Kristi and Tom Johnson took a roundabout path to making cheese. Kristi was trained in microbiology and studied law to be a patent attorney. Tom studied water management in graduate school at Colorado State University. That explains why they settled in Fort Collins when they founded Bingham Hill Cheese. But both come from cheese making families and believed they could produce an extraordinary product. Judges agreed and the Johnsons took a first place at the American Cheese Society and received high marks at the 2000 World Championship Cheese Contest in Wisconsin.
Rustic Blue Cheese Mill-Feuille with Golden Raisins and Warm Walnuts
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup port wine
- ¼ pound Rustic Blue cheese
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 sheet puff pastry, cut into 12, 2 inch circles
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 2/3 cup walnuts, finely ground
- 12 large walnuts, whole, for garnish
Place the raisins in the port wine and marinate them for ½ hour. Drain the raisins and gently pat them dry with paper towels. Place the Rustic Blue cheese in a food processor and blend it. Add the softened butter and blend it in. Add the heavy cream and blend it in until the mixture is very smooth. Remove the mixture from the food processor and place it in a bowl. Add the marinated raisins and mix them in well. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the puff pastry circles on a greased sheet pan. Prick them with a fork. Place another baking sheet on top of the pastry. Bake them for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. On each of 4 small plates, place one circle of puff pastry. In this order, place three tablespoons of the cheese mixture, one pastry round, three tablespoons of cheese mixture and one pastry round. Brush the top with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle on the ground walnuts. Place the stacked pastry in the refrigerator for 10 minutes so they chill. Heat the remaining whole walnuts in the oven for one minute and place them around the mille-feuilles.
Rustic Blue Cheese Dressing
Yield: 3 cups
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- dash of dry mustard
- dash of paprika
- ½ cup crumbled Rustic blue cheese
- dash of Worcestershire
Blend half of the Rustic Blue cheese with oil in a blender. Add blended mixture to remaining ingredients and mix together. Serve over your favorite salad or mixed greens.
Grilled Steak with Rustic Blue Cheese
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon pepper or to taste
- 1 ½ pounds porterhouse steak
- ¼ cup Rustic Blue cheese, crumbled, or to taste
- 1 large onion, sliced
Combine vinegar, water, soy sauce, onion, garlic and pepper into a marinade. Score steak lightly on both sides and marinate, covered in refrigerator, several hours or overnight. Grill steak on one side for 5 to 7 minutes. Turn and top carefully with crumbled Rustic Blue cheese. Cover and grill another 5 to 7 minutes or until desired doneness.