Friday, December 31, 2010

Bacon and Blue Cheese Dip for New Year's

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!


LaDivaCucina said...

Bacon and blue cheese?! Da-yum! You did good, Eggy! I just sent a huge platter of stone crabs over to Boxers place, so enjoy! Off to make some apps for our sunset cocktails on the beach with friends, see you later! xo

The Glamorous Gourmet said...

OMG that dip sounds amazing! Sounds like you will have quite a celebration & enjoy those stone crabs LaDivaCucuina sent - that is what we are having tonight! Happy New Year to you - Cheers!

Jenny said...

I'll be back later and for brunch too. Thanks for hosting the "after party"... you'll get everyone hung over and cranky!!

Happy New Year!

moi said...

Bacon and blue cheese has got to be the most inspired combo EVER! Gah. I'm going to have to run around the block eleventy million times on Sunday to burn all this off. But, for now? I EAT!

Enjoy your NYE Soiree, travel safely, and we'll see you in the morning for brunch!

Sharon Rudd said...

Thanks all for commenting and a very Happy New Year to everyone! I've got to high-tail it down to the river now, but you don't want to miss my New Year's brunch post coming up at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow. Will try to check in with everyone when I can!

Love, eggy

Buzz Kill said...

The gift that keeps on giving all year long. So you get a new ingredient every month? You might be able to work that into a challenge. Cream cheese, half and half and blue cheese is...a lot of dairy. Definitely a holiday dish.

Happy New Year!

fishy said...

Blowfish would like to come live with you.
Bacon AND bleu cheese? His dream come true!
Happy New Year, looking forward to the brunch.

Jenny said...

Happy New Year Eggy! I'll be back in the mornig for brunch!

Sharon Rudd said...

Woo-hoo! I'm back from dinner and blogging in my jammies! Many thanks to young Nicholas for taking such good care of us at Andouille's and to Lagniappe for the fine music.

Now I'm off to see what all fun and games the rest of you are up to . . .

moi said...

Helllooooooooo! Back from dinner, too, and about to make the rounds. What did you eat, Eggy?

Sharon Rudd said...

Welcome home, Moi! Had some mighty fine fried okra, the house spinach-bacon salad, and split an order of penne with gorgonzola-spinach sauce. Mmmmmm.

Tried not to overdo, since there will be plenty for brunch tomorrow - both on my blog and at the river :)

Sharon Rudd said...

Happy New Year to all! And I'll have brunch ready for everyone at 8:00. Feel free to stumble on over on whatever schedule suits you.

Love, eggy

chickory said...

Yum EGGY - i was hoping there was some left. delish.


Jenny said...

The party ends at 12:00 Noon EST so expect the rush just after that. Sorry for the confusions!

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