Confession number one: I love to cook, and I absolutely love to eat, but I almost never use a recipe. Most of the time this works for me; sometimes it doesn’t. Let’s move on to confession number two: I can tell you how to heat almost anything using only the popcorn setting on your microwave.
Perhaps one day I will grieve all the possibilities—the oodles of cookbooks unopened on the shelf; all the delicious recipes I could have, and should have tried to recreate. But life is not about focusing on regrets, so allow me share some super-quick and appetizing ideas using something I always have on hand in my fridge and cupboard for a fast tasty dish: blue-cheese salad dressing.
I stumbled upon this first recipe below for lack of anything interesting to add to a dish of naked oven-baked chicken pieces. I’m guessing that this recipe must exist somewhere out there—but if so, I wouldn’t know. This little secret recipe is one I share with my friends often. And it was this recipe that spurred on many other blue-cheese dressing creations in my kitchen. Plus it remains my favourite of the bunch:
Roasted Chicken pieces with Blue Cheese Dressing
- Bake cut chicken pieces in on a cookie sheet, or flat roasting dish. (Optional: coat chicken pieces with BBQ sauce or your favourite hot sauce).
- Remove cooked chicken dish about 10 minutes before it’s ready to come out of the oven.
- Drizzle cold blue-cheese salad dressing (yes, straight from the bottle) generously on top of the chicken pieces.
- Grill for about 10 minutes (or until cheesy dressing has thickened and browned slightly).
- If the chicken has not been coated or baked with any of the optional sauces, this dish is nicely complimented with a dash of paprika on top of the blue-cheese sauce and a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper—then plate it up!
Note: you can prepare chicken wings, boneless and skinless chicken breasts, or boned chicken pieces in this same way. Or for a delicious BBQ recipe, transfer BBQ’d chicken pieces onto a sheet of foil before the final 10 minutes of grilling. Place chicken back onto the BBQ with the foil open (it simply serves to catch all the drips as the sauce heats up) and add blue cheese dressing. Once the sauce has heated and browned, remove from the BBQ and serve.
In my house, blue cheese dressing also proves to be a one-step wonder when heated and served on pasta. Here’s an easy way to serve fettuccini for last minute dinner guest:
- Boil fettuccine noodles in pot of boiling water following the package instructions.
- While the noodles are cooking, heat about 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add any of the following: crushed garlic, chopped onion or chives, chopped tomatoes.
- Once onions are browned or Tomatoes are softened, add your blue cheese salad dressing (depending on how many servings you require, you may want to pour in the whole bottle). I usually do!
- Simmer sauce until the noodles are strained and dished up. Add onto the pasta. Serve with garlic bread or salad, and eat up! It’s oh-so-easy and oh-so-yummy!
If you aren’t a fan of blue cheese, perhaps because you find the taste too strong, be encouraged to know that when cooked, blue cheese dressing loses a lot of zing. It makes for a full-body but mild-tasting cheesy sauce. Besides, you can select a dressing that you like the most!
Heated blue cheese dressing can be substituted in endless recipes that require a creamy or cheesy warm white sauce. Other dishes I cook, using my stinky secret weapon:
- Rice casserole dishes
- Baked potatoes or boiled broccoli/cauliflower with heated blue cheese dressing on top
- Tuna casserole
Here’s what you can do: Buy blue cheese dressing the next time you shop for groceries. Wait until you’re panicked to cook something up really fast, and then give it a try! Bon appétit!
Image via Portrait of a Tomato