Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Recipe's Forthcoming

I know I haven't posted here for a while, but I do plan to soon. Not much cooking lately, because there's pretty much no food in the apartment. Why? Because I've worn through 5 shopping carts in the last 6 months, and I'm going nuts. So, out of desperation, I went and bought a 400 pound capacity steel garden cart. It arrives thursday, so I hope to do shopping this weekend. Among other things, I get to test out my new cookware- like my new griddle, so stay tuned!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blue Cheese Salad Dressing

This most American of salad dressings is probably my favourite. So, of course it is almost impossible to find in the UK. (True, you can occasionally find a bottle on a supermarket shelf - and I do mean "a" bottle and I have bought them. Don't. Really! They always turn out to be a horrible rank watery concoction with a long list of strange and often unidentifiable ingredients. I've never been able to detect any sort of blue cheese taste to them.)

Anyway, the weather has been almost spring-like, almost sunny, almost warm. To celebrate, we decided to have  a chef's salad for supper. This required, nay demanded, a luscious creamy blue cheese dressing - preferably Roquefort cheese salad dressing. So I made it myself. It's really easy.

4 oz/ 100 ml Roquefort (or Blue) cheese
1 really large or 2 medium garlic cloves - smashed and finely minced
1/2 medium onion - about 3 tablespoons finely diced
8 oz/250 ml creme fraiche or American sour cream like Breakstone's or Axelrod's
About 4 big spoonfuls Hellman's mayonnaise 
1/2 large lemon - freshly squeezed juice
1 T sugar
Pepper - freshly ground - I use 15 or so grinds of the mill
Sea Salt - I use about 5 or 6 turns of the mill

Ingredients notes:
1. In the UK use full fat creme fraiche (Tesco's Finest Creme Fraiche Isigny AOC). Do NOT use whatever it is they sell in the UK called Sour Cream - it's not sour cream as we know it, believe me!
2. The American Hellman's is best. The UK version of Hellman's will do but they use a localised formula so the taste and texture is different and I don't like it. If you can get fresh mayo at Waitrose, I'd use that. Best of all is to get American family or friends to bring you the US stuff when they visit.
3. Rather than a bowl, I tend to mix this up in a plastic ice cream tub with a tight fitting lid. That way you can mix and store in the same container. Since you need to let the dressing sit for a few hours to allow the flavour to develop, this works really well.

1. Finely dice the onion and put in bowl. Smash the garlic clove to remove the skin, finely mince and crush and put into the bowl. Add sugar
2. Crumble or chop up the cheese and dump that into the bowl then add the lemon juice and give it a stir.
3. Add the creme fraiche/sour cream. Stir well.
4. Add the mayo, pepper, and salt. Stir well.
5. Taste and adjust by adding a bit more lemon juice if needed. (It won't taste very cheesy yet.)
6. Cover tightly with lid or plastic wrap. Put in the refrigerator for 6 hours, or overnight if preferred, to let the flavours mix and develop. You must allow this resting time!
7. Stir and taste before serving. You might want to adjust pepper and salt, go easy on it if you do.