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Omnivore Food Blog By Suzanne Podhaizer

Recipe Sleuth

May 04, 2007

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

I just got a plea for help from a man in search of good, creamy blue cheese dressing. Here's his missive:


I went out to dinner at Loretta's Restaurant in Essex Junction a month or so ago, ordered a salad and asked for blue cheese dressing. Imagine my surprise when they told me they don't have it because they make all their salad dressings on premises and haven't found a decent dressing recipe. I worked for years in a restaurant in Santa Cruz, CA - I was the prep cook - and we had a killer blue cheese recipe that I made gallons upon gallons of. My regret is that I didn't take the recipe with me when I left, though I do remember it included a sour cream base, black pepper, dill and a lot of fresh blue cheese. Wondering if you can find a good one (or two) for me - I'll pass it along to Loretta's if it's any good.....

Rick in Colchester

After looking through several cookbooks, I noticed that the versions in the 1997 edition of the Joy of Cooking and the 1990 edition of the New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne are almost exactly the same (and sound more interesting than most other versions).

Here's what's in the The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker. At the end, the first variation is based on the NYT Cookbook's recipe.

Creamy Blue-Cheese Dressing                            About 2 cups

Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth:
1 c. mayonnaise [they're calling for homemade, but I bet store-bought would be OK]
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
6 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of ground red pepper, or to taste

Add and process to the desired consistency:
4 ounces blue cheese [in the recipe's intro, they recommend Roquefort or another "good quality" cheese]

Taste and adjust the seasonings. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate.


1) Lose the Worcestershire, add 2 tablespoons of chopped onions, use half lemon juice and half white wine vinegar (1 tablespoon each)
2) Add chopped chives instead of onions
3) Increase the amount of blue cheese to taste

Good luck, Rick!

April 28, 2007

Spiced Beef Tongue Recipe

Yesterday afternoon, Ruth Horowitz informed me that she would be eating leftover tongue for lunch. Although I'm the resident food writer, my co-workers don't usually drop by my desk to tell me what they're eating, but Ruth knows that I'm particularly interested in the American discomfort with chowing down on "variety meats."

She found the tongue for $1.99 a pound at City Market and prepared it using a tried and true recipe from the original, 1961 edition of The New York Times Cookbook.

Wanna try it? A friendly gentleman in the meat department explained that City Market gets tongue from the folks at LaPlatte River Angus farm in Shelburne, but they don't always have it around. To find out if tongue is available or to place a special order, call 863-3659, ext. 7. Meat from LaPlatte is free of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics.

Here's the recipe Ruth used, which I located with a little help from my mother.

Spiced Beef Tongue   6 servings

1 fresh beef tongue, about 3 pounds                3 strips lemon peel
1 tablespoon salt                                              1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 small onion, sliced                                         2 teaspoons brown sugar
Few whole black peppercorns                           1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf                                                          2 cups dry white wine
Water to cover

    1. Place the tongue, salt, onion, peppercorns and bay leaf in a saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer until the tongue is fork tender, two and one-half to three hours.
    2. Remove the tongue from the water and cool slightly. Trim as for boiled fresh beef tongue, above. [taken from recipe above: cut off bones and gristle at the thick end of the tongue. Slit the skin from the thick end to the tip on the underside. Use a paring knife to loosen the skin at the thick end, and pull and peel off the skin from the thick end to the tip.] Cut the meat into thin slices.
    3. Place the tongue slices in a casserole and add the remaining ingredients. Bake, covered, in a preheated moderate oven (375° F.) until the meat absorbs nearly all the liquid, about thirty-five minutes. Serve hot or chilled.

April 25, 2007

A Stylish Crêpe Recipe

Last week, one of my co-workers asked me if I knew of any good crêpe recipes. Although I can't  remember where I got the one I used most recently, I found the version below in The French Menu Cookbook (the 2002 ed. of a book from 1970) by the late Richard Olney. The American ex-pat author and painter, who moved to Paris in 1951, hung with some famous folks: James Baldwin, Ned Rorem and John Ashberry, to name a few. His recipe writing definitely has style...

Crêpes from Richard Olney's French Menu Cookbook

2 heaping T. flour
1 heaping T. sugar (for dessert crepes only)
small pinch salt
3 eggs
1 c. milk
1 T. cognac
3 T. melted butter

Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, make a well in the center and break in the eggs. Stir, keeping to the center, until all of the flour is gradually absorbed into the eggs, then slowly add approximately 2/3 c. of milk, stirring all the while. Stir in the cognac and melted butter and thin the batter with milk until it is no thicker  than fresh cream. I do not find it essential to let the batter stand before cooking, but this may of course be done.

A small ladle of the capacity of 3 T. is practical for pouring. For large crêpes, count about 3 T. of batter, for small, about 2 T. If the batter refuses to cover the bottom of the pan, it is too thick and more milk should be added.

Heat the pan, lightly buttered (it need be buttered only once, assuming the batter to be sufficiently lubricated), over a low to medium flame (after the first 2 or 3 crêpes, adjust the heat if necessary). If the pan does not sizzle at contact with the batter, it is not hot enough. Lift the pan from the flame and, holding it with one hand, pour in the batter with the other. At the same time, give the pan a rolling motion, turning it rapidly in all directions, so that the batter spreads immediately over the entire surface. Return it to the flame, and after 30 seconds or so, delicately lift an edge of the pancake with the rounded tip of a table knife to check its progress (after one or two times, you will have the feeling and everything will go automatically). Ease the knife all the way under and flip the crêpe over. Toss it if you prefer -- it is a pretty piece of theater, but requires a certain amount of practice and the result is the same. After about 15 seconds, remove the pan from the flame, lift the crêpe out with the knife, and begin the operation all over again. It is essential to remove the pan from the flame for several seconds each time, for, with the flame at the correct temperature for cooking crêpes, the pan heats progressively and rapidly becomes too hot. The batter should be stirred each time just before being poured, as the flour has a tendency to settle to the bottom and the butter to rise to the top. If, partway through, the batter is noticeably thicker, more liquid may be added.

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