Monday, January 21, 2008

Port-Glazed Blue Cheese Appetizer

Oh, this is VERY good! We were requested to bring this last night to a Friend's dinner. What does it say about a person when their talent in the kitchen centers around appetizers and salads? Tell me, I want to know, that's me. I don't know, maybe it's because these food categories require little work. This is very easy, absolutely delicious (if you're a cheese lover - or not - some have become cheese lovers after tasting), and versatile at a casual or nicer gathering. Please try it, you'll be amazed how many people will want the recipe.

3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup ruby port
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 bay leaf
1 wedge of triple-creme blue cheese

1. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, port, pepper and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 mins. Discard bay leaf.

2. Simmer the syrup over low heat until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 mins.

3. Set blue cheese on a serving plate and drizzle cooled port reduction over cheese. Serve with wheat crackers. I like Big Wheat Thins - but a gourmet cracker would be nice at a fancier event.

*The key is a triple-creme blue cheese so it's creamy and spreadable. I use Castello which once tried you'll go to great lengths to find. It's at our local Trader Joes. A small wedge (pictured) is under $4. (Double-creme can be substituted)

*I use a lower priced ruby (not tawny) port since it will become a sweetened reduction.

*It can be made with walnuts which adds to a nice presentation. (My family prefers no nuts). Add walnuts halves or quarters to syrup in step 1. Coat well, drain with slotted spoon, and add to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees, stirring once, until nuts are mostly dry. Let cool. Sprinkle on top of glazed cheese.
postscript: I first tasted this recipe at a baby shower for DH's cousin. I believe his Aunt discovered the recipe in Food & Wine magazine.


Lisa said...

I can attest to how great this is! You cannot resist going back for more and more. The combined taste of the cheese and the port sauce is great. Seeing the picture makes me want to go out and get some, or go to The Grasshopper's house!!

TNS said...

Come on over! I have some of the port sauce left but I can run to Trader Joe's for the cheese.

The girls are loving the pictures of the kids. Kaye and Cee both said "she loves her babies" before they saw the line. Jae was a little starstruck seeing her cousins on the little screen. They keep asking me to go back to see if there are any new pictures.

Carolina Mama said...

Thanks for the recipe. I loved finding your blog and recipe. I am the middle of five. Some similarities. Blogging (well, and life ) it is a balance. I've been at it a while and am combining a few projects. Have fun and welcome from the opposite coast. :)

sequin said...

I'll have to try this recipe with the nuts - that sounds delicious! I'm sure if you try some other main dish recipes that you like, your family will rave about them too. (Maybe a sweet little meat loaf would be a great start!) Go ahead, step out of that comfort zone.