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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

the smokehouse secret to the best blue cheese dressing {recipe}

simple Romaine leaves with blue cheese dressing drizzled with a balsamic glaze

When my husband and I first started dating we would go to this great little place back in the Northeast for Buffalo chicken wings. These hot wings packed a kick and were served with a creamy blue cheese dip that tasted like a secret recipe handed down and perfected over the years in the small family owned restaurant. The place was standing room only every Friday and Saturday night. I think it was the cool blue cheese dressing that kept us coming back for more.

Recently I decided to try to recreate his favorite dip/dressing just in time for the big game this weekend. So I scoured recipes and narrowed it down to five, some rich and some low-fat. The clear winner? A light combination of rich and lower fat. The secret was in the blue cheese. I used an Applewood Smoked Blue (Salemville carried at QFC and other markets) that added a hearty/bacony depth to the dressing. The best part is that this versatile dip/salad dressing takes less than two minutes to make and beats any bottled dressing hands down.

This recipe is for both the salad dressing and Buffalo chicken wing dip.
(It's also great for low-carb diets)

Smoked Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe
(makes one cup)

1/2 reduced fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
4 ounces Applewood Smoked blue cheese crumbles
1 teaspoon wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Dash of pepper
2 tablespoons half-and-half (optional to thin it for salad dressing)

Mix all ingredients together in bowl and let sit for a couple minutes as the flavors incorporate. Use as is for Buffalo chicken wing dip or to dress the salad, adding a dollop of dressing to Romaine leaves and for an extra pop, drizzle balsamic glaze over the top.

  • I tried this exact recipe using full fat, reduced fat and non-fat versions of the mayonnaise and sour cream. The full-fat version was excellent but almost too rich. The non-fat version had an overriding chemical taste. It was awful. The reduced-fat version was terrific.
  • I used Tillamook sour cream and Hellmann's / Best Foods Mayonnaise
  • Balsamic glaze is a thicker version of Balsamic vinegar. It is available in the vinegar and oil aisle. Try this one from Trader Joe's.

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