Gourmet Blue Cheese Dressing should be too thick to pour; rich in chunks of blue cheese mixed throughout; cool and creamy with just the right amount of bite. Also, let there be nothing between your tongue and the heavenly suffusion of the essence of an excellent Stilton (or Gorgonzola, or Roquefort). No adulteration of vinegar, Worcestershire or Tabasco sauces, or any other silly additions; nothing but the natural sweetness of good blue cheese with just a touch of lemon for brightness.
Making a top-quality Gourmet Blue Cheese Dressing, of course, starts with the cheese. Try any of the best of the blues: Stilton, Roquefort, or Gorgonzola (I will admit, Roquefort is my favorite). The age of the cheese is also important. Aged blue cheese is more firm and crumbly than younger cheeses; the young blues are softer with a more pungent aroma and flavor. The best Gourmet Blue Cheese Dressing combines these two qualities for one exquisite taste and mouthfeel.
Makes 1½ cups dressing (more or less)
4 oz young, tender blue cheese (Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton), chopped
¼ cup quality mayonnaise (freshly made is best - see recipe below)
¼ cup cultured sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup cultured buttermilk, as fresh as possible
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 oz aged, crumbly blue cheese (again, Roquefort, Stilton or Gorgonzola)
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
1-2 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)
In a blender, combine the chopped young blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, buttermilk and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Pour into a serving dish. Crumble in the aged blue cheese and add ground salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently, but well, to combine. If the dressing is thicker than desired, add the heavy cream a little at a time while stirring the dressing, until it is the right consistency. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Store the unused dressing, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Fresh-made mayonnaise is far superior to “store-bought” although it takes a little time and a lot of patience. The results are worth it, especially when using the mayo in a gourmet recipe such as the one above. One of the best mayonnaise recipes I have ever used is below.
CAUTION: Mayonnaise uses raw egg yolks; Raw eggs can be dangerous for infants, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weakened or compromised immune systems. To avoid the risk of salmonella poisoning, use pasteurized egg yolks.
Makes about 1 cup
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp ground sea salt
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup plus ¾ cup canola (rapeseed) oil, or other mild-flavored oil
In a blender combine the vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sea salt and egg yolks. Blend at high speed until smooth. Switch blender to low speed and, while blender is running, dribble the ¼ cup canola oil into the mixture one or two drops at a time. This process will take 5 minutes or more, DO NOT RUSH! Properly emulsifying the egg yolk and the oil is what makes mayonnaise, otherwise you will just get yuk. When the oil is thoroughly incorporated, begin drizzling in the other ¾ cup of oil in a slow, thin stream, always while the blender is running. Mixing in the rest of the oil should take another 8-10 minutes, until the mayonnaise is thick and creamy. Use the mayonnaise to make Gourmet Blue Cheese Dressing immediately. Store the unused portion tightly covered in the refrigerator for no more than a week.