If I had to choose my last meal it would be quality crispy wings (Crispy on the outside with perfectly cooked juicy meat under the skin, but this is a whole different blog post) with The Ultimate Blue Cheese dressing, great beer, and good friends.
That is how much I love good wings with good blue cheese. But all too often I get wings and they suck. They are too small, they are over cooked, they are undercooked, they are swimming in some kind of sugary sauce and the blue cheese is straight out of a gallon tub and I am lucky if I find a speck of blue in it. I wouldn’t offer that to my worst enemy for a last meal.
I have found, in my 38 years on this planet, that if I want something right I am best off to do it myself. And so, I came up with the blue cheese dressing of my dreams. There are many variation of this dressing depending on what ingredients you can get your hands on, but one thing remains constant… If you want The Ultimate Blue Cheese Dressing you have to use the Ultimate Quality Ingredients.
Quality Blue Cheese: The stronger and the more blue the better. Cheap blue cheese is just that, cheap. I love Celebrity Dairy Blue Streak made with goat cheese. You want cheese that is stinky, creamy, and rich with a dark blue streak throughout the entire block.
Hellmann’s Mayonnaise: Not Dukes, Not Miracle Whip, not some knock off brand… Hellmann’s Mayo. The only exception to this is if you make you own mayo, but I have not even attempted to make homemade mayo because I love Hellmann’s that much.
Buttermilk: It has to be full fat buttermilk or don’t bother making this recipe. You can make your own buttermilk at home with a cup of full fat milk and a tablespoon of vinegar. Let that sit for 5 minutes and you have a perfect substitute for buttermilk. I use raw Guernsey gold milk that comes straight from our cows. I understand most people don’t have this luxury. It is important to keep in mind two things when choosing your milk: 1. Quality of the milk. If you can get your hands on Jersey or Guernsy milk use that. Color breed milk is higher in butter fat, higher in protein which makes it much creamier. Not to mention, most color breeds are A2A2 which mean their milk has a protein present that makes it easier to digest (again a good topic for a later blog post). 2. Whole Full Fat Milk: If you can not get Jersey or Guernsey milk make sure you are getting whole full fat milk and not that 2% crap. Full fat milk is said to be better for you anyway and will add the creaminess you are looking for in your dressing.
Cracked Pepper: Fresh cracked pepper is crucial for this dressing. It is fresh and bursting with the pepper flavor that compliments the saltiness of the blue cheese. Already ground pepper does not have the texture and flavor and will leave your blue cheese on the dull side.
Fresh Garlic: Summertime is the perfect time of year to get fresh garlic from your local farmer at your local farmers market. I get mine from Granite Springs Farm in Pittsboro, NC. If you can’t find a farmer in the summer who is growing garlic you are not looking hard enough so look harder. If you still can’t find local garlic, as long as you get whole garlic from grocery store and NOT the minced garlic in a jar you will be just fine. Stay away from minced garlic in this recipe and all recipes. The stuff is just gross.
Five simple ingredients is all it takes to make The Ultimate Blue Cheese Dressing.
I use my Vitamix to blend my ingredients together but you can use any food processor, bullet or other kitchen tool that blends homemade concoctions.
Add half your blue cheese, 2 cups of mayo, 1 cup of buttermilk, a lot of cracked pepper, and 2-4 fresh garlic cloves. Blend on high until your dressing is smooth and creamy. Use the mayo and buttermilk to get to the creaminess you desire (for example, I like my blue cheese to be thick for my wings but a little thinner for my salad so I make the first blend through thick then I add a little more buttermilk and blend it for a thinner dressing for my salads). At the end crumble the other half of your blue cheese into the creamy dressing so you have lots of delicious of blue cheese in every bit. Finish it will several more cracks of pepper.
This Ultimate Blue Cheese Dressing goes great with Lilly Den Farm chicken, beef, and veal. Believe me, you try this recipe and you will not be disappointed.
If you are in or around the Piedmont you can find us any morning on the farm doing chores, in Pittsboro every Thursday at the Pittsboro Farmers’ Market from 3:00-6:00, every Saturday at the Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro, and Wednesday from April-Sept at the Pinehurst Sandhills Farmers’ Market from 3-6. You can also check out our products on the website.