Blue cheese is too funky, how to use it up?
July 28, 2021 1:18 PM   Subscribe

Got some blue cheese and the flavor is just a little too strong for me to enjoy it plain. Would it be more palatable in sauce form, like a roux?

I have about 2 oz of this stuff, it's the "Original Blue" from Point Reyes Farmstand Cheese; it's quite strong, sharply briny-sour with a lot of grassy notes. Normally I like blue cheese but this is a bit too blue, I guess. I'm in luck and have the ingredients to make a basic cheese roux, but will that help to mellow the flavor or will I just end up with a weird, sour-grassy roux?
posted by saramour to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Incorporating it into a compound butter should mellow it out some. Great on steaks.
posted by praemunire at 1:25 PM on July 28, 2021 [9 favorites]

My favorite pasta is pasta with gorgonzola. Basically, I cook the pasta, and while I'm doing that, I heat a skillet with full cream and some cheese. I suggest you adapt the amount of cheese per portion to how strong it is. I use two tablespoons of cheese and two tablespoons of cream for each half cup of pasta, maybe you should just try with one tablespoon of cheese pr portion.
When the pasta is cooked, I pour half a cup of the pasta water into the skillet and then the drained pasta, and stir till the sauce is a velvety coating on the pasta. This is not diet food, or much healthy, if it were, I'd eat it twice a day. In real life I ration it to once a month. But the blue cheese might give you probiotics (hopeful smile). Have some carrots on the side.
posted by mumimor at 1:30 PM on July 28, 2021 [4 favorites]

I have no roux-making experience, but I imagine a homemade mac and cheese with a little bit of the bleu and a lot of a mild or complimentarily flavorful cheese could be delicious! Baking tends to mellow intense cheeses - could also be an ingredient in cheese straws, or on pear/bleu cheese tartlets whipped up fast with grocery-store puff pastry.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 1:56 PM on July 28, 2021

Great on steaks.

Or with a spoon.
posted by yeahlikethat at 1:56 PM on July 28, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: To echo mumimor, I grew up eating a variation of this dish that was one of my mother's faves. She and dad had people over a lot and she used this as a way to get rid of extra bleu or weird bleu from cheese plates. You can sub in other veggies (mushrooms are good, but rich) and take out the walnuts, but there was a not insignificant portion of my 20s that this was my go-to dinner party dish.
posted by thivaia at 2:13 PM on July 28, 2021 [3 favorites]

My goodness thivaia, now you have created an excuse for me to eat pasta with gorgonzola all the time! Nuts and spinach are health food, right?
posted by mumimor at 2:23 PM on July 28, 2021 [4 favorites]

You could make blue cheese salad dressing by mixing it into equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream and then adding a bit of Worcestershire sauce and onion salt. Add a little vinegar to thin it out if desired.

This is a favourite in my household.
posted by sockpup at 2:23 PM on July 28, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I think if you find the flavor too strong then you would find a sauce or pasta sauce to be too strong as well.

A salad dressing has way more other ingredients than blue cheese and would ramp down that flavor, 1/2 mayo, 1/2 sour cream (or whatever mix, some greek yogurt subbed), garlic powder, lemon juice, and as much blue cheese as you want up to equal parts w the mayo or sour cream, salt to taste. Let sit in fridge to rehydrate your garlic powder if you have time. Serve on any salad, as a dip, with wings, or an iceberg wedge though add bacon and cherry tomatoes (as you aren't a savage or maybe you are).

And if you usually like blue and this flavor is more ammonia than you prefer, then maybe the cheese is off.
posted by RoadScholar at 2:26 PM on July 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Cheese roulades! Make some shortcrust pastry [okay, you can buy it ready made] roll it out to a rough rectangle. Grate the cheese all over - if runny enough, then spread like butter. Roll it up and cut ¼in / 6mm swiss-roll slices off the end. Bake these roundels in a moderate over. The direct bake will blow off some of the whiff.
posted by BobTheScientist at 2:43 PM on July 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

One of my favourite sandwiches is roast beef, thinly sliced pear, and blue cheese mixed with enough cream cheese to make it spreadable.
posted by burntflowers at 2:44 PM on July 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Big fan of medjool dates stuffed with blue cheese. If you're feeling real decadent wrap it in prosciutto. You can also add blue cheese finely crumbled into the buttered breadcrumb topping of a baked mac and cheese.
posted by Ferreous at 3:16 PM on July 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Years ago someone told me about pasta with butternut squash, blue cheese, and a wurst-ish* or mild italian sausage, and it remains a staple though I tend to riff it in all kinds of ways. Here is a fairly straightforward sausageless Nigella version.

*I think the original recipe I was told used weisswurst or Nürnberger sausage, some kind of mild pale German sausage, but I have used regular old American-style brats and Italian most of the time.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:31 PM on July 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Slice it very thinly, put a tiny bite on a water cracker spread with butter or a thin slice of pear or sweet apple, and wash it down with a sip of Port or Sauternes. If this makes it palatable to you, repeat until cheese and wine are gone. This is what passes for dessert at my house.
posted by Daily Alice at 3:53 PM on July 28, 2021 [5 favorites]

Maybe it needs to be balanced out with something sweet or vinegary
posted by oceanjesse at 4:05 PM on July 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I love strong bleu cheese. But my experience is while you can dilute the flavor of a strong cheese you can't transform it. You might like it better mixed with butter or in a salad dressing or something. But it's still going to taste like it tastes.

I'm not sure what a "cheese roux" means. If you add bleu cheese to a flour and oil roux it's just going to taste like the bleu cheese. It might be OK in a creamy cheese sauce, particularly diluted with the flavors of milder cheeses.

Going sweet with it might allow you to enjoy it. Ie, something with honey. Or dates, as Ferreous suggested.
posted by Nelson at 4:19 PM on July 28, 2021

All of the above, but particularly, smaller slices or schmears, on thicker foundations, paired with fruits and wines or fortified wines. Sounds like a delightful afternoon, actually!
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:49 PM on July 28, 2021

Blue cheese is glorious when drizzled with honey. That would likely mellow the flavor quite a bit.
posted by Dr. Wu at 7:57 PM on July 28, 2021 [3 favorites]

I love a stilton souffle with toast and pears, or even just a nice nutty ale. You can make the recipe with Pt. Reyes Blue- it should mellow it out quite a bit.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:58 PM on July 28, 2021

Stilton is a unique taste that isn't as sharp as most blues, but on the same train of thought I have made broccoli and stilton soup in the past; it's a fairly standard dish when you live somewhere where Stilton isn't as expensive as gold dust. I think a sharper blue would work for that, because the soup dilutes it and tames the taste a bit.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 11:40 PM on July 28, 2021

We mix up equal parts balsamic vinegar and cherry preserves and add in dried Montmercy cherries and drizzle it over blue cheese
posted by childofTethys at 4:03 AM on July 29, 2021

Strong blue cheese is a bit much for me solo, but it's great on a cracker with something sweet like fig jam or honey to complement it.
posted by dfan at 4:55 AM on July 29, 2021

Late to the party, but I agree a sauce is a bad idea. Heating blue cheese tends to accent the sharp and bitter notes in it.

Following on praemunire, incorporating it into the guts of a wedge of Brie or Camembert or St. Andre would approximate something less strong and resembling the various "blue Bries" out there.

Likewise, for cheese that's too much there's always fromage fort.
posted by jocelmeow at 11:20 AM on July 29, 2021

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