Category Archives: blue cheese

Food Matters Project #29: Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey

It’s another great recipe idea from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook.  This weeks Food Matters Project was chosen by Jessica.  Jessica’s blog is Cheese Please, check out her version of today’s dish- Cheddar Cheese and Almond Nut Balls.  Also see what other cheese recipes everyone else made: Cheese-Nut Balls.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s a little hectic and slightly stressful around here.  So upon reading Mr. Bittman’s recipe and seeing pear and blue cheese, I decided to take this in a completely different direction.  Yes, no cheese balls- more like a perfect cheese relaxation plate!

Sam stopped by our favorite cheese store- Cowgirl Creamery, and picked up a giant block of Colston Bassett Stilton.  We had some leftover apples from the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, as well as some local honey.

When was the last time you had bought yourself a nice block of cheese?  Not when guests come over to serve as an appetizer, but just for yourself to indulge and enjoy?  If you can’t remember the last time- then do this tomorrow.  You will not be disappointed.  This was a wonderful way to wind down after a hectic week.

I know there are some of you out there that don’t enjoy blue cheese.  If you’re one of them- definitely grab another type that you’d prefer.  Blue cheese does have specific taste- and this tangy flavor blended well with the sweet honey and crisp fall apples.


Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey
Inspired by: Cheese-Nut Balls from The Food Matters Cookbook (pg 56)

This is more of a suggestion, rather than a recipe.  The amount of apples, cheese, honey or walnuts are entirely up to you.  You can add/swap something else, just enjoy some amazing cheese (pears, crackers).

apples, cored & thinly sliced
Stilton or any variety of blue cheese
honey
walnuts (optional)

Pour a drop or two of honey onto a slice of apple.  First sprinkle cheese onto the apple slice, then top it off with some chopped walnuts.

Food Matters Project #11: Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza

This is a Food Matters Project week that we’ve both been waiting for!  Niki, from Salt & Pepper, chose a pizza recipe!  We love pizza, especially when we make our own- a perfect way to pile on what we’re craving!  Niki chose Mark Bittman’s No-Work Mostly Whole Wheat Pizza Dough.  The best part about this challenge is the variety of pizza toppings from everyone.  The Food Matters Cookbook does provide some suggestions- but I think many of us tried to take an original spin on it, check them out here.

Sam and I have made this pizza in the past, and wanted to share it with everyone.  We did make a small change, the type of cheese.  While browsing through the cheese section, I spotted Salemville’s Smokehaus Blue– an applewood smoked blue cheese.  Although we never tried it before, I figured it’d be great on this pizza.

If you’d like other pizza toppings, check out our mushroom and broccoli pizza!

Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza
The pizza dough was adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 533)
Toppings: A Fifth Floor Kitchen original

If you cannot find the smoked blue cheese, a great substitute would be a mild blue- such as gorgonzola.  Don’t hesitate to add more mozzarella, garlic or green apple to this pizza!  The pizza dough was delicious, crispy and chewy!

1 cup white flour
2 cups wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 packet of dry, activated yeast
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
7 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella, cut into thin slices and patted dry
4 ounces smoked blue cheese, crumbled
1 green apple, thinly sliced

Combine the flour, salt, yeast, and water in a large mixing bowel.  Stir well, the dough should be sticky and wet.  Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and let stand at room temp for at least 6 hours.

When the dough is done rising, preheat your oven to 500ºF.  Grease a large cookie sheet with about 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Using oily hands, transfer the dough to the cookie sheet and smush out into a roughly rectangular shape.

Coat the top of the dough with 1 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle evenly with garlic.  Bake it in the oven for 7-8 minutes, being careful not to let the garlic burn.

Remove the dough from the oven and add the mozzarella and apple slices.  Finally, sprinkle blue cheese on top.  Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, remove when the apple slices have wilted a bit and the cheese has melted.

Food Matters Project #4: Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs and Blue Cheese

I’ve had Mark Bittman’s book now for over a year, and I’m very upset I had not picked it up more often to find new and fun dishes.  As each week passes, I love this project since it’s a great way to go though a book.  And I love seeing what people pick out as their dish.

We’re in week four of the Food Matters Project.  This week’s host was Marcia and she chose a delicious dish- Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs and Blue Cheese.

Remember when I made the fig flatbread this past summer?  That was the day I fell in love with figs!  Once they’re in season, I might have to remake this dish- it was absolutely delicious.

Unfortunately, figs are not in season in DC at this time of the year.  So I used dried figs which I found at Whole Foods.  Although, you can use cranberries, dried cherries or any other dried fruit in this recipe.  It’ll all work well.

When making this dish, we used more brussels sprouts, and added mushrooms and onions.  We also didn’t bake the dish, but that is all preference.  This is definitely one you can impress all of your friends with, or enjoy it as an easy weeknight meal.

Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs and Blue Cheese
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg 221)

1 tsp + 1 tbsp salt
1 lb rigatoni
1 lb brussels sprouts, quartered
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 cups of cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
10 dried figs, sliced
6 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tsp salt.  Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook it for 10-15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Meanwhile, mix the brussels sprouts, garlic with the olive oil and 1 tbsp salt.  Bake this mix for 20 minutes, or until the brussels sprouts are tender in the middle.

Melt butter in a skillet.  Then add the mushrooms and onions.  Sauté the vegetables until the mushrooms and onions are soft.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it back into the pot.  Add in the figs and blue cheese, stir together so the cheese starts to melt.  Then add in the mushroom and onion mix.  Stir well before serving.