Tag Archives: blue cheese

Steakhouse Burger

Everything that is good and right in the world in the soft embrace of two buns.

This shining example of burger perfection has all the best qualities of an old school steak house meal. Bacon and blue cheese a la wedge salad? Check. Marbled beef seasoned and cooked to perfection? Check. Just enough vegetables to make you feel slightly healthy? Check. Shake up a dirty martini, grab a napkin and go to town.

Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Large Mixing Bowl, Small Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Wooden Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Montepuciano D’Abruzzo

Suggested Beer Pairing: Brown Ales and Porters are our preference for this one, but you have to really try to make a bad beer pairing with a burger.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (we recommend an 80/20 mix) ($3.99/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 medium shallot ($2.99/lb)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 lb. crimini or bably bella mushrooms ($2.99/lb)
  • 8 strips thick cut applewood smoked bacon ($7.99/lb)
  • 8 oz blue cheese (we used an Italian blue, verde capra)($8.99/lb)
  • 2 TBSP Montreal steak seasoning ($about $3.99/3 oz jar)
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($8.99/32 oz)
  • 3 TBSP balsamic vinegar ($8.99/32 oz)
  • 2 TBSP honey ($4.39/12 oz)
  • 4 hamburger buns ($3.19/8 pack)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Peel and mince the garlic; peel and quarter your onion, then cut into thin slices. Brush off the crimini mushrooms with a wet paper towel to remove any excess dirt. Slice those puppies into thin strips too and mix in with the onions and garlic.

Slice the mushrooms thinly so they cook down easier and caramelize nicely.

  • Place your frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Throw in your veggies, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and stir thoroughly to coat with the oil. Cook everything down for about 5 minutes then drizzle the balsamic vinegar and  honey over the whole lot and cook until caramelized, stirring occasionally (about 10 more minutes). Place in a bowl and set aside.

Add some bee juice to even things out and complement the sharpness of the blue cheese.

  • In a large mixing bowl add the beef, grate in the shallot, add the steak seasoning, a healthy pinch of salt and pepper and mix it together with your hands. Do it until the spices and shallot are well incorporated but don’t overwork the meat, it’ll get gummy and will give your burger a weird texture.

Either grate or mince the shallot so it incorporates easily with the beef.

  • Take the beef and divide into quarters. Form the patties in the palms of your hands; use your thumb to put a divot in the center so your burger doesn’t bulge when it’s cooked. Set the patties aside on a plate.
  • Place your veggie frying pan back over medium heat and add your bacon. Don’t overcrowd it, cook the bacon in batches until crisp and set it aside on paper towels to drain. Leave the bacon fat in the pan.
  • Keep your frying pan over medium heat. If the bottom isn’t evenly coated in bacon fat add a little olive oil and plunk down your hamburger patties. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side for medium; whatever your doneness preference, only flip the burgers once. When cooked to your liking remove from heat and let the patties sit for a couple minutes. Take this chance to toast the buns a bit in the frying pan to soak up all the remaining burgerness.

Like steak, you only want to flip your burgers once to avoid uneven, overcooking.

  • Pop the beef on top of the bun and add a thick layer of blue cheese. We like using an Italian blue, verde capra, for this one because it gets creamy and almost sauce-like when it melts. You can find it in most specialty grocery stores or cheese shops but regular blue cheese will work just as well.
  • Pile on a good amount of mushrooms and onions and top it with a couple of strips of bacon, broken in half to fit easier. If you’ve made it this long without stuffing your face, put the top bun on so the burger’s easier to hold and dig in.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

The Brothers Brown: Bringing you innovative ways to get your buffalo-wing fix since 2009.

Fact: we love buffalo wings. Fact: meatballs are also delicious. Enter the buffalo chicken meatball, a self-contained flavor bomb of Frank’s Red Hot and blue cheese. We threw together a carrot yogurt dipping sauce just to up the interesting quotient but rest assured these are great on their own and take just as long to make as you’d spend waiting for delivery. Get to it.

