• Cheese Is The New Wine

    Cheese Is The New Wine: Roka Blue Cheese Dressing

    blue cheese dressing

    I really can’t explain what made me buy this.

    I almost never buy bottled salad dressing. And, as you might remember, I have a particular horror of cheap blue cheese dressings.

    Still, one day, I had an absolutely overwhelming desire for blue cheese dressing, and as I turned down the first supermarket aisle, there is was. On sale. For a buck. And you know I can’t turn down a cheese on sale for a dollar.

    So, to my surprise, I bought shelf-stable Kraft Roka Blue Cheese Dressing.

    Even more surprising: it’s actually really good.

    I don’t know how they managed it—and in fact, I probably don’t want to know—but Kraft has somehow engineered a bottled blue cheese dressing that doesn’t taste like crap. It’s got a very good blue cheese taste to it (mild blue cheese, to be sure, but still) without that pongy gym-sock aftertaste most dressings have. Even my kid, who has made no secret of how much she hates “all stinky cheese,” really liked it.

    Its lack of blue cheese pieces (and slightly scary ingredient list) keep it from being a truly great blue cheese dressing, but other than making it yourself, this is possibly one of the best grab-and-go blue cheese dressings around.

    Ingredients: [Oh dude. You so don’t want to know. Although the label claims “No Artificial Preservatives,” it still has plenty of wtf is that? “natural” preservatives in it.]
    Country of origin: USA.
    Aged: N/A
    Price: $.99 (on sale) for 8 oz. at Fine Fare.
    Final verdict: Hide it at the back of the fridge when your foodie-douche friends visit if you must, but you and I will still know it’s well good.

  • Greenmarket Grub,  Vegetarian Recipes

    Salad dressing made me an outlaw.

    Librarian: “Oh, looks like you’ve got a book overdue.”
    Me, acting casual: “Do I?”
    Librarian: “Yes… Memories of Philippine Kitchens?”
    Me: “Oh, right. Can I renew it?”
    Librarian: “No, it’s on hold for someone else.”
    Me: “Oh, um, okay. I’ll bring it right in.”

    Reader, I can assure you, that was a bald-faced lie.

    I apologize to the other New York Public Library patron who is patiently waiting for this book, but I am not returning this cookbook anytime soon.

    red cabbage and cucumber salad

    Memories of Philippine Kitchens is not only a.) totally gorgeous and b.) incredibly fascinating, but that salad (slaw? slawlad?) is dressed with one of the greatest salad dressings I have ever eaten.

    Salad dressing adapted from the Kangkong Salad recipe in Memories of Philippine Kitchens:

    1/3 cup vinegar (I’ve used rice and red wine vinegars)
    4.5 tsp sugar
    1 tsp olive oil
    2 tsp mustard (optional; I prefer it without)
    up to 1 tsp chili sauce (sriracha or sambal olek)
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp pepper

    If using as a salad dressing, add 1/4 cup water. Otherwise, whisk to combine all ingredients.

    For the slaw pictured above, pour dressing over half a red cabbage and two or three cucumbers, all sliced very thinly. (I used this slicer to shred the cucumbers into the long strips you see.)

    Refrigerate for a couple hours, during which time, the cucumbers will leech out some water and dilute the dressing a bit.

    Just don’t blame me if this dressing turns you into a library scofflaw as well.