Blue Cheese Recipes

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Morel and Blue Cheese Pasta Gratin Recipe (Cheese Pasta Casserole) Recipe

Our vacation is coming to an end, and we head back home in the morning. For the ride back, I made a pasta gratin using radiatore pasta with fresh morels and a blue cheese white sauce. You know, just in case anyone gets hungry! I combined the ingredients in a casserole dish sprinkled with shredded Parmesan cheese and served the gratin casserole dish with tomato and greens.

I got many of the ingredients yesterday at the Rogue Valley Farmers' Market in Ashland, where I discovered a myriad of wonderful fresh products. I was particularly drawn to the white raspberries, Oregonian goat sausages and fresh morels. After purchasing the ingredients at the market, in the afternoon we visited the headquarters of Harry and David where I bought some delicious blue cheese that ended up in this dish. Southern Oregon has turned out to be absolutely delicious!


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Red Cabbage Coleslaw with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Recipe

This recipe was inspired by a dish described to me by Chef Doreen T. Ross. We "met" through PhamFatale.com and we've exchanged several emails about dishes. She recently made a plate of very successful fish tacos that used cabbage coleslaw instead of the more traditional choice of lettuce. Doreen made her coleslaw with a buttermilk ranch dressing that sounded delectable. I had to try it myself, so today I tried to recreate the coleslaw that Doreen described to me as a stand alone dish.

I adapted the recipe so the vegetarians in the house could partake, which means there are no eggs. If that's not an issue for you, a standard egg-based ranch dressing would work fine. To make vegetarian ranch dressing, I usually incorporate silken tofu, but as I started working on the dish I realized that I had bought the wrong kind at the store. I had liquid soy lecithin and xanthan gum in my pantry, so I used those instead. If you're familiar with egg-free recipes, xanthan gum and lecithin are an excellent egg substitute.

I didn't think my first iteration of the buttermilk ranch dressing had enough of a kick on its own, so I melted blue cheese and added champagne vinegar to the mix. Because of its rich color, shredded raw red cabbage seemed like the right canvas to showcase the light-colored dressing. I paired the cabbage with cubed Granny Smith apples for a little sweetness and additional color contrast.

The result is an unexpectedly complex and flavorful dish. It was a big success at my house, so I have to say thanks again to Chef Doreen for the tip!


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Pecan Stuffing with Rosemary, Fennel and Fresh Water Chestnuts Recipe

Here's a stuffing recipe that really packs a crunch. Pecans and water chestnuts provide flavor as well as a nice texture contrast. I added a fennel bulb for a mild licorice flavor, mushroom salt and a small amount of jalapeño for a bit of heat.

For a fancier stuffing, you can add some crumbled blue cheese to the croutons. I finished the pecan stuffing with a little parmesan for a salty (but not overpowering) note.

This recipe is far more savory than the cranberry apple stuffing I made last week. The differences between the two versions really demonstrate the versatility of stuffing. Whatever your preference, there's a stuffing that you and your family will love.


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Roasted Blue-Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Figs  Recipe

I'm so excited we finally were able to get some fresh figs from our garden. The girls started stuffing themselves with a lot of the figs but I managed to save a few to make this little starter for dinner.

The concept is so easy, a kid could make it! Just caramelize the figs in the oven, stuff them with any kind of soft cheese and sprinkle some nuts. Ta-da!

 


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Creamy Gorgonzola Ranch Salad Dressing Recipe

I had some gorgonzola left over from the cheese soufflé I made yesterday, so I decided to make a salad dressing out of it. Instead of going for the obvious choice of making a bleu cheese dressing with the gorgonzola, I opted to make a ranch dressing. Ranch salad dressing is a blend of mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk and spices. Traditional mayonnaise calls for egg yolks but my 9-year-old- sister-in-law is deathly allergic to eggs so I substitute it with homemade vegenaise made with silken tofu.

This flavorful salad dressing meets everyone's diet restrictions in my home while still being delicious. I hope you will enjoy it as well.


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