Crudité display from client event (photo courtesy Kim Elphinstone)
With the Super Bowl frenzy at fever pitch around these parts, due to the game being played just across the river this year, I debated about adding yet another recipe to the list of those that have been passed around as suggestions for serving to your guests. Then, this week, I received the photos from a wedding that I’d catered on New Year’s Eve 2013 and realized that one of the platters that I had put together would be a perfect (and easy to compose) addition to any party, including the ones that many folks are planning for tomorrow. I had created a crudité display so that the guests could nibble on something while they gathered for the ceremony. To go along with it, I prepared one of my family’s recipes: Blue Cheese Dressing.
This recipe came from my mother’s mother, who passed away when my mother was in high school, so I never met her. The family stories say that she was an accomplished cook, which was something that my mother definitely inherited from her. We have a few of her cookbooks, with recipes scribbled in the margins, including this one. My mother fiddled with the recipe herself over the years, as have I. The little extra of serving easy-to-prepare, homemade dips, like the Blue Cheese Dressing and the Rosemary-Garlic-White Bean one (below), elevates these vegetables to a be a very special snack, so don’t be surprised if you see the kids going back for extra helpings of vegetables when you put this on the table, as happened at this wedding. Oh, and even after the game is over, this dip might be something to keep on hand for any party or even just to nosh on when you feel a bit peckish.
Rosemary-Garlic-White Bean Dip (photo courtesy Kim Elphinstone)
Also pictured in the above crudité display is one of my stand-by favorite dips to make: Rosemary-Garlic-White Bean Dip. I like to call it my “Alterna-Hummus.” It has some of the same ingredients as hummus, but the white beans give it a slightly different taste while still having a wonderfully creamy texture. It’s also completely vegan, if you are looking for recipes that don’t use animal products. You can find the recipe for it here.
Blue Cheese Dressing
Prep time: 15 minutes, best if prepared a few hours in advance or even overnight to allow flavors to develop
Serving size: 1 1/2-2 cups dressing
1/2 c. Sour Cream
1/2 c. Mayonnaise
1/2 c. Blue Cheese, crumbled (Maytag, Danish, or any aged blue cheese)
4 tsp. Prepared Horseradish (add more to taste, but this should not dominate as a flavor)
Freshly ground Black Pepper (if desired)
Salt (if necessary)
Fresh Chives, finely chopped for garnish (if desired)
Mix all ingredients except black pepper, salt, and chives in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Chill for several hours or overnight to let the flavors meld together. Taste before serving to see if it needs the addition of pepper and salt. Garnish with the chives, if desired to give an extra bit of color and contrasting flavor to the richness of the dressing.
To find out more information about hiring me for my culinary and events planning expertise and how I can help you organize your next gathering, please refer to my Chef’s Services page on this website. You can also read my profile on the chef-for-hire website Kitchit. (photo courtesy Kim Elphinstone)