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In The Kitchen: Traveling Epicurean cooks up roasted blue cheese dressing with candied bacon

CT Style

Homemade salad dressing is simple to make and comes together in minutes. 

Traveling Epicurean Michel Vejar shows us a recipe for a summer pool party.

Roasted Blue Cheese Dressing Ingredients 

· 1/2 cup Creamy Italian Blue cheese (If using the food processor you can make with Danish or Maytag)

· 1/3 cup blue cheese extra for sprinkling on top of dressing when you plate the salads

· 2/3 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise 

· 2/3 cup sour cream

· 1 tablespoon olive oil

· 1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

· 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

· 1/2 teaspoon Siracha (Asian hot sauce you can find at local Stop & Shop with all “hot Sauces”)

· 1/2 teaspoon Coleman’s Dry Mustard

· 1/4 teaspoon salt each and finely ground pepper

· 3 tablespoon buttermilk or ½ 

· 2 heads Iceberg lettuce cut into 3-4” wedges

· 1 basket Cherry tomatoes sliced in ½

· 1 recipe Candied Bacon

· 1 recipe Homemade Garlic Crouton

· ¼ cup fresh chopped chives

Roasted Blue Cheese Dressing Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

2. Place blue vheese in a small baking dish and bake for 10 minutes, then cool slightly

3. Put warm roasted blue cheese and above ingredients into a large glass bowl and whisk until you get the desired smoothness

4. Arrange iceberg and tomatoes on a platter then pour dressing over the Iceberg wedges and top with fresh chopped chives, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, candied bacon and garlic croutons

Garlic Croutons Ingredients

· 1 large loaf Ciabatta approx.14-15 cups (use 1/2 stick butter and 3 tablespoon olive oil if you have 10 cup of bread cubes)

· 4 large garlic cloves put thru garlic press

· 1/4 cup olive oil

· 3/4 stick butter (salted) melted

· 4 teaspoon garlic granules (not powder) – sprinkle 2 teaspoon per cookie tray

· 1 teaspoon salt

· A couple dashes of your favorite hot sauce Siracha -you can find this with the other hot sauces at the super market

· 2 cookie trays

Garlic Croutons Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 400º

2. Slice bread into 3/4″ slices length wise

3. Then slice into 1/2″ squares

4. Melt 3/4 stick of butter 5. In a large mixing bowl whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, 3/4 stick melted butter, 4 garlic cloves thru garlic press, 1/2 teaspoon salt

6. Divide this mixture into 2 cookie trays spreading them evenly all over the tray

7. Divide up bread cubes onto the 2 cookie trays 8. Mix bread cubes to evenly coat using a pastry scraper or spatula

9. Push coated bread cubes out into even layer on cookie trays and sprinkle 2 teaspoon of garlic granules

10. Put into the oven for 12-15 minutes

11. IMPORTANT: they go quickly at the end so you really need to watch them so they don’t burn

12. If not using all the croutons put cooled garlic croutons into a Freezer Ziploc baggie

13. I usually keep them on the counter for a few days then throw them into the freezer to store and keep fresh

Candied Bacon Ingredients

· 10 Slices of good bacon (Oscar Myer or Boar’s Head)

· ¼ cup real maple syrup

· ¼ cup light brown sugar

· Cookie rack

· Cookie tray

· Parchment paper

Candied Bacon Directions

1. Place a full piece of parchment paper covering entire cookie tray

2. Lay cookie rack over tray

3. Lay 10 full bacon strips onto cookie rack and back for 10 minutes

4. Put out tray, flip bacon over, brush bacon strips with maple syrup and 1 teaspoon brown sugar sprinkled on top of each one

5. Put bacon back in oven for 10 minutes

6. Pull bacon out of oven and repeat step #4, then bake 8 more minutes more

7. Remove hot bacon strips to a plate covered with parchment and let cool 30 minutes

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