Wednesday, February 17, 2016

BLT Salad #recipe from FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE

From Daryl aka Avery:

FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE has been out two weeks and thanks to you, my fans, it's a national bestseller.

So to celebrate, I'm going to share one of the recipes from the book. When I did the research for this particular book, I thought cheddar. All things cheddar. I couldn't seem to help myself. Cheddar grilled cheese, cheddar quiche, cheddar appetizers. I simply didn't want Havarti or Monterey Jack. It was a no-brainer. Cheddar. Everybody loves cheddar!

But then, while I was writing a scene set at the Emerald Pastures Inn (where Charlotte and the owner, Erin, are dining for lunch) I had a craving for blue cheese and I thought, hmm, what if I made a salad that I love - I order it at a little cafe near my house - but I'll add my mother's favorite blue cheese salad dressing to it? It doesn't include cheddar but, what the heck, it's tasty!

So imagine visiting Providence, Ohio, and sitting on this lovely porch in the spring, looking out at the pastoral grounds, hearing the lowing of cows and the twitter of birds. Nothing could go wrong. 

Well, of course, something could go wrong. Charlotte is there and she's, ahem, asking questions. 

Suddenly a railing falls from overhead...

Cue: scary  music.

Enjoy your lunch (or dinner).  Heh-heh-heh.

Ala Emerald Pasture’s Inn
(Serves 2)

1 head iceberg lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 strips of center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 pound turkey breast, cubed
2 ounces of blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing, *recipe below

To assemble the salad, set out two plates. Chop the lettuce into 1-2” pieces. Split the lettuce between two plates and arrange, mounding slightly in the center.

Dice the tomatoes; set aside. Dice the green onions; set aside. Dice the celery; set aside. Note:  if your celery seems limp, you can refresh it in a bowl of iced water.

Cook the bacon until really crisp, let cool, then crumble and set aside. You can cook it either of two ways. Traditionally, you can sauté it in a pan on medium high for 8-10 minutes until crisp, then drain off the fat and place the bacon on paper towels to cool, OR you can place a large paper towel on a dinner-sized plate, set the slices of bacon on the paper towel, cover with another paper towel, and cook in the microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until crisp.  Let cool, then remove the paper towels, crumble the bacon, and set aside.

Cube the turkey breast. I use fresh-cooked turkey, which has been cooled overnight in the refrigerator, but you can use a deli turkey that is low in sodium and gluten-free. Your choice. Note: to cook a small turkey breast, wrap the breast in foil and cook in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, and remove the foil. Let the turkey breast cool on a cutting board. Wrap in fresh foil or in a re-sealable plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator until needed.

Now, to arrange all the items on top of the lettuce. Pick a pattern. I like to imagine wedges of a pizza.  Set out a wedge of turkey, then tomatoes, then green onions, then turkey, celery, and bacon.

In the center, place 2 tablespoons of blue cheese dressing  (recipe below), and top with a few pieces of crumbled blue cheese. 

Serve cold.


1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounces sour cream
2-3 ounces blue cheese
1-2 shakes Tabasco
5 grinds of a peppermill

Put all the ingredients into a blender. Whir. Serve over a crisp salad of your choice.

Note from Erin: This salad was one of my parents’ favorite salads. We often use vegetables grown in the garden on the farm. My mother always said to use a cow’s milk roquefort for the best “kick.” I like to use Cowgirl Creamery’s Point Reyes blue cheese. It’s without a doubt one of the best around.

Not pretty when in the blender!  LOL
Note from Avery aka Daryl:

FYI, if you want to see the list of all the cheeses mentioned in each of my books, check out this link on my website. You'll find complete lists for each title. They are located in "more about the Cheese Shop World."  PS I do the same for the cookbooks mentioned in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries in "more about the Cookbook Nook World."  

* * *

By the way, do you get my newsletter? Are you part of the fan club? There are fun puzzles, special pictures, tidbits, and giveaways. Sign up today so you don't miss out in the future. I won't inundate you with mail. Just share announcements when special things are happening, like the release of a new book...Hint: there's a SURPRISE coming in April. Keep a look out!

Savor the mystery and say cheese!
Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

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GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th Cookbook Nook Mystery, can be pre-ordered. Click here to order.

the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery.
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  1. I saved the cheese list PDF, and thanks for the suggestion for lunch tomorrow,

  2. Major congratulations! And thank you for sharing this recipe.

    1. Liz~ thank you so much! I'm thrilled to share all sorts of things with my sweet fans. :)

      ~Daryl aka Avery

  3. That is awesome news. Congrats!! :)
    Thank you for the recipe.

    1. Jen, thanks so much. I'm pretty darned excited. ~Daryl aka Avery

  4. Maybe that means the series can continue somehow. You left some business hanging.

    1. Aw, Sue, I fear not. The publisher would prefer if I sold as many as Sheila Connolly to continue. :) I'm not quite on her level. ~ Daryl aka Avery

  5. Pat ( 17, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    Now this looks like a salad I could really enjoy! I will have to make a copy of it.

  6. I've never cared for blue cheese, so I would probably substitute with the aforementioned cheddar or maybe even a nice pepper jack, and possibly ranch dressing - but it's sounds very yummy --- I'll take any excuse I can to eat bacon! p.s. Your scary music is very spooky, poor Charlotte - lol! :-)

    1. Nicole, you could always switch it out with cheddar and use a hearty balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Enjoy. Glad you like the music.
      ~ Daryl /Avery

  7. Great news about your book! So there, silly publisher!
    This does look yummy.

  8. I LOVE BLT sandwiches so I'm anxious to try this salad recipe and I also LOVE Blue Cheese dressing. What a great combination!

  9. I haven't started reading this series yet but I am collecting the books. The Cookbook Nook series is great!

  10. My mom and I use to go eat in the "tea room" of a fancy department store...gosh..AGES ago.....when we shopped downtown.....and they made a salad like this....that I was special to me because of where we ate!!! LOL! I have no idea what it was called back then..but...I will be making again! Had just about forgot about it! so..this is a FANCY tea room salad!!! LOL!!!