Equipment Needed: Large Mixing Bowl, Baking Pan, Cheese Grater or Microplane, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Blender

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: This is a tough pairing so you’re better off just drinking whatever you prefer (as if you listen to our pairing advice anyway)

Suggested Beer Pairing: Beer (although we’d avoid sweeter options like dubbels or barleywines)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground chicken breast ($4.99/lb)
  • 2 carrots ($1.99/lb)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1/3 C grated onion (about 1/2 a small onion) ($0.99/lb)
  • 1/4 lb blue cheese ($7.99/lb)
  • 1/2 C panko breadcrumbs (we actually found a tasty chipotle-seasoned style)($2.99/12 oz)
  • 1 egg ($2.79/dozen)
  • 1/4-1/2 C Frank’s Red Hot sauce ($2.89/12 oz)
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/32 oz)
  • 1 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt ($3.59/16 oz)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 2 TSP honey ($4.39/12 oz)
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Meatball Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • In the large mixing bowl add your ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg and hot sauce. Grate in about half of a small onion then mince your garlic and toss it in the mix.

Add an egg to help bind things together.

Frank's Red Hot. 'Nuff said.

  • Crumble in your blue cheese, roll up your sleeves and get in there with your hands to mix everything together. Chicken is a lot stickier than other ground meats so it’s imperative that you don’t overwork it or you’ll never be able to get it off your fingers.
  • Coat the bottom of your baking pan with extra virgin olive oil. You won’t be able to roll these like turkey or beef meatballs so just grab a glob about the size of a golf ball and form it by cupping your hands together. Place the meatballs in the pan evenly spaced with some room to breathe. Pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the juice from the meatballs runs clear. Let them cool for a couple minutes then go to town.

Carrot Yogurt Dip Preparation:

  • Scoop the yogurt into your blender and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.
  • Add the honey and a couple solid pinches of salt and pepper. Using the finest setting on your grating implement of choice, shred the carrots into the blender and puree the whole lot until smooth.

Shred the carrots finely for easier blending.

Chicken Tender Trio

That empty feeling you've been wrestling with? That's all behind you now.

Another game day favorite relies on some culinary short cuts to keep your hunger in check and you out of the kitchen. Thomas’ infamous faux-wings bring us fondly back  to our Wings Over Ithaca days (or late nights  more accurately). Nothing beats a good chicken finger and with a few well-doctored sauces you get to customize your favorite flavors in the same time you’d spend waiting for delivery.

Equipment Needed: Baking Sheet, Aluminum Foil, 4 Small Mixing Bowls, Fork,  Spoon, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Beer.

Suggested Beer Pairing: Whatever’s cold.

Ingredients:

  • 3-1.5 lb bags of breaded chicken tenders ($9.99/bag)
  • 5 oz blue cheese ($6.99/lb)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 1 C mayonnaise ($3.99/15 oz)
  • 2 C BBQ sauce (about $4/18 oz)
  • 2 TBSP Cajun seasoning (about $3/2.5 oz)
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar ($1.99/32 oz)
  • 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar, divided ($2.79/32 oz)
  • 2 TBSP low-fat sour cream, divided ($2.79/16 oz)
  • 2/3 C yellow mustard ($1.99/8 oz)
  • 1/4 C honey ($4/12 oz)
  • 1 C low-fat buttermilk ($2.19/QT)
  • 1 C Frank’s Red Hot ($2.89/12 oz)
  • 5 TBSP unsalted butter ($4.99/lb)
  • 1/2 TSP garlic powder ($1.99/2.5 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Chicken Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven per the cooking instructions on the chicken tenders. Taking your foil, create 3 distinct sections on the baking sheet with sides high enough to keep the sauces from mixing.
  • Put even amounts of chicken in each section and cook for the minimum time recommended (usually 15-20 minutes). Once cooked, cover with the sauces listed below or get crazy and create your own. Pop those saucy suckers back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Serve with any desired dippers.

