Sunday, January 3, 2010

BLUE CHEESE SAUCE over Homemade POTATO CHIPS - Restaurant Quality Appetizer and 7 things about ME!!!

Really, is there much better than homemade potato chips? How about homemade, but topped with a Blue Cheese Sauce!!! You betcha!

I am continuing my series of romance... Possible suggestions or brain nudges for a Valentines Day event for your special day. I made these on Christmas Eve. Yesterday I told you about the 8 AM hour, when I made Asiago / Blue Cheese Crisps!

Read over yesterday's post, Asiago / Blue Cheese Crisps - RESTAURANT QUALITY Amuse-Bouche, to get the details of what I did, but the basics are... My wife and I spent New Year's Eve recreating memorable restaurant meals. We not only cooked the menu items together, but we spent time at each course reminiscing about our memories together.

One of our favorite appetizers is found at J Gilberts Wood Fired Steaks, in Overland Park, KS. Kansas City is well known for their steakhouses. Every top ten "steak houses in the country" list usually features at least one or more KC restaurants. I have eaten at most, and J Gilberts is by far my favorite. The restaurant is beautiful, romantic lighting and a huge fireplace set the mood, but the star of the show is always the food. Jackie and I have spent many nights at this wonderful place. If you live in the KC area, or plan to visit, add J Gilberts to your list of "must eat" places! And BTW, they also have locations in Glastonbury, CT and McLean, VA and Worthington, OH. Looks like the same menu at all, so hunt them down for a great dining experience. One of the few place I can say that we have eaten at dozens of times, and NEVER been disappointed!

While there are many options on the menu, we ALWAYS order a plate of their Potato Chips and Maytag Blue Cheese. When planning our Christmas Eve menu, this was an obvious choice.

Making potato chips is very easy. I have used the slicing blade on my food processor in the past to get the slices, but this time, I used one of those funny little devices that seem to collect in our gadget drawer. It worked just fine to slice up a couple of potatoes. I fried them in canola oil, and resisted the temptation to snack on them til I made the Blue cheese sauce...

A Blue cheese sauce is much more complex than just breaking up some chunks of Blue Cheese. You need a base to the sauce, a thickener and of course, blue cheese as a flavor.

Here's what I did...

"First you make a roux"

It's not exactly a French or Cajun recipe. But knowing how to make a roux sure does come in handy. Equal parts (by weight) of a fat and flour, heated and stirred for 10 to 30 minutes (it gets darker the longer you stir) produces a wonderful nutty smelling base for many sauces. For this, I used 2 ounces of flour and 2 ounces of butter. I stirred constantly for about 10 minutes (didn't want a dark roux), till I could begin to smell the nutty aroma... A sign the roux is ready.

I added a cup of buttermilk, and 1/2 cup of blue cheese crumbles and let it all blend over medium heat. It was a little thick, so I added about 1/4 cup of 1% milk to thin the sauce.

I recently found a few ketchup squeeze bottles at a garage sale. I loaded one of them up with the sauce, and poured away!

Although it does not show, I poured this over hot potatoes. By the time I photographed them and took them to Jackie, the Blue Cheese sauce had melted a bit and oozed even down to the bottom layer. Every bite had a bit of the sauce!

And the verdict... A little time consuming, prep and cooking time took a full hour. But the look and taste were exactly what I wanted. Restaurant quality... You Betcha! I miss the ambiance of J Gilberts, but I think I did a very good job of capturing the look and the taste of their specialty appetizer.

Jackie and I spent a bit of time remembering our time at J Gilberts... We have two stories that are legendary around our house.
  • One, unfortunately is not good without the visuals, but there is a photo in the men's room, right over the urinals. I force everyone (men and women) to take a look at the photo as I swear it is a photo including a nude well tanned white woman crashing the "First annual Bathing Beauty Contest held at Ruppert Stadium in 1939 during the Championship Baseball contest between the old Negro leagues baseball teams, The Kansas City Monarchs and the Chicago American Giants". Years and years ago, Jackie was able to find this old panoramic photo and gave it to me as a gift. It hangs proudly in our bedroom. Now I don't have to force women into the men's room.
  • Next, is a bit of a name dropper... I ate at J Gilberts with CHEWBACCA. You may not know the name, Peter Mayhew, but you know his most famous character he has played in 4 movies and one ill-planned TV Christmas Special... Chewbacca himself (well, sadly, I could not convince him to wear the costume, so I just had dinner with the actor who played Chewbacca... Not quite, but almost as good!
So, there you go, another romantic course and a trip down memory lane under our belts, and it is just 9 AM... Many, many more to come over the next few days...


Many many thanks to Catherine (who I just can not resist calling Mrs. C.) of LIVING THE GOURMET! Mrs. C presented me with this Kreativ Blogger Award and I could not be more pleased!!! I spend a couple hours a day working on my blog, and trying my best to prepare blogworthy meals and posts. I get so excited when someone notices. Thanks Mrs. C! And BTW, Mrs. C's blog is amazing. She is one of those very tallented cooks who does not need a blog as an excuse to cook better. Wait til you see what she already knows. Always Amazing, go take a look.

Rules for accepting this award:
1) Thank the person giving the award
2) Copy the award to your blog
3) Place a link to their blog
4) Name 7 things people don't know about you

I am supposed to nominate other bloggers to receive the award...

I have two "regulars" that I am really interested in hearing more about...

