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Honeyed Blue Cheese Dip with Spicy Cauliflower Wings

Posted by ReganJonesRD
March 15, 2014
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This Honeyed Blue Cheese Dip with Spicy Cauliflower Wings is the perfect game day appetizer.

[Disclosure: The California Milk Advisory Board compensated me as co-owner of The Recipe ReDux to manage this recipe contest. I am therefore not eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. Opinions expressed are my own.]

A few things you should know about me:

  1. I've been working for or with dairy farmers across this country for more than a decade. Needless to say, I am no stranger to all things milk, yogurt and cheese.
  2. I don't like Buffalo wings or "Buffalo" wing sauce -- anymore. I never was much of a fan, but when I was pregnant (and didn't know it yet) with my first son, I ate an unappealing amount of buffalo wing dip tailgating at the 2005 Auburn/Georgia game. I couldn't get it off my mind and then proceeded to make a batch of it at my home in Florida the following week... and devoured the whole thing. Theeeennnnnn, I found out I was pregnant. And nauseated. Very. Nauseated. (Hello first trimester). And I've never wanted to touch that stuff again.
  3. I don't watch basketball. I don't care about basketball. I barely even acknowledge it's a sport (sorry, I know this will draw huge criticism, but remember, I'm an SEC Football Gal. That's how we roll.)
  4. And amazingly, all of this is interconnected in the following dish

 

This Honeyed Blue Cheese Dip with Spicy Cauliflower Wings is the perfect game day appetizer.

Honeyed Blue Cheese Dip with Spicy Cauliflower Wings

March Madness -- as they tell me -- is near. On the one hand, I'm like "who cares." It's not college football, so what? But then I'm like, "Yes! A reason to test out tailgating recipes to be ready for football season!"

(Seriously folks... I know I'm driving a dagger in the hearts of you basketball fans, but please love me anyway.)

So test I did... and came up with the perfect replacement for the Buffalo Wings and Blue Cheese Dressing that seem to make the rounds at every sporting event eating opportunity. This is good because

  1. We've established I don't like wings -- cauliflower for the win
  2. Because of my distaste for buffalo sauce, I opted for spicing up barbecue sauce, but you could go either way
  3. Blue Cheese "Dressing" is SO not an appropriate label for the bottled stuff that people eat with their wings. Blue Cheese is one of the most heavenly cheese experiences when it's done right (I've learned this in the decade of dairy work I referred to earlier). So I highly encourage you to make your own.

 

And speaking of Blue Cheese, let's discuss the other motivation behind this game of  "get to know Regan" in the kitchen... Fact #1 mentioned previously -- my work with dairy farmers. This month's Recipe ReDux Sponsored Contest is being hosted by the California Milk Advisory Board. If you aren't familiar with who that is, it's the Research, Marketing, PR and all things "promotion" arm of the 1500+ dairy farm families of California. Their challenge for us this month was to lighten up our favorite recipes using Real California dairy products -- an easy task when you use Real California Blue Cheese. There are some amazing varieties available, but my favorite has always been Point Reyes Original Blue. Next time you're at your local cheese shop or in the deli section of your supermarket, look for it (Yep, that's right California dairy products aren't just sold in California). And ask whoever is working behind the counter to show you other Real California Cheeses -- the San Joaquin Gold by Fiscalini Farms is amazing, but of course, there are tons of other delicious Real California dairy brands available... just look for the seal:

This Honeyed Blue Cheese Dip with Spicy Cauliflower Wings is the perfect game day appetizer.

 

And if "sports snacks" like this aren't really your thing, head on over to California Dairy Council's Healthy Eating Made Easier site, which offers information on the nutrition benefits of dairy foods AND family friendly recipes. Or, check out the gallery below for all the other ways Recipe ReDuxers have been sharing their #CADairyHealthy recipes. 

As for me, I'll be snacking on basketball food, waiting on football season to get here... 

Countdown Clocks

This Honeyed Blue Cheese Dip with Spicy Cauliflower Wings is the perfect game day appetizer.
 
 

This Honeyed Blue Cheese Dip with Spicy Cauliflower Wings is the perfect game day appetizer.

This Honeyed Blue Cheese Dip with Spicy Cauliflower Wings is the perfect game day appetizer.

 
AD: This Honeyed Blue Cheese Dip with Spicy Cauliflower "Wings" is the perfect #gameday appetizer.
This Honeyed Blue Cheese Dip with Spicy Cauliflower Wings is the perfect game day appetizer.

Honeyed Blue Cheese Dip with Spicy Cauliflower Wings

Yield

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, quartered
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce or Buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (I use McCormick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces Real California Blue Cheese
  • 4 ounces Real California Cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • Garnishes crumbled Real California Blue cheese and honey

Directions

  1. Arrange cauliflower on a microwave safe dish; cook on HIGH 5 minutes or just until tender (be careful not to overcook).
  2. Toss with barbecue sauce, chipotle pepper, salt and pepper. Arrange on a serving dish. 
  3. Combine cheeses and honey in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined (be carful not to overprocess).
  4. Spoon into a serving dish; top with addition blue cheese and drizzle with honey, if desired. 

(Note: Dip will soften at room temperature, but depending on how tender your cauliflower is once cooked, you may need to serve with a spreader or knife.)

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ReganJonesRD

ReganJonesRD
Regan Jones is the Founding Editor and Sponsorship Director of HealthyAperture and is the author of the QUICK FIX KITCHEN Feature - a collection of recipes that focuses on shortcut cooking without shortcut taste. Her recipes largely focus on baked goods and desserts ranging from gluten free to sugar free to slightly indulgent eats for the entire family, but also include easy everyday recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Jones is a registered dietitian and owner the web's most prominent portfolio of dietitian-owned websites, including HealthyAperture.com, TheRecipeReDux.com, BlogBrulee.com and RDs4Disclosure.org.
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