“I can’t change anyone’s mind about politics – but maybe I can change your mind about blue cheese,” I told my dear friend Sarah who invited my family over for lunch this week. I brought a kale salad and some blue cheese crackers, though Sarah initially professed she does not like blue cheese.
It’s impossible to count the number of times I’ve tried a food I am certain I don’t like in a different form and walked away from the experience with a new appreciation for that ingredient.
Olives. I’ll cook with olive oil all day long and enjoy the occasional tapenade, but please do not give me a whole olive. More power to the people who can pop them like grapes. I think they might be from another planet.
Eggplant. Non-meat eggplant balls are my preferred method for using these purple monster fruits. Aubergine marinara is a distant runner up.
Beets. I *still* haven’t found a way to enjoy beets, aka red dirt root, but I continue to try them. Golden varieties are only slightly less offensive to my tastebuds.
I was determined to show Sarah that with enough smoked paprika and butter, she would enjoy blue cheese alongside those ingredients.
“Wow. I don’t taste blue cheese. All I taste is cheese and deliciousness.”
I nearly did a victory lap around the kitchen, but the stove was on, so it wouldn’t have been safe. Instead, I just beamed.
Perhaps you’ll enjoy blue cheese under these circumstances. The recipe follows, and it’s a modified, larger batch of the original Blue Cheese Thins recipe by Cecilia of OneVanillaBean.com.
- 9 ounces blue cheese such as Stilton
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground smoked paprika, plus more for sprinkling
- one to two tablespoons of milk, if needed
- flaky sea (or kosher) salt, for sprinkling
- wax paper or plastic wrap
- baking sheets
- non-stick cooking spray or silicone baking mats
- cooling racks
- With an electric mixer, food processor outfitted with a dough blade, or fork/pastry blender (if you're looking for a workout), mix cheese, butter, flour, salt, and paprika until ingredients come together. Add milk as needed to get ingredients to come together in a ball.
- Lay out long, narrow sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper.
- Form dough into multiple foot-long cylinders approximately one-inch in diameter and wrap in plastic/wax sheets. Freeze for a couple of hours or until ready to bake.
- Heat oven to 350. Cover baking sheets with non-stick spray or silicone mats.
- On a cutting board, unwrap cheese cylinders and slice about 1/4-inch thick. Place cracker rounds on baking sheet with about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of space between them. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and a little salt.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crackers are slightly brown. They will not crisp up until they have cooled.
- Remove from oven. Cool baking sheets on racks for 5-10 minutes and then transfer crackers to cooling rack.
- Crackers will keep in an airtight container for several days, but they probably won't last that long. They truly put the "crack" in crackers.
What’s your favorite snack to take to a friend? Do you know of a non-disgusting way to enjoy beets? Share your feedback in the comments!