First, REALLY RAINEY, who in fact, despite the advertisement on her blog is NOT named Rainey, but is Loraine. If she is afraid to use her real name, there must be some skeletons in her closet. I have heard hints of her past that involves boats full of men, and I would like to hear 7 things about her past that we don't know. Rainey lives just a few miles from my sainted Mother. We are working on a blogger meet up in Phoenix later this year.

Next, Joanne, from Eats Well With Others. Joanne must never sleep. She is in a PhD program, runs marathons (she qualified for the Boston marathon later this year), lives in NYC and posts nearly every day on her blog. She has got to have a story in there somewhere

So, I am supposed to name 7 things people do not know about me... HMMM...

Since I am posting a romantic suggestion...

How about my early romances...
  1. I have (and always will have) a crush on Annette Funicello.

  2. I am a dues paying member of her fan club, and have an autographed photo of her by my bedside. If I look one way before going to sleep, the last thing I see is Jackie... If I look the other way, the last image I have before falling asleep is of Annette.

  3. I have (and always will have) a crush on Maureen McCormick.

  4. In 1994, I scheduled an unnecessary trip to New york City just to see Maureen perform on Broadway as Rizzo in GREASE! In addition to that thrill, the trip eventually led to me subletting an apartment and living a dream of being a Manhattanite for a time.

  5. I have (and always will have) a crush on Sally Field.

  6. Attending Mass is occasionally difficult as those unrequited thoughts creep into my mind whenever I see a nun in a habit. I do own the Flying Nun Album, and watch BROTHERS & SISTERS just because she is in it

  7. I have (and always will have) a crush on Sandy Mann. She was 6, lived at the end of the lane on Charlotte Street in Pekin, Il in 1963, when my parents forced me to move 4 blocks away (but on the wrong side of the busy street, so I could not visit)...

    All I have of Sandy are my memories.
What do the kids say... TMI


  1. want a tip? rinse the potatoes after slicing before frying and they will turn golden in color rather than the dark brown - no sugar/starch to burn...I want one of those slicy things!

  2. Any potato is a good potato especially if you add my second favorite ingredient cheese!

  3. You are too funny! I love your crushes too. This is a restaurant quality dish, I had a similar appetizer at one of Bobby Flay's restaurants earlier this year. Looks good!

  4. Wow you have been busy! I love the chips and everything else I have missed, my husband hates blue cheese, I wonder if I could use cheddar? p.s. Miss Bella Sue is 9 months old now!

  5. I like that blue cheese sauce, it could go with so many things. I have to get me a spiral slicer.

  6. You have some great food idea's, makes me very hungry.
    I added you to my blog so my readers can enjoy too...

  7. Lovely chips and lovely finding out more about you. Looking at your crush choices, I'm surprised I didn't see Susan Dey.

  8. Happy New Year Dave. I've been enjoying catching up on your blog. Loved your rant and am enjoying your Christmas Eve meal. In re Sturgis, my Dave said he would like to meet the woman who got kicked out of Sturgis. He is totally impressed. I'm back blogging again - company has left the building.

  9. I've never met a potato I didn't like and love the idea of blue cheese. Great post!

  10. Loved getting to know you more - great post! My brother ( actually met Maureen McCormick in person - if you search on his blog I think you'll find the post.

    This was after she was on Celebrity Fit club, but before she gained all the weight back!

    Homemade chips are definitely worth the effort!

  11. The food looks great, but I've got to ask ... you STILL pay dues to the Annette Funicello fan club??? That's hardcore, man.

  12. I would love homemade potato chips...but I cant do the blue cheese sauce. can you make is ranch please?

  13. Oh how I wish I'd tried this recipe for those chips before "the big diet."

    We get to Columbus, OH often. I've bookmarked J. Gilberts and hope to have a wonderful meal there in the future.

  14. Dave, I've come over to visit from Moogieland. And lo-and-behold, Mags is visiting you also. Her and go back aways... that's because crazy people like to hangout in packs.

    Your chips would be perfect with a side of sprouts.

  15. Dave... (If that really is your name... David) Now I have to re enlist in the witness relocation program again.

    Really Rainey

  16. There is nothing better than homemade and top it with bleu cheese and I'm sold every day of the week. You never fail to amuse!

  17. Homemade chips are the best. You are a better man that I to resist eating them until the sauce is added.

    Cute shares about your crushes!

  18. Annette Funicello! Once again you have me chuckling :-) The chips look and sound incredible, but of course they do because they are coming from you! Happy 2010.


  19. I would never have thought to pair blue cheese with potato chips...but really why not? Sounds delicious now that I'm thinking about it.

    Congrats on the award and thanks so much for passing it on to me! Your comments are so sweet :D. I sleep...sometimes. But I have to say, I eat and run much more than I sleep. I loved reading your've had a wide and varied crush repertoire over the years.

  20. Great pairing of the blue cheese with the chips! Soounds delightful together. I bet you like Annette Funicello because of her Minnie Mouse Ears!

  21. Sounds rich..but it's my kind of rich!

  22. Gotta love homemade chips- they look very drool worthy this morning, Dave!
    Cute list of crushes too!

  23. Homemade potato chips are surely the best.

    You are a fickle man, Dave. How does your wife bear all those women in your life?

    One can tell how much effort you put into your blog. The results are fabulous. I thank you.

  24. WOW!!! what a GREAT!!! recipe. My boys will love this on Super Bowl Sunday. This will be a WONDERFUL!!! addition to my menu.
    CONGRATS!!! on the AWARD!!! you are truly a Creative Cook and I LOVE!!! visiting and getting NEW!!! and CREATIVE!!! recipes.