Pop the tenders back in the oven once their sauced to finish things off nicely.

Cajun BBQ Sauce Preparation:

  • Combine 2 C of your favorite BBQ sauce with 2 TBSP Cajun seasoning, 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar and 1 TBSP sour cream. Stir until thoroughly mixed.

Try different sauce and spice combinations to create new favorites

Honey Mustard Sauce Preparation:

  • Combine 1 C mayo, 2/3 C mustard, 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar, 1/4 C honey, and 1 TBSP fresh ground pepper. Stir thoroughly.

Keep things sweet with a liberal dose of bee juice.

Buffalo Sauce Preparation:

  • Microwave 5 TBSP butter and stir in 1 C Frank’s Red Hot and 1 TBSP sour cream. Mix thoroughly.

Were it socially acceptable, we would bathe in this.

Blue Cheese Dressing Preparation:

  • Combine 1 C sour cream, 1 C buttermilk, 5 oz blue cheese, 3 TBSP white vinegar, 1-2 TBSP lemon juice, 1 TBSP fresh ground pepper, 1/2 TSP garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Whisk briskly and adjust the flavors to taste.

Buttermilk is all that is good and right with this dressing.

Oh, right, there's blue cheese. That's pretty good and right too.

(Sort of) German Potato Salad

A blitzkrieg for your taste buds.

Purists will be mad at us for the liberties we took with this traditional dish but they’re boring people anyway. Once again we’ve scientifically  proven that caramelized onions and blue cheese can make anything better. Impress your friends and make new ones with this sure winner at your next BBQ.

Equipment Needed: 8 QT Pot, Frying Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Serving Bowl or Baking Pan, Fork

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 8

Suggested Wine Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Suggested Beer Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lbs potatoes ($0.99/lb)
  • 2 large onions ($0.99/lb)
  • 8 strips bacon ($6/lb)
  • 1/2 C white vinegar ($1.99/32 oz)
  • 1/4 stick butter ($4.99/lb)
  • 4 TBSP honey ($4.25/12 oz)
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar ($6/17 oz bottle)
  • 8 oz. blue cheese (about $7/lb)
  • Garlic powder (about $2/2.5 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Wash and remove the eyes from your potatoes. Leave the skin on and quarter each potato.

 

Cut them taters.

  • Toss the spuds in your pot, cover with water, put on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Once the potatoes are boiling, cook for about 25-30 minutes until you can easily slide a fork into them.
  • While the potatoes are cooking put your frying pan over low heat. Cut the onions into quarters and then into thin slices cross-wise. Put the butter in the skillet and add the onions and a healthy dose of salt and pepper. After about 5 minutes of cooking add the honey and balsamic vinegar. Stir and cook over low heat for another 15 minutes or so.

Sweeten the deal with some honey.

  • Once the onions are soft and tasty set them aside and, using the same frying pan, turn the heat to medium and cook and drain your bacon.

No way! A picture of bacon? On this blog?

  • Drain the potatoes and let them cool for about 15 minutes; you want them firm so you can cut them easily and they still retain their shape.
  • As the taters are cooling, cut your bacon into thin pieces and toss with the onions. Then proceed to cut your kartoffeln (that’s German for potato, natch) into about 1/2 inch chunks. Toss with the white vinegar, bacon, onions and just a dash of garlic powder. Stir in the blue cheese and serve warm. Bonus points for heating it up a bit in the oven so the cheese softens. Guten appetit!

Buffalo Chicken Mac ‘n Cheese

That popping sound is your mind being blown all over your face.

Normally we’d try to think of some witty intro but we’ll just let this one speak for itself. This dish is stupid-good.

Equipment Needed: 3 QT Pot, Frying Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, 13 x 9 Baking Pan, additional baking pan (just needs to be able to hold 3 chicken breasts), Mixing Bowl, Cheese Grater, Wooden Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6-8

Suggested Wine Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking. There are so many different flavors, this one’s a personal call.

