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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blue Cheese, Red Wine and Walnut Dip

I'm going to tell you something that happened the other night that is completely out of character for me.  Are you ready?  I did not finish the bottle of wine. I know, super crazy! I'm not quite yet willing to admit my age is catching up with me; instead, lets focus on the positive effects of that action.

There was about a 1/3 cup of wine left in the bottle, not really enough for even a small glass of wine yet too small to save for a sauce. A small hunk of blue cheese and cream cheese offered the perfect opportunity, the red wine completely complements the tangy blue cheese. But it also needs another texture besides just creamy, this is where the walnuts come into play. Their earthiness marries the tangy bold flavors and gives chewiness to the dip

Should you find yourself in a situation where there is little wine left over, turn it into a quick dip and then remind yourself there is no shame in not finishing the full bottle. Plus, if you put a Fat and Happy spin on that - once you finish the dip, you will have essentially finished the bottle.

Tips and techniques: If you like a creamier, runnier dip, add 1 tablespoon of milk or cream. The recipe below fits into about a 1 cup ramekin. Double or triple the recipe for a larger party.

Blue Cheese, Red Wine and Walnut Dip

2 oz blue cheese
2 oz cream cheese
3 tbls red wine
1/3 cup walnuts
 fresh black pepper

Using a fork, mash together the blue cheese, the cream cheese, the red wine and a few turns of black pepper leaving it a little chunky rather than completely smooth to give the dip a little texture. Place in a oven-proof ramekin or serving bowl and crush the walnuts on top.

Bake about 15 minutes or until the dip is hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve with crackers.

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