Happy New Year! Tho’, in truth, this is so good, and simple to toss together, that you could find yourself offering it to folk and proclaiming simply “Happy Tuesday!” or mebbe “Happy Pitch-In Dinner!” (one of my mom-in-law’s favorite gathering themes).
The nice folk at Kraft sent me this recipe in a holiday email, and called for using (only fairly), their cream cheese, blue cheese dressing, bacon, etc. I made a few tweaks to suit my own tastes, and was most well pleased by the results.
Blue Cheese Dressing:
•1/4 cup chopped shallot
•1 tsp garlic, minced
•2 tbsp lemon juice
•7 oz. Greek-style yogurt
•1/2 cup mayonnaise
•1 tbsp sour cream
•4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
•1/2 tsp Earl’s (or other hot sauce)
•1 tsp sea salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•3 tbsp fresh chives, minced
•8 oz. cream cheese, at room temp.
•1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
•1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce
•1 cup chopped deli chicken or turkey breast
•2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
•8 oz bacon
•Gateway to the North Maple Seasoning
•1 avocado, pitted and diced
First, make the blue cheese dressing by tumbling all the ingredients into a mixing bowl or your food processor, and stirring or pulsing to blend well, but still a bit on the chunky side.
Blend 1/4 cup with the softened cream cheese, spread in the bottom of a pie plate or quiche pan, and pop into the fridge to set for at least an hour. Consider the remaining blue cheese dressing as your reward for a job very well done, and stash it in a jar for use on salads or a dip.
Separate the bacon strips, arrange six or so at a time on paper towels on a ‘wave-safe platter, and season with the garlic powder and Gateway to the North. Cover with another paper towel and ‘wave for about 4-1/2 minutes, transfer to a paper towel lined plate to cool, and repeat with the remaining bacon. Chop and stash in the fridge until needed.
Note 1: I use uncured, nitrate and nitrite free bacon, and really prefer how it comes out seasoned as listed and cooked in the ‘wave; if you have a favorite bacon and/or cooking and seasoning method, by all means do that.
Note 2: I discovered this stoopidly tasty ‘bacon-ranch chicken breast’ in the deli department at my local Jewel and loved it! Take a taste tour of your local deli counter (most markets offer free samples) and see which turkey or chicken works best for you.
Add the chopped tomato, then the lettuce and the bacon.
Toss the prepared avocado in a bit of fresh lemon juice and arrange on top, then serve with crackers and/or bits of flat bread or pita, it’s all good.
The original Kraft recipe also called for adding chopped, hard-cooked egg and additional blue cheese layers, but, to be perfectly honest, I forgot about cooking the eggs, and, much as I love blue cheese, I really did not think this needed another bit o’ the blue.
Ermmm, neither did most of the folk gathered around our munchies table. This turned out to be one popular dip, and one I will be making again… soon!
Of course, I do have that leftover blue cheese dressing, and still a bit of lettuce, tomato, and bacon – mebbe it’s time for a salad!