Suggested Beer Pairing: See above (we had it with a delicious spring ale)

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts ($4.99/lb)
  • 1 lb fusilli (a.k.a. rotini or spiral) pasta $.99/lb)
  • 8 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese ($3/8 oz)
  • 11 slices of American cheese ($3/16 slices)
  • 6-8oz. blue cheese (about $7/lb)
  • 3/4 C breadcrumbs ($2.99/24 oz package) (use either Italian seasoned or panko)
  • 1/4 C flour ($3.39/5 lbs)
  • 1 egg ($1.99/dozen)
  • 3 C skim milk ($.99/quart)
  • Frank’s Red Hot ($2.89/12 oz bottle)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and take your cheese out of the fridge (if it’s room temperature it will melt easier).
  • Wash and trim the chicken breasts. Cut them into thin, 1/2 inch strips. Continue to cut each strip down until you’ve got thin little chunks (about 1/2 inch long and 1/4 inch wide).

Slice the chicken into bite sized pieces.

  • Put the chicken pieces in a bowl and toss with your flour and a couple pinches of salt. Once evenly coated, separate and egg and pour the white into the bowl with your chicken pieces. Mix it all together and make sure every piece is coated as evenly as possible.
  • Add the bread crumbs, toss to coat evenly (you’re gonna end up using your hands, deal with it) and pour the pieces into your second pan (the non 13 x 9). Put in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once at 15 minutes.

Get in there for the good stuff.

  • About 15 minutes in, fill your pot about 3/4 full with water and put it on the stove to boil. Once it’s boiling, add your pasta and cook for approximately 5-8 minutes.
  • Put the frying pan over low heat and pour in your milk. Once it starts to heat up, add small chunks of American cheese about 2 slices at a time, along with grated cheddar. Stir everything together until the cheese has melted and repeat until you’re out.

It's the American way.

Cheddar makes it better.

  • Drain the pasta and pour into the 13 x 9 baking pan, pour the cheese mixture over top and stir together.

The most beautiful cheesefall you'll ever see.

  • Once the chicken has finished baking, pour it into a mixing bowl and toss with Frank’s Red Hot (no substitutions with this one, we mean it) until each piece is coated. Mix the chicken in with the pasta and cheese.

Coat each piece with this liquid gold.

Like joining two halves of a magical taste amulet.

  • Top the whole mess with blue cheese crumbles and place in the 350°F oven for 15. Serve and be prepared for spontaneous marriage proposals.

Double Stuffed Dates

This bowl was empty within 5 minutes of the picture being taken. We wish we were kidding.

Do you often find yourself thinking, man, I don’t eat enough prosciutto? Well call us enablers ’cause you’re about to get your fix. This time we’re wrapping dates stuffed with the can’t miss combo of blue cheese and walnuts. Yeah, we’re twitching with anticipation too. You’re welcome.

Equipment Needed: Paring Knife, Cutting Board, Baking Sheet, Basting Brush, Bowl, Oven

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6ish

Suggested Wine Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Suggested Beer Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Ingredients:

  • 1 4 oz package of prosciutto ($5.99)
  • about 20 dried dates (about $5/8 oz)
  • 6 oz blue cheese crumbles (about $7/lb)
  • 1/2 C walnuts (about $8.99/bag)
  • Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup ($8.99/16 oz bottle)

Preparation

  • Preheat your oven to 375° F before you start your other prep work.
  • Chop your walnuts into tiny little pieces (about the size of a pea) and mix together in a bowl with the blue cheese.

Chop the walnuts, they'll be too big otherwise.

  • Insert the tip of your paring knife into the hole of the date where it was pitted. Slice lengthwise on one side and repeat until you’re out of dates.

Just the tip, just to see how it feels.

  • Take your prosciutto and slice each piece lengthwise into three pieces.

