marinade, garlic, and butter. Heat until melted and starting to foam. Place cooked Shiitake in a bowl and add the butter mixture to it. Stir in 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan cheese and chives. Set cast-iron skillet aside, leaving the butter residue in the pan.
To Make the Knots:
- Lightly flour a clean work surface. Divide the pizza dough into two even halves. Working with one-half at a time, use a rolling pin to roll/stretch to form a long rectangle, 8x4-inches. Use a pizza cutter or bench scraper to cut the rectangle, crosswise, into 12 even strips. Repeat stretching, forming a rectangle and cutting strips with the other half of the dough. Sprinkle the dough strips with a little bit of flour to prevent sticking.
- Preheat oven to 200°F. Working one strip at a time, roll to form a small rope. Coat with the butter parmesan/shiitake mixture, then tie into a knot. Continue rolling and tying until all the dough is knotted. Transfer the knots to the cast-iron skillet in a single layer. Turn off the oven. Cover the knots tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the oven until doubled in size, about 2-4 hours. Or, refrigerate the wrapped knots until doubled in size, 12-14 hours.
To Make the Beer-Cheese Dip:
- In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the vegan butter until slightly foaming. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 1/2-2 minutes, until pale in color. Slowly whisk in the beer. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to medium. Stir in the mustard, Worcestershire, Sriracha. and garlic. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the salt and vegan cream cheese. Stir to thoroughly incorporate. Reduce heat to medium-low. One handful at a time, add the vegan cheddar cheese (or vegan cheddar sauce), stirring in between each addition. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and keep warm, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.
- When ready to bake the knots: Adjust oven rack to the center position and preheat to 425°F. If you refrigerated the knots, allow to come to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the tops of knots evenly with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until knots are cooked and golden brown in color. Remove from oven, brush with a tablespoon of olive oil while still hot and sprinkle generously with additional vegan parmesan cheese. Serve the warm Shiitake bacon-garlic knots with the hot beer cheese dip.