Recently, dear reader, I received a proposition from a young lady. It was an offer I could not refuse. But before you get the wrong idea: no, it was not that kind of proposition (one thing on their minds, these Hannah Montana educated young folk…!) No, it was a business proposition (and believe me: at my age, and after my very considerable experience in the realms of the romantic, that is an absolute relief…!)
This proposition came from my fellow blogger Ms Azra Ali, who lives many thousands of miles away from me in Joburg, South Africa. Being a young lady of taste and sophistication, a fine stylist, and no mean cuisinière herself, Ms Azra wrote, after reading one of Alfred B Mittington’s incomparable tributes to Mayonnaise:
I have a wonderful business idea... I'm thinking of making a range of Mayonnaise (slightly different flavours) and putting that stellar blog profile picture on the jar and calling it "Mr. Mittington's Mayo". I see a range of condiments actually!
Needless to say, dear reader, I jumped at this grand idea like a starving hyena onto the juicy meat of a freshly killed baby wildebeest, and answered:
What a marvellous idea! Fame would finally be mine! Let's go for it: Home Made Mayo the Mittington Way; Curry Delicious; Tartar Treat; Thousand Island Haute Couture; Wild Salmon Sauce; Horse Radish Relish; Aioli Al Fredo; and - last but not least - Azra's Danish Blue Delight (unless you prefer Azra's Assafran Mayo, of course). And may I suggest we register the company in the Cayman Islands or some such place? I'm paying enough taxes here in Portugal as it is... Your future business partner, Al.
No less agile than old Alfred, Ms Azra enthused about this counterproposal, picking for her personal sauce the Danish Blue Delight. As she is at present registering the Limited Company on the Cayman Islands, opening bank accounts on Guernsey and the Antilles, approaching the British Royal House for an endorsement and looking into the procedures for going public on the Palermo Stock Exchange, I felt the moral obligation to set my shoulders to MY task in this enterprise, and create – over the weekend - the delicious sauce that will be the second item in our culinary arsenal (the first being, of course, Mittington’s Miraculous Mansion-Made Mayo).
But before we tackle the recipe, just a quick explanation why Ms Azra gets a Danish Blue Cheese Mayonnaise called after her. This is not because she is so extraordinarily fond of Danish Blue Cheese. (In fact, she is particularly fond of chocolate in all its shapes and appearances; but even the culinary genius of Alfred B Mittington does not know how to create a Chocolate Mayonnaise fit for human consumption!) No, the reason is the name. As you may read on herown blog: ‘Azra’ – closely related to Persian Azurah, Italian Azzurra, Spanish Azul and plain English Azure – means ‘Blue’. Consequently a sauce with a blue association had to be designed; but since sauces that look blue are not to anybody’s appetite, I decided to reduce the ‘blue’ to one of the ingredients, maintaining the colour of the sauce a pleasant, appealing wedding gown snowy, as you may see in this here picture:
Azra’s Danish Blue Delight is a simple and straightforward sauce, dear reader. We need only the following ingredients:
A modest chunk of Danish Blue Cheese (about 100 gr for 4 people)
(I made do with the common supermarket kind, and it came out quite nicely, so why spend more money than you must on posh cheeses from overpriced delicatessen?)
An ample splash of dry white wine, or – for those of you who do not take white wine – apple juice or grape juice
(the volume of the liquid should be approximately that of the chunk of cheese)
1/8 of a modest size onion, chopped very small
Half a table spoon of raisins, chopped very small as well.
A teaspoon of quality honey
Mayonnaise to taste (see below)
NO salt, NO pepper!
Procedure: take out a normal saucepan. Cut up the cheese and drop it into the pan. Pour in the liquid. Turn on the fire very low, and gradually heat up the liquid, but make sure it does not boil. As soon as the liquid is warm, start stirring until the cheese is melted. This will take a couple of minutes. Now put in the chopped onion and raisins, and let the sauce sit on the lowest possible fire for a minute or two (stir from time to time). Finally, put in the spoonful of honey, stir a little more, and remove the pan from the fire.
What we have here now, is what I would call the Basic Azra Delight. This may be used, while still hot, to accompany broccoli, lamb chops, or other dishes with a strong flavour of their own. However, if you want to use the sauce cold, so as to go with artichoke hearts, asparagus, pork or boiled eggs, you will need to jazz it up a little and improve its consistency.
In that case, wait until the Basic Azra Delight has cooled down. Take out another little bowl and put in one or two sturdy tablespoon of quality bottled Mayonnaise. Little by little, stir in the Danish Blue Cheese Sauce until you have a smooth texture. (NB NEVER EVER do this the other way around, as in dropping spoonfuls of Mayo into the Cheese Sauce! A stiffer sauce does not dissolve in a more liquid one, it only breaks up into awful little chunks that look as horrid as they taste!)
Soon to come: Colin Davies’s Life Fried Owl Burger (as soon as I catch an owl, that is!)
[PS: Now that I come to think of it… A Chocolate Mayonnaise might of course be created so as to serve, for the special occasion of Easter, a Chocolate Easter Oeuf Mayonnaise…]