Make your prosciutto go further by slicing each piece into three, lengthwise.

  • Stuff some of the cheese and nut mixture into each date; be careful not to over stuff, the date should still be able to close (kinda). Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each piece and place them on an oven sheet, evenly spaced.

Wrap 'em and rack 'em.

  • Throw those puppies in the oven for about 6 minutes. Take them out and brush each one with maple syrup and pop them back in to the heating-up machine for another two minutes. Let cool and devour.

Maple syrup. Surprise!

Blue Tomato Soup

tomato soup

Once you go blue, you never go back.

Blue tomatoes? Blasphemous! Jake, Thomas, why have I never heard of such a thing? Calm down, everyone, it’s nothing more than a (mildly) clever play on words. This delicious concoction marries the creamy bite of blue cheese (or bleu cheese if you wanna be pretentious) with the richness of roasted tomatoes, brought together in holy matrimony by the gratuitous addition of bacon. It’s not a fast meal to make, but it will vanish quickly from the bowls of you and yours.

Equipment Needed: 13 x 9 Baking Pan, 5 QT Pot, Frying Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Vegetable Peeler, Wooden Spoon, Food Processor (or Blender)

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 6ish (depending on who’s eating and how hungry they are)

Suggested Wine or Beer Pairing: Dark Belgians or medium-bodied red wines (pairing with a soup like this is tough, so maybe just stick with your favorite drink)

Ingredients:

  • About 3 lbs of tomatoes (around $3/lb)
  • 6 oz blue cheese (about $7/lb)
  • 2 medium carrots ($1.50/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($.99/lb )
  • 3 C whole milk ($1.10/QT)
  • 1 1/2 C chicken stock ($3.50/32 oz)
  • 6-8 strips of bacon ($6/lb)
  • 3 cloves of garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • Extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F. Start your prep work by cutting the tomatoes in quarters (or eighths if you’ve got big ‘uns). Remove the seeds and put them in your baking pan.
cut tomato

Quarter your tomatoes and be sure to scoop out the seeds.

  • Mince your garlic and sprinkle it evenly across the top of the tomatoes.
mince garlic

You should know what it looks like to mince garlic by now.

  • Peel the onion and quarter it. Peel both carrots and cut them into 2 inch sticks about a half an inch wide; no need to get too precise but cutting them the same size will help them roast more evenly.
cut onion

Don't cry, dry your eyes. Here come the Brothers with a soup surprise.

  • Put the other veggies in the pan with the tomatoes and drizzle olive oil over the top. Throw them in the oven and roast for about 30-40 minutes, until they’re on the mushy side and you can clearly smell tomatoes wafting through your abode.
oil tomatoes

Oil those beautiful babies up.

  • While the tomatoes are roasting, cut your bacon into half-inch pieces and fry it up over medium heat on the stove top. Drain and set aside for later.
cut bacon

Bacon money shot.

  • With about 10 minutes left in your roasting time, combine the chicken stock and milk in your pot and place over medium-low heat on the stove top, stirring regularly. This will bring your liquids to temperature, making it quicker to mix everything together. Once the tomatoes et. al are done, pull them out of the oven and toss them into the pot. (HUGE NOTE: if you don’t peel the tomatoes, you will have little chunks of skin in your soup when you’re finished. We actually like this but if you want a smoother experience you’ll want to take a paring knife and gently try to remove the skin from each tomato piece. Just be forewarned this is extremely trying and time-consuming; you might be better off lazy and just call the soup “rustic”)
  • Add the blue cheese and bring the mixture up to medium heat, stirring regularly for about another 5 minute to break everything down a bit. Next, pour the mixture into your blending/processing/loud-noise-making device of choice and blend until smooth. If your soup is too chunky for your liking, add more milk and keep blending ’til it evens out. You can either mix the bacon in now and serve (which we recommend) or get all fancy and use it as a garnish with some thin-sliced flat leaf parsley.