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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:

Suzanne:

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.....

Thanks,
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.

Variations:

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!


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Comments

Rick in Colchester

Suzanne,

1. I hate mayonnaise, and will not use it in any salad dressing.

2. Worchestershire Sauce has anchovies in it, and as a vegetarian I don't eat it.

Any other recipes?????

Thanks,

Rick in Colchester

cresmer

D'oh!

Molly

Umm... maybe people should tell you their relevant dietary restrictions/preferences when requesting recipes? Instead of putting you through the trouble of researching for naught...

Rick In Colchester

Molly,
You're right. of course. But I never would have imagined blue cheese dressing would have mayonnaise or worcestershire sauce - it never did when I made it - there are a lot of other things that I don't like but in my mind don't belong in blue cheese dressing and thus I wouldn't think to mention in this context (olives, mushrooms, sweet pickle relish, to name a few). And my asking for other recipes was not to Suzanne so much as to other readers who may have a different recipe.
Rick in Colchester

Molly

I looked around and didn't find any decent-looking blue cheese dressing recipes that didn't contain mayonnaise. But here's one with only 1/4c of mayo (I found this on epicurious.com - it's from Gourmet magazine) I think with any of these you could try substituting veganaise, pureed cottage cheese, ricotta, more sour cream, or plain yogurt or something? What do you think Suzanne?:

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons milk or water

Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, lemon juice, chives, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and thin with milk or water to desired consistency.

Rick in Colchester

Thank you Molly! You rock!

Molly

Oh! I forgot to mention that if you happen to like Worcester sauce, there are vegetarian vesions available. I've never shopped for any myself, but I do know that they exist.

Suzanne

I think that subbing ingredients as Molly suggested is the perfect way to go. I looked at 6 or 7 recipes when replying to the original request, and every one of them had mayo! I'd use more sour cream, since I love the stuff, but I think any of her other suggestions would also work.

As for Worcestershire sauce, the vegetarian version I'm most familiar with is Annie's Naturals, which is both organic and vegan. I've never tried it, but people seem to like it.

Alena

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