Tag Archives: Blue Cheese

Cheese-Rolling Contests

Cheese Rolling Contest

This could be the plot of a Hugh Grant movie: a small English village is bypassed by the area’s new highway, leading the town’s residents to dream up a cheese-rolling contest to attract visitors.

As sad and kooky as that sounds, it’s actually the true story of Stilton, England, namesake of the famous blue cheese.

The now-annual event, held Monday, was invented in the 1960s by two pub landlords who told villagers it was “an ancient tradition” to convince them to participate, the BBC reports.

“It’s certainly gone from being a quirky idea to a massive event for the village,” the news outlet quotes a local historian as saying.

While I would love to see an actual wheel of Stilton being rolled down the street, the cheese is too soft and crumbly to make it all the way down the town’s main drag.

Instead, teams roll wooden blocks cut from an old telegraph pole and painted with blue veins to resemble the cheese, according to the BBC.

But even if the cheese were sturdy enough to withstand a good tumble, it seems there could be a liability issue.

In Gloucestershire, “daredevil cheese chasers” have for two centuries spent a late May bank holiday hurling themselves down an incredibly steep hill while trying to catch a wheel of Double Gloucester cheese, the BBC says in a separate report. Not surprisingly, most end up in a heap at the bottom.

Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Contest

Last year, contestants had to chase a foam cheese after police told the cheese maker she could face legal action, the BBC says.

And here I thought the U.S. was a litigious nation. It seems a bit unfair that simply making, or even providing, a wheel of cheese could cause someone to be liable for an injury suffered by a knucklehead who decided to throw it (and himself) down a hill. On the bright side, I suppose, there’s no more wasting a good wheel of Double Gloucester.

Salemville Amish Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles

Blue Cheese Taste Test

There are very few people who are ambivalent toward blue cheese. Most either really love it or really hate it.

As you might guess, I’m firmly in the love camp. I could easily scarf down a quarter pound of Bleu D’Auvergne simply smeared on a baguette for lunch. I also view a container of blue cheese crumbles as a refrigerator staple — perfect for jazzing up a green salad or for melting in dips.

Most supermarkets these days carry a couple of different brands of pre-crumbled blue, of course begging the question — which is the best?

Cooking Light magazine put 8 pre-crumbled blues and 5 pre-crumbled Gorgonzolas through a blind taste test in its April edition. Here are the winners:

Cooking Light
Photo: Randy Mayor via Cooking Light

 

Favorite Blue: Whole Foods Market Blue Cheese Crumbles

The magazine dubs this one a “big, bold blue.” While a little goes a long way, “it’s balanced and versatile enough to top anything from veggie tarts to steaks,” Cooking Light says.

I have to agree. This is the brand that I most often reach for, and which I used in my Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe.

Favorite Gorgonzola: Salemville Amish Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles

“A wonderfully creamy Gorgonzola with full-on flavor and enticing salt crystals,” Cooking Light declares. “It’s moderately pungent and nutty, yet slightly sweet.”

What makes this brand interesting is that its cheeses are produced by an Amish community in Wisconsin. The cows are hand-milked twice a day without the use of machines or electricity. I’ve never seen Salemville offered in my local grocery store, but Target carries it. I’m definitely going to look for the crumbles the next time I’m there.

Click here for Cooking Light’s full story.

Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken Dip

Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken Dip

In honor of the Super Bowl being played in my hometown, I thought I would feature a cheesy dip perfect for a football-watching party. It’s like eating a buffalo chicken wing, but without the mess of a bone. The best part is that this dip requires almost no effort. All you have to do is toss a few basic ingredients together in a slow-cooker.

(As an aside: I love my slow cooker. There is nothing I like better than cooking something that doesn’t require me to, well, actually cook something.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

Blue Cheese Buffalo Wing Dip Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (about 1/2 of a chicken)
  • 8 oz. bar cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce

The first thing you need to do is shred the chicken.

Shredded rotisserie chicken

I like the pieces pretty small, so I also chop it.

Chopped Rotisserie Chicken

(Note: If you’re really short on time and not completely skeeved out by chicken in a can, like I am, you can sub that in for the rotisserie chicken.)

Next, combine the chicken and the remaining four ingredients in a slow cooker. Heat on high for about 1 1/2 hours or until the dip is bubbly.

Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken Dip

Then watch your guests devour it straight out of the cooker.

This should make enough to feed about 8 hungry football fans and can easily be doubled or tripled if you’re expecting a crowd. It can be served with tortilla chips, corn chips or cut veggies.

I got this recipe years ago from Frank’s RedHot and have tweaked it several times. I’ve tried multiple combinations of dressings and cheeses, finally settling on the ranch dressing/blue cheese combo. However, you can definitely substitute blue cheese dressing for the ranch and pretty much any shredded cheese you have on hand for the blue cheese crumbles.

The dip could also be made a bit lighter by using low-fat dressing and cheeses. But I would suggest leaving that for another time. It’s the Super Bowl, for gosh sake. Make the full-fat, fully-delicious version and enjoy the game. Go Broncos!

Bazaar's Frozen Blue Cheese Sandwich

Bazaar’s Frozen Blue Cheese Sandwich

Frozen Blue Cheese Sandwiches

Last night Dave and I had dinner at Jose Andres’ restaurant, Bazaar, at the SLS Hotel in Miami Beach. This inventive dish was a stand-out.

Those are slabs of ice cold Valdeon blue cheese (cow and goat’s milk) topped with lemon marmalade and sandwiched between thin slices of crispy walnut bread. A truly unique way to end a meal.

Bazaar, 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-455-2999