Risk and Reward

If I had a personal assistant, I would tell her to go ahead and file this Creamy Blue Cheese Chile Dip under “Things the Boss Shouldn’t Like but For Some Reason Does.”

I’d also tell her to hold all my calls because my mouth would be too full of the stuff to yell at people over the phone. That is, if there was somebody that needed yelling at over the phone. If I was big and important I bet I could come up with someone that needed berating.

Anyway.

The words creamy and blue cheese are not ones you’ll come across very often in the Encyclopedia of Stuff I Like To Eat. In fact, based on history of eating that goes back nearly 30 years, these two words should never appear together in my world in any way, shape or form.

Until now. I’ll get my personal assistant on the task of alerting the media. I can see the headlines now: Erin Makes and Eats a White and Creamy Dip. Family Stunned.

Creamy foods and dips have almost always turned me off. There are a few exceptions, but they are rare. And blue cheese? Never been one of my favorites. But, I gotta say, trying things you’re not sure you’re going to like it is kind of fun. It’s like being back in the grade school cafeteria and having a friend dare you to mash up everything on your lunch tray and eat it in exchange for a dollar. It’s a risk/reward situation. The risk is relatively small. What’s the worst that could happen? It tastes horrible, you spit it out and you eat something else. The possible reward is great! A whole dollar! Oh, and for us grown ups, the expansion of our foodie horizons. Which beats the crap out of a dollar. So…take that, kids! 😉

I recently came across this recipe for filets topped with a sauce made from cream cheese, blue cheese and jalapeno. For some reason, even though it goes against every fiber of my foodie belief system, I decided I just had to try it.

It was so good. Like seriously good. Something about the tangy kick of blue cheese and subtle hint of heat from the chile pepper made for an amazing topping for steak. I didn’t photograph it because lumpy white cheese sauce on top of hunk of meat is kind of….ew-looking. But when I found myself scooping up what was left of the sauce (I made all of the sauce even though we only cooked two steaks) with crunchy veggie dippers, I thought I just might be on to something.

So I just turned right around and changed that steak topping into a veggie dip. I sure did. It couldn’t be easier, it’s a fantastic out-of-the-ordinary replacement for your standard ranch dip (which I totally loathe anyway), and it makes vegetables taste like candy! Well…not candy. But still, good. It makes vegetables taste good.

It makes sense for the steak topping to be a cream cheese base as you need something sturdy that’s going to hold up after being plopped on top of a hot off the grill piece of meat. When it comes to dipping veggies, not only is cream cheese a little stiff and hard to dip, it’s also pretty high in fat. A substitution was in order…

Greek yogurt! Cool, creamy, tangy AND fat free. Whoop! I just took all the ingredients in the steak topping, mixed them into Greek yogurt, chilled it in the fridge so flavors could marry and called it delicious. The rich tang of the blue cheese plus the heat of the jalapeno is reminiscent of  the flavor of the ever popular buffalo wing – just without the greasy, fried chicken pieces. I wish I had some celery on hand this week for the dip because then it would have totally been a wing-like experience. Either way, after making this dip, I didn’t miss the wings OR the hunk of red meat underneath it. 🙂

CREAMY BLUE CHEESE CHILE DIP (Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit, April 2005 via Epicurious)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely crumbled blue cheese (about 1 ounce)
  • 1 small red or green jalapeno chile, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon very finely minced shallot or red onion
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Additional minced parsley or chopped chives, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Mix first six ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill at least two hours before serving. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with garnish, if desired. Serve with the crunchy raw veggies of your choice or toasted pita chips. Makes about 1 cup.

ENJOY! 🙂

One Year Ago: Cherry Berry Crumble Pie
Three Years Ago: Dijon Garlic Glazed Shrimp

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3 Comments

Filed under appetizers, veggies

3 responses to “Risk and Reward

  1. Oh yum!! Another recipe to add to my list for when I get home!

  2. This looks so good! I’d love to dip veggies in it, but I’m sure the hubs would rather have chicken wings.

  3. Emily McQ.

    family stunned, indeed!

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