The first time I had a good blue cheese dressing, the kind that did not come from a bottle, I was in my early twenties out on a date. He took me to a fancy spot with cloth napkins. I ordered salad with blue cheese dressing as I had not had that since I left the nest. Come to think of it, I was more impressed with the tangy blue cheese dressing than the date. It was flavorful, so homemade tasting and it had pieces of cheese in it. If I had not been on a date I might have even eaten it by the spoonful. Recently Lenny asked why we never make blue cheese dressing. So I went into the kitchen and recreated this class blue cheese dressing that reminded me of the first one I had that did not come out of a bottle.
Usually, the kind of blue cheese dressing I had enjoyed in the past was shaken out of a bottle with a sudden plunk onto the greens. Coming from a very small town, I didn’t know better and thought all salad dressings came that way. The waiter left a plate of ordinary greens mixed with carrot slices, tomatoes, and croutons. Alongside it was a chilly silver bowl filled with a thick lumpy mixture. I vaguely remember asking for the salad dressing as I didn’t see it on the salad.
The aroma that trailed under my nose as the waiter set the bowl down was reminiscent of smelly socks and creamy butter. I remember dipping my finger into the bowl and bringing it to my lips. It was pungent and slightly zippy. The first bite of salad was bathed in creamy blue dressing, as I slide it into my open mouth and let the dressing melt on my tongue.
I wrote a letter to the restaurant begging for a recipe which I finally received. After repeatedly moving and boxes being unpacked, the recipe was lost. I worked on this recipe barely remembering what other ingredients were used and purely by taste memory. Most of the ingredients are probably in your pantry or refrigerator, mayonnaise, dry mustard, garlic, etc… My personal add-ins were tangy creme fraiche and sour cream, probably because I had leftovers.
Cheese? There are many types of blue cheese and picking one can be very personal. I prefer my blue cheese to be stinky and pungent with a lot of blue veins running throughout. Use whatever kind of blue cheese you like. I have used a few different types of blue cheese, Maytag Blue, Buttermilk Blue as well as a Smoked Blue. I prefer the Maytag or Buttermilk Blue, but try your favorite blue cheese and see what works for your tastebuds.
- Garlic – use fresh, the kind you have to peel. Not powdered or salted or the pre-crushed kind in the little jar. Fresh is the way to go as it adds more flavor. I find the pre-crushed garlic to be dull and chemical tasting.
- Roquefort – this was the only cheese option that I felt did not work with this dressing as it tends to be softer and did not hold up in the dressing. A bit of texture really works with this recipe.
- The dressing is really good as soon as you taste it but you should wait 24 hours, giving the ingredients time to mingle.
- Serve this blue cheese dressing with veggie crudités, chicken wings, or even pizza.
Recipe: Classic Blue Cheese Dressing
8 ounces sour cream
5 ounces creme fraiche
1/8 cup quality mayo
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon black pepper (fresh cracked is the best)
1 small garlic clove, mashed with the salt
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
5 ounces blue cheese
In a medium-sized bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the blue cheese.
Using a fork mix well.
Crumble in the blue cheese. Mix together just enough to blend the ingredients and break up the cheese.
Pour into a bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap.
Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.