~ Buttermilk, Blue Cheese 'n Chive Salad Dressing + Why I love Danablu cheese & some chive talkin' too!~
Blue cheese dressing is undoubtedly one of America's most popular salad dressings -- especially with men. In any steakhouse you'll be offered their house salad, many times a classic wedge salad, with the option of their in-house-made blue cheese dressing on top of it. Order chicken wings anywhere, and unless you request them served otherwise, they will arrive at your table with blue cheese dressing. I'm proud to say my recipe will rival any blue cheese dressing:
Chocked full of chunkly blue cheese crumbles, just the right balance of sweet and savory spice with a touch of heat, I'm reasonably certain it will become one of your favorite versions. My favorite blue cheese, Danablu, comes from Denmark, but, if you've got a favorite, as long as it can be crumbled, use it. If you have the time, prepare the dressing a day before serving, to allow it time to thicken and give all the wonderful flavors time to marry.
A bit about Danablu (Danish Blue Cheese): Made from cow's milk, it is a semi-soft yet crumbly, bright blue-veined cheese, with a sharp and salty flavor. It's slightly yellow colored rind is edible too. It was invented in the early 20th century by Marius Boel, a Danish cheese maker who was trying to emulate a Roquefort-style cheese (a sheep's milk cheese from the south of France). Danablu, while slightly milder than Roquefort is indeed very similar in taste and the two can be used interchangeably -- on crackers, crumbled on salads or as a dessert cheese with fruit (I adore it served on apple or pear slices)!
Time out for some chive talkin' (Chives, the 1st herb of Spring):
I grew up eating chives added to a lot of things. My dad had them growing in his vegetable garden and my mom would mince and add them to mashed potatoes and potato pancakes. She also froze them, to have on hand all year long. So, being extremely familiar with them, it was second nature to add them to my blue cheese dressing.
A bit about chives: Once chive bulbs are planted, they come up in clumps every year, resembling blades of green grass. They are the smallest member of the onion family, having an extremely mild, subtle flavor. Each year, as the chives grow, they will bloom and get edible pink-purple flowers on top, which need to be removed (snipped off) before they go to seed.
Once you have snipped your chive blades, do not wash or rinse them until you are ready to use them, as moisture makes them deteriorate quickly. Once cut, they will keep nicely in the refrigerator for about a week. Chives can be dried, which I find to be a waste of time because they lose their flavor very quickly.
Instead, like my mother, I freeze them: snip them, mince them, place them in containers and freeze. Do not thaw before using. Just stir into foods like cheese spreads or this salad dressing, or, add them to foods during the last moments of cooking, like mashed potatoes (as overheating destroys their flavor).
If you don't grow or can't find fresh chives, you can substitute scallion greens, but the onion flavor of them will be considerably stronger.
To make my buttermilk, blue cheese 'n chive salad dressing:
1/2 cup each: buttermilk, mayonnaise and sour cream
1/2-3/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon each: lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons minced chives
1-1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese, 4-6 ounces
For the dried spice blend:
1/4 teaspoon each: minced onion, onion powder, celery seed, cracked black pepper, white pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
~ Step 3. Fold in the chives and blue cheese crumbles.
Transfer to a food storage container, cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Overnight is best -- it gives the dressing ample time to thicken and the flavors time to marry. Leftover dressing, if kept refrigerated will keep nicely for up to a week.
Try it on my recipes for:
~ The Classic Blue Cheese & Bacon Wedge Salad ~
(in Categories 2, 8 & 26, or, click on the Related Article link below)
(found in Categories 1, 2 or 17)
Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; whisk; large spoon or rubber spatula; 2-3-cup food storage container w/lid
Cook's Note: Do you like your blue cheese topped salad served next to a steak? I've got a recipe for you. Click into Categories 3, 11, 21 or 26 for ~ Steak au Poivre (Peppercorn Crusted Filet Mignon) ~!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2014)