The bold flavor and rich textures that blue cheese adds to a dish is one of the reasons why this ingredient can make any appetizer appear stunning. The robust flavors of blue cheese often have hosts wondering what to serve alongside their appetizers that will not clash with what they are serving. When you offer anything with blue cheese to your guests, there are a lot of different wines that will add to the already dynamic flavoring. Surprisingly, dessert wines are a great pairing.
The salty tang of the cheese and the sweetness of the wine go hand in hand. A few great white wines to serve alongside are Muscat, Riesling, or Sauternes. Fortified wines such as Port or Sherry also make nice pairings. Hearty reds Syrah and Zinfandel stand up nicely against the brawny blue cheese flavor. If your blue cheese is made from goat’s milk, champagne and dry sparkling wine will go great served with it.
Blue Cheese Stuffed Endive
This recipe yields 18 servings with 2 filled leaves per serving. These can be made ahead, if needed, by covering the cheese mixture and chilling for up to 4 hours. One of the ingredients is toasted hazelnuts. To toast, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer in a shallow baking dish and bake for about 10 minutes or until toasted. Be sure to stir once while cooking. Place the warm nuts on a clean kitchen towel and rub the nuts with the towel to remove loose skins. For added presentation, nestle red Belgian endive leaves inside the regular leaves and spoon mixture into the leaves. This will add a bit of color to your treats.
What You Need:
- 1 8-ounce container of fat-free cream cheese
- ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
- ¼ cup green onions, finely chopped, or fresh chives
- 2 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons hazelnuts or walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
- 36 Belgian endive leaves, about 3 heads
How To Make It:
In a medium sized bowl, combine cheeses, green onions/chives, nuts, and bacon.
Spoon 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture into each endive leaf.
Serve as desired
Mushrooms Filled With Ham And Blue Cheese
This is a spin on the traditional stuffed mushrooms and also a great way to use leftover ham from the holidays. This recipe yields 24 mushrooms. If you would like to prepare this recipe ahead of time, simply combine the ham mixture and spoon into mushrooms. Place the mushrooms in a single layer on a baking sheet, cover and chill for up to 12 hours.
What You Need:
- 24 large fresh mushrooms, each about 2 inches in diameter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup cooked ham, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
How To Make It:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Wash and drain mushrooms; pat dry with paper towels. Remove stems and reserve for another use. Lightly brush rounded sides of the mushroom caps with the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place mushroom caps, cavity side up, in a shallow baking pan and set aside.
In a bowl, combine ham, blue cheese, parsley, bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons olive oil, cayenne pepper, and garlic. Spoon the mixture into mushroom caps.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and filling is hot.
Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network, a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.org/
Article Source: EzineArticles.com