Boxer is honchoing a great virtual New Year’s party, with lots of folks joining in and lots of funds being raised for local charities. Moi is handling the food for this soiree, and a fine spread of Catalan food she’s offering up!
I wanted to share an appetizer with the gang, too, so here’s my Warm Bacon, Blue Cheese and Garlic Dip.
Perhaps this would have been more fitting for Moi’s Spanish-influenced table if I’d used Cabrales. But I made my most recent batch with Maytag blue cheese I received from my sister as part of her Christmas present to me – an Ingredient of the Month Club!
Warm Blue Cheese, Bacon and Garlic Dip
7 slices bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup half and half
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup) - a wedge of Maytag blue is just the right amount
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons chopped smoked almonds (1 ounce) - the jalapeno-flavored ones add extra zing!
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until almost crisp, about 7
minutes. Drain excess fat from skillet. Add garlic and cook until bacon is
crisp, about 3 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add half and half
and mix until combined. Stir in bacon mixture, blue cheese, and chives. Transfer
to a 2-cup ovenproof serving dish and cover with foil. Bake until thoroughly
heated, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped almonds. Serve with sliced
apples, toasted pita crisps or French bread.
NOTE: May be prepared 1 day in advance. Refrigerate or freeze. Bring to room
temperature before baking. As I learned this Christmas, you can also heat this in the microwave (if, say, you don't have a working oven).
I especially like to serve it with sliced apples, and this time around I had some fine bread from local Blue Oven Bakery as well.
The vodka fountain is up and running over at Boxer's, so check out the festivities over there, as well as what the rest of the gang is doing. Boxer is donating 50 cents per comment at her place to a local charity, and as I mentioned in my original post, I will also donate 50 cents per comment left on my blog during the same time frame to a local charity of my own choosing: the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank. Plus, if you’re not already a friend of Boxer’s and leave a comment at her place saying “Eggy sent me,” I’ll pony up 50 cents for each of those comments as well.
Wishing I could stick around and blog with all of you tonight in my jammies. But I'm headed to the river this weekend. Cindie and I are headed to dinner at Anna Ree's Andouille for some fine cajun food and some great tunes from Lagniappe, Cincinnati's only Cajun/New Orleans jazz/gypsy band. Here's a clip of them playing at Andouille in warmer days.
Stay warm and party on, people! And don't forget to stop back here Saturday morning for New Year's brunch!