Saturday, June 13, 2015

Smoked Turkey and Jicama Salad Tossed with Danish Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette

     A Nice Salad Flavor Combination!
     Chicago has a major meat processing industry and the smoked meats are among the best.  Most of the smoked meats found in American grocery stores were smoked in Chicago.  Locally in Chicago, the smoked meats are very fresh.

     Bleu Cheese Salad Dressing is one of those items that is never great tasting when it is purchased as a pre-made bottled product at a grocery store.  A fresh made creamy bleu cheese dressing is always better.
     Chain restaurants serve some of the lowest quality bottled pre-made bleu cheese dressing that there is.  What is even worse is when a poorly trained pantry cook or waitress puts way too much pre-made bleu cheese dressing on a salad.  Dumping more low quality dressing on a salad, will not make a poorly crafted salad taste any better.

     Creamy buttermilk or mayonnaise bleu cheese dressings are good, but the original Roquefort Dressing was created in New Orleans about 100 years ago was made with red wine vinaigrette.  Roquefort Cheese is thoroughly blended with the vinaigrette till it is semi creamy.
     A bleu cheese salad dressing that is made with a vinaigrette has a crisp flavor that is lighter on the palate than a heavy mayonnaise style bleu cheese dressing.  The Danish Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette does not mask the delicate flavors of the lettuce greens and jicama in today's recipe.
     As always, only enough salad dressing should be added to coat the ingredients with flavor.  This is especially true for any bleu cheese flavor dressing.  A little bit goes a long way.

     Danish Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette: 
     This recipe yields enough for 2 petite salads!  (About 1/2 cup) 
     Because Danish Bleu is a double cream cheese, it will easily mellow the flavor of the vinaigrette.  This soft bleu cheese will not crumble and it has to be thin sliced.  
     The proportion of vinegar in this recipe is higher than a standard vinaigrette.  Adjusting the vinegar to oil proportion to create a desired effect, is part of mastering the art of making vinaigrette. 
     Step 1:  Place 1/2 teaspoon of minced shallot in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Step 2:  Slowly add a thin stream of 1/4 cup of pomace olive oil, while constantly whisking, to make an emulsified vinaigrette.
     Step 3:  Add 2 tablespoons Danish Bleu Cheese.
     Whisk the dressing, till the Danish Bleu Cheese starts to combine and cream the dressing.  Try to leave just a few small bits of the bleu cheese intact.
     Step 4:  Chill the salad dressing for 20 minutes so the flavors meld.
     *This dressing has a dull red wine vinegar color with a little bit of blue cheese color.  This is not the prettiest salad dressing to look at on its own, but it will look nice when tossed with the salad ingredients.  The flavor will more than make up for the looks! 
     Smoked Turkey and Jicama Salad Tossed with Danish Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette:
     Step 1:  Place 2 cups of coarsely chopped small Boston Lettuce leaves in a mixing bowl.
     Add 5 or 6 thin plum tomato wedges.
     Add 6 thin strips of green bell pepper.
     Add 6 long thin slices of carrot.
     Add 1 green onion that is cut into thin strips.
     Add 1/2 cup of peeled jicama that is cut into thin sticks.
     Step 2:  Remove the skin, bones and cartilage from a smoked turkey wing.
     Cut 3 to 4 ounces of the smoked turkey wing meat into thin strips.
     Add the portion of smoked turkey strips to the salad in the mixing bowl.
     Step 3:  Add just enough of the Danish Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette while tossing, to lightly coat the salad ingredients with flavor.
     Step 4:  Place 3 large Boston Lettuce leaves on a plate as a bed for the tossed salad.
     Mound the tossed salad high on the bed of Boston Lettuce leaves.
     No garnish is necessary!
     It is hard to describe how nice this salad tastes!  Smokey turkey, crispy light apple flavored jicama, garden vegetables and lettuce all go well with Danish Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette. 

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