Coming in the next few days are some recipes for chicken wings. Now, for many of us, the wings are incidental. It’s the dip that matters. And for many of us, the “dip” has to be cheesy. Thing is, blue cheese dips are often, shall we say, harsh. They have a bite that could wake the dead. And if you survive that taste overload, the salt content can drive you to an IV to save your life. What the world needs is a good, a great blue cheese dip that does not shock your taste buds or dehydrate you.
And here it is. From Wings Across America by Armand Vanderstichel, this recipe has some terrific features. First of all, it is subtle, not shocking in taste. It’s so smooth that you’ll find many uses for it beyond chicken wings: chips, veggies, even a salad. It’s a multi-purpose dip that you can create in just moments.
This dip uses sour cream, mayonnaise, and buttermilk. It’s a balanced combination that gives you a smooth base, with a hint of sourness, but is still gentle on your tongue.
Of course, this recipe is totally amenable to your personal tastes. You can add more buttermilk, toss in some onion, some hot sauce, chili powder, … Do yourself a favor though and first make this according to the recipe. You’ll fall in love and perhaps have a partner for life. And, in the end, that’s what we all want, right? [I did not put this last sentence in just to please my wife. Things are going well.]
In Wings Across America, this is called a Roquefort Dip because Armand suggests using Roquefort cheese. I’m a blue man so I substituted Saga Blue and the result was excellent.
Smooth Blue Cheese Dip
Yield: 2 cups
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove, mince
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients. Mix well. Refrigerate. Serve with pride.
Source: Wings Across America by Armand Vanderstichel
Now, there’s no easy way to say this. Biscuits should taste like God made them. And for that, you cannot unroll some package from the refrigerator section of your supermarket. God does not live next to the whipping cream. Neither does he live next to the yellow box of “all-in-one-mix-for-biscuits-waffles-or-pancakes.” No, if God spends a night in the supermarket it’s next to the best flour He can find.
Biscuits are a Southern tradition because they have flour there, such as White Lily, that yields astronomically, gastronomically wonderful biscuits. If you live north of the Mason-Dixon Line, it’s not easy to get a great biscuit flour.
And that is why this recipe, from the new Sarabeth’s Bakery by Sarabeth Levine, is so important. Using standard north-of-the-Mason-Dixon-Line-flour, this recipe produces that light, tender biscuit that you could only experience way, way down South. The secret here is buttermilk plus very careful instructions. It’s actually an easy recipe to do and the yield is, well, life changing. You won’t be satisfied with “regular” biscuits again. Not when these addicting, light, fluffy, subtle pillows of flavor are so simple to prepare.
For a football party, a batch these is a wonderful starting point. People can enjoy them with butter and jam, or you can top them with ham and cheese, or … You get the idea: these are wonderful on their own and the perfect launching pad for your imagination.
Yield: 16 biscuits
- 3 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together into the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit with the paddle attachment. Add the butter. Mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size pieces of butter. Add the buttermilk, mixing just until the dough barely comes together.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until the dough is smooth. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and roll out a little more than ¾ inch thick. Using a 2 ¼-inch fluted biscuit cutter, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts, cut out the biscuits and place 1 inch apart on the pan. Gently press the scraps together (do not overhandle the dough). Repeat rolling and cutting.
Bake until the biscuits are well risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve hot or way. To reheat the biscuits, wrap them in aluminum foil in bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
Suzen made these and meticulously followed the recipe. That “1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder” was done precisely that way. No rounding off to an even 2 tablespoons. Sarabeth Levine has one of the outstanding bakeries and restaurants in New York City. With her years of experience, you can trust that she has perfected this recipe down to that last teaspoon.
Source: Sarabeth’s Bakery by Sarabeth Levine