Jason and I met when we were both working at The Chart House restaurant in Santa Barbara. I was 19 at the time, and back then The Chart House was a thriving chain with locations all over California. I had grown up going to the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Chart House, which was huge with a salad bar that was about 20 feet long. (Remember salad bars? Do you think we will ever see one of those again? I’m thinking probably not.) By contrast the Santa Barbara Chart was tiny, it didn’t have a salad bar at all. It did of course serve salad, and give out recipe cards for their famous Blue Cheese Dressing at the hostess stand. I picked up a copy all those years ago, and the fact that I still have it is proof that this recipe is a keeper.
The only real change I have made to their recipe is that instead of using Danish blue cheese I use Point Reyes Original Blue, which is local to Petaluma and delicious! Petaluma Market carries it already crumbled, but I prefer to buy a wedge and crumble what I need for the dressing myself. Either way you are going to have to stop the mixer multiple times and scrape down the blade as this super creamy cheese tends to collect there. Once you take it off the mixer give it a few more swipes by hand with your spatula for good measure. And don’t ignore the chilling time! It is way better after the flavors have had a chance to meld, so be sure and make it at least one day ahead.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons this dressing so often makes it’s way to my Christmas dinner table. We generally serve prime rib for Christmas, and this is a delicious accompaniment. I like to toss that salad, with a variety of lettuces including some crunchy iceberg and bitter greens like radicchio and escarole in the mix. It’s also a showstopper on a wedge salad, as you probably well know.
It should be noted that Chart House Restaurants are still around. There may not be one in every major beach city as there once was, but they are out there. We went to Las Vegas for my 40th birthday and had an epic dinner with our dear friends at the Chart House that was just off Fremont Street. We ended the night at a piano bar called Don’t Tell Mama. I also highly recommend that spot! But I’ll save that for another blog…
Chart House Blue Cheese Dressing
- Electric Mixer
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt scant
- 1/3 tsp garlic powder scant
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 2/3 cup mayonnaise I like Best Foods
- 4 oz blue cheese crumbled into small pieces
- Place sour cream, spices, and Worcestershire sauce in mixing bowl. Blend for two minutes at low speed.
- Add mayonnaise. Blend for 30 seconds at low speed, increase speed to medium and blend for an additional two minutes.
- Add crumbled blue cheese. Blend at low speed for no longer than four minutes. Stop mixer occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl and paddle as the cheese can collect there.
- Refridgerate for 24 hours before serving. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.