Tender baby romaine from the garden.
What would highlight the vibrant greens? I was thinking a simple presentation with a bold flavor …
My taste memory responded with an instant craving for real, blue cheese dressing – rich and creamy with big chunks of tangy blue cheese. The kind that flows and hasn’t been thickened with xanthum gum or modified food starch.
It just so happens that I splurged on Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home cookbook and was waiting for the perfect opportunity to leisurely leaf through thiswonderful collection of family meals and everyday staples, “delicious approachable food” that Keller promises are “doable at home, no immersion circulator required…” .
As the renowned chef and owner of legendary Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry in Yountville, CA, Thomas Keller is not a name normally associated with “accessible” or “home cooking”. Ad Hoc at Home is touted as the long awaited book for home cooks where the revered chef has turned his imagination to the American comfort foods that we all know and love. Here is the first of many recipes I’ll share with you from this gorgeous cookbook.
Blue Cheese Dressing
Adapted from Ad Hoc at Home
1 cup Aioli
¼ to ½ cup buttermilk
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon minced mint
8 oz. crumbled blue cheese
For the Aioli:
Ingredients: 1 whole garlic head, 1 cup canola oil, 1 t. fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Chop end off whole garlic head, peel individual cloves. In a heavy saucepan add the cloves to 1 cup of canola oil. Heat over very low heat (not even a simmer – you should see only very small bubbles in the oil) for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool. Remove cloves from oil and reserve for another use. Put two egg yolks into a mini food processor*, very slowly add 1 cup of the garlic oil through the tube on top while processing, blending until emulsified (oil and liquid are thoroughly combined) and thickened. Add 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
*Alternately, you can place the egg yolks in a glass mixing bowl and use an immersion blender.
For the Dressing:
Transfer aioli to a glass mixing bowl, whisk in ¼ cup buttermilk, sour cream, shallots, parsley and mint. Add 8 oz. of crumbled blue cheese. The dressing can be used now or refrigerated. Before serving, take a spoonful of the dressing and pour it back into the bowl – it should run freely. If it is too thick, add additional buttermilk as necessary.
Makes about 2 cups. Dressing may be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 1 week.
Enjoy 🙂 Shown served with all natural Seneca Crisp Onions for a delightful crunch and added texture.