Friday, January 20, 2012

Rind of Bleu (a recipe)

Set to the tune of Bob Dylan's "Tombstone Blues"

"I am in the kitchen with the Tombstone Bleu"

I'm gonna level with ya, Braisers.  I'm not a fan of bleu cheese.  I've just never been able get beyond the dry/tart/sour/gym sock flavor that foodies seem to love paired with cranberries and walnuts and pears and people who liked your favorite band before they 'sold out.'

No, no.  Not my scene at all.  So bleu cheese and I just never hit it off.  

It wasn't until I went to a restaurant here in town some years back.  I had a friend working there and a cabbage and bleu cheese soup was suggested to me, as it was one of the specials.  I immediately made a face of someone who has clearly sat in something wet and warm and continued to look at the menu.  "No, no, no....just try it.  Tell ya what, let me get you a small bowl and you can have a taste...if you don't like it, no problem.  But it's really good!  Even if you don't like bleu cheese."

Ugh.  Fine.

You know how I feel about people that won't try new I tried the damn soup.  And you know what?  It was delicious!  The cabbage tamed the bleu and the creaminess brought it all together for me.  Add a couple bursts of caraway here and there and it was a delightful surprise.  My dinner companion, That Bitch (you remember her, right?) also enjoyed it a great deal.  We enjoyed the rest of our meal and had a lovely evening....but that soup was nagging at the back of my mind.  Where did it get the nerve of making me....and I can't believe I'm saying this.....enjoy bleu cheese?

Bastard soup.  What did it have up it's creamy, caraway-kissed sleeve? 

So I resolved then and there that I would no longer fear the dreaded foodstuff (I mean it's CHEESE after bad could it really be?).  Instead I would learn to make it myself and tweak it even further to see if I could get others to enjoy it as well. And that's what I did....I reproduced it as I remembered it tasting that night.

So now when someone says they don't like bleu cheese, I have a secret weapon.  I still think your favorite band sucks now, though.

Don't let the name fool you.  The soup is pretty bangin'.....even if you don't like bleu cheese or cabbage.  Just try it.  Don't be a pussy.

You're gonna need:
2 Tbl Butter
3-4 lightly packed cups of  Shredded Cabbage
2 Tbl Chicken Base
7 cups Heavy Cream
8-10 oz Bleu Cheese*
5 sprigs of fresh Thyme
Pinch of Caraway Seed
Salt & White Pepper to taste

*I used Maytag Bleu for this recipe, but just about any variety will do.  Beware different brands, and varieties will have different strengths.  It's all about taste, not about a recipe.

Step 1:  Melt butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pan.  Once the foam subsides, add cabbage.

What were looking for here, gang, is to sweat the cabbage, not brown it (although a little bit is ok).  So keep the heat pretty low, and stir a lot until the cabbage starts to release some liquid.  Keep tossing it around and cover the pot for a few minutes until the cabbage is completely soft.  

A quick word about the cabbage.  You can use pre-shredded or whole and shred it yourself. I've done both and either one works beautifully.

Step 2:  Pull the leaves off of all but two Thyme sprigs and add them (the leaves, jackass) along with the Chicken Base, & Caraway Seed.  

Stir it around a little, and then add your cream.

Step 3:  Turn up your flame slightly until the cream comes to a light don't want to go any more than a simmer on this or you run the risk of curdling, and overflowing.  And cook for about 10 mins after the simmer starts....we want to reduce slightly. Stir it occasionally...taste it.  Once the flavors impart themselves into the cream you're ready to add your bleu cheese.  I like to crumble mine in - and keep tasting as I go.  You can always add more...but it's pretty damn hard to take bleu cheese out of the soup once it's in there.  Plus adding it in increments makes the cheese melt a little faster.  Keep stirring until the cheese has all melted and you're good to go.  Lower the heat if it starts simmering again.  Taste it...season with salt and white pepper....add more bleu cheese if you's your life, you don't need me to run it for you.

Garnish with the Thyme sprigs and impress your friends and influence members of your family.

See ya next time, Braisers!


  1. Sounds wonderful. I live for blue cheese and this makes me wonder why I've never tried blue cheese soup. I'm going to have to make this, sometime soon.

    I had no idea you didn't like blue.

    1. Yeah...I regard bleu cheese the same way I regard anal sex: I don't care for it much as is, but in a soup, it's ok.

      Wait. What?

  2. So delicious.. and so rich!
    A few delicious spoonfuls to fill a hungry girl's belly, sir???

  3. I'm making this and having anal sex in it. What? It's Saturday night.