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blue cheese and bacon dip

This is our friend Geeven.

No, not the little blondie on the motorcycle (which, by the way is as close as she’ll EVER get to driving one). The guy behind her. Geeven is one of our best pals. He’s cute. He’s funny. He’s got that bad-boy motorcycle thing goin’ on. And ladies, he’s single!

But that’s beside the point. The thing is, Geeven loves bacon. He thinks it should be considered a food group. He loves it so much, in fact, that every year his birthday is christened “Bacon Day.” Friends come from all over, make a bacon-related dish, and toast Geeven on another trip around the sun. This year the table was strewn with chocolate-covered bacon, bacon maple ice cream, chocolate bacon croissants, bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, spicy bacon bloody mary’s, and even bacon water. I wouldn’t recommend the last one.

When it comes to bacon dishes, I’m a bit of a traditionalist. I don’t think bacon should be where it doesn’t belong (i.e. in water), and I don’t ever want to sacrifice flavor for creativity. Call me crazy. So I opted to create a savory bacon dip with a hint of blue cheese.

To make it, you’ll need bacon, garlic, blue cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise.

Begin by slicing the bacon…

…and mincing the garlic.

Fry the bacon together with the garlic until crisp. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and let cool completely.

Toss the sour cream, mayo, blue cheese and bacon pieces into the bowl of your food processor. Reserve a few blue cheese and bacon crumbles for topping the dip.

Blend until smooth. It may take a few minutes to get most of the bacon chunks pureed. I doubt you’ll need salt, but a few grinds of pepper can’t hurt. Season to taste, puree again, and stick in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

Serve topped with a few crumbles of cheese and bacon. I like to serve dips this way—it gives guests a hint as to what’s in the dip so it’s not just some mystery bowl of goo.

For Bacon Day I served it alongside hunks of crusty sourdough bread, but veggies or crackers would also do nicely.

It certainly wasn’t the most creative dish at the party, but I think I’ve established a new entertaining staple. It’s rich, yes, but you could make it lighter by using low-fat sour cream, low-fat mayo and turkey bacon (just don’t tell Geeven).

Happy birthday, Geeves. May this year be filled with fun, good cheer, and lots and lots of bacon.

-RDG

Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip    printable pdf

Serve this savory dip alongside crusty bread, vegetables or crackers. It’s a must for your next party! 

Prep Time: 10 minutes. Cook Time: 10 minutes plus 1 hour of refrigeration. Yield: 1 1/2 cups of dip.

  • 3-4 slices bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/4 c mayonnaise (I like olive oil based mayo, but use whatever you prefer)
  • 2 oz crumbled blue cheese
  • pepper to taste (salt too if you like, but I find it doesn’t need it)
1. Slice the bacon into 1/2″ pieces. Mince the garlic. Fry bacon with garlic over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and let cool completely.
2. Add sour cream, mayonnaise, blue cheese and cooked bacon to the bowl of a food processor, reserving a few bacon and cheese crumbles for topping. Puree for 2-3 minutes, or until mostly smooth. Season with pepper (and/or salt) to taste. Refrigerate mixture for at least 1 hour before serving.
3. Serve chilled dip topped with reserved bacon and blue cheese crumbles.

 

buffalo fries

After a particularly greuling day full of doctors appointments and screaming children, Dave and I needed a respite. I couldn’t stand the thought of cooking and it was already late in the day, so we stopped in for happy hour at a local brewery. Lucy dug into a box of crayons, the baby napped, Dave spaced out to a baseball game on the bar television, and I sipped a very large, cold hefeweizen. It was just what the doctor ordered.

We picked a smattering of appetizers which included a plate of “buffalo fries”: soggy steak fries in a pool of buffalo sauce with some melted cheese on top. It was a dish that was much better in theory than in execution. And even though it was a pretty crappy appetizer, the thought of it stayed with me all week. I could make it better. Perfect, even.

And so can you. Grab a few yukon gold potatoes, a bunch of green onions, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, shredded jack, Johnny’s seasoning salt (or your favorite variety), buffalo sauce (I like Frank’s), and blue cheese dressing.

Begin by slicing the potatoes into wedges. You’re welcome to use regular old russet potatoes, but I find that for oven fries, yukon golds have a better texture and flavor.

Throw them in a bowl and toss with a little cooking oil.

Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with seasoning salt.

Roast in the oven until golden and crisp around the edges, roughly 15 minutes per side.

Next, find yourself an oven safe plate or platter that you’d like to serve the fries on. Carefully spread the hot fries onto it.

Drizzle with buffalo sauce…

…and top with the shredded jack and crumbled gorgonzola. Place under the broiler for a few minutes, just until the cheese is melted and starting to bubble.

Chop up the light green parts of the scallions…

…and sprinkle on top of the finished fries.

Of course you can’t serve anything “buffalo” without blue cheese dressing on the side.

Now these are buffalo fries done right. The potatoes are crisp and salty, the buffalo sauce adds heat, and the creaminess of the melted cheese tempers the spice. Make these for your next party and your friends will never leave.

I’m going to whip up a plate of these next time Dave and I need a break. Which is…pretty much always.

-RDG

Buffalo Fries printable pdf

Serves 4-5 as an appetizer. Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes

  • 3 large yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • seasoning salt
  • 1/3 c buffalo sauce
  • 1 c shredded jack cheese
  • 1/3 c crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 3 green onions
  • blue cheese dressing (optional, for dipping)

1. Preheat oven to 475F. Slice each potato in half lengthwise, then each half into 6 wedges. Place in a bowl and toss with cooking oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment or Silpat. Sprinkle with seasoning salt. Roast for 15 minutes, then turn fries, sprinkle with more seasoning salt, and roast for an additional 15 minutes.

2. Set oven to broil. Carefully place hot fries onto an oven safe platter. Drizzle with buffalo sauce, then sprinkle with cheeses. Broil until cheese is melted and just begins to bubble. Remove from oven.

3. Dice green onions and sprinkle over the top of the fries. Serve with blue cheese dressing on the side.