I remember the conversation like it was this morning, instead of twenty-something years ago. My mother and I were discussing cheese on the phone, and she brought up blue cheese. I immediately told her that I was not fond of it.
She proceeded to tell me that I knew nothing about blue cheese, and being like other Americans, my only familiarity with blue cheese was soapy-tasting blue cheese dressing that was ever-present at salad bars, which she claimed beared no resemblance to real thing.
Well, she was right. I was in high school when I began eating salads, and not being a huge vinegar fan as of yet, I didn’t eat my mother’s vinegary salads at home. I ate them instead at diners with salad bars – places you go for lunch in high school. I remember the dressing choices well. There was blue cheese, French, green goddess, and thousand island. They were all pretty terrible. Especially the blue cheese.
In any case, my mother took charge. She said, “I’ll send you a good blue cheese, and you’ll see the difference.” She did, and I did. Thank you, Mom.
The cheese she sent me was Cambozola – a triple cream blue cheese from Bavaria. Now triple cream cheeses are almost like cheating, because tripling the creaminess guarantees goodness. But this cheese was fabulous. The name stems from the fact that the cheese is like a cross between Camembert and Gorgonzola.
To this day, Cambozola remains one of my favorite cheeses. My husband and I both love it, just with crackers, or as part of a cheese platter.
Recently my husband asked me to make a blue cheese sauce for his birthday steaks, and I immediately thought to use Cambozola. I made the sauce simply with cream, and it was wonderful. I didn’t blog about the dinner because my husband, especially being his birthday, wouldn’t have appreciated the delay for the photo documentation!
I don’t typically smother good food with sauces. But just for fun, I thought asparagus would be good with a little of my Cambozola sauce.
Here’s what I did:
Steamed Asparagus with Cambozola Sauce
wedge of Cambozola, see details in recipe
1/4 cup heavy cream
Unwrap the cambozola. Then trim the rinds; I didn’t think they would dissolve in the cream. What I ended up with was just a little over 4 ounces of Cambozola.
Pour the cream in a microwave-proof bowl. Yes, I’m seriously going to use the microwave for this sauce! Heat the cream gently, but get it hot. Crumble up the Cambozola as best you can and place it in the hot cream.
Let it sit for about a minute, and then whisk it.
The cheese should soften completely. I was fine with a few little blue cheese blobs in the sauce. Set aside.
Meanwhile, trim the asparagus. Good spring asparagus doesn’t typically have really woody ends, but it’s good to check in any case.
Place the asparagus in a steamer basket and steam over simmering water for 5-7 minutes. The time will depend on how thick your asparagus spears are. Place the cooked asparagus on a paper towel to dry slightly.
To serve, I placed the hot asparagus on a plate, and poured on some of the warm sauce, which had thickened nicely.
Just for fun, I also topped the asparagus with caramelized shallots and toasted pine nuts.
If you don’t want this sauce with asparagus, toss it with pasta, cooked potatoes, or pour it over just about any meat.
If you can’t find Cambozola locally, you can purchase it at IGourmet.com. There is also a black label Cambozola, much more expensive, which can be purchased at IGourmet and at http://www.murrayscheese.com/cambozola-black-label.html. I cannot wait to try that!
I love Cambozola too and luckily it’s easily available here in London. Gorgeous sauce to serve with the asparagus and I like the caramelised shallots and pine nut addition.
Thank you Kay!
Cambazola, I didn’t know about this cheese and will look out for it! xx
I hope you like it!
Triple cream….oh my yes. This sauce looks rick and delicious with the caramelized shallots and pinenuts. A perfect sauce for asparagus. My hubby thought he didn’t like blue cheese too. He has changed his mind slowly. I’ll be trying this sauce.
I understand completely! He should love this!
Oh thats my favourite cheese!! Need to give this a go! Thanks
It’s so good, isn’t it?!!!
love Cambozola! also love Gorgonzola Dolce…..
i actually use the microwave for heating cream in preps for sauces like this, to me it is much better than the high heat of a sautee pan. ;-)
I think I’ve only used the microwave to heat water for breads, but it definitely worked well with the cream! You just have to use those buttons properly!
The cheese sounds heavenly. I love your conversation with your mother :) Thanks for sharing and for this awesome recipe. I will definitely make this! While it’s not complicated, it certainly doesn’t emanate from the school of restraint. Life’s small luxuries! I love your cheese posts. It’s one of my favorite things in the world.
That is so sweet! Thank you!
A lovely sauce you shared today. Would this be good on baked chicken.? I think so. Sue
I mean “shared” today. Missed the spelling error.
I think it would be good on ice cream!!!
I know what you mean!
Cambozola is so good! I think it’s great for both blue cheese lovers and those who are more hesitant to try blue cheese. Personally, I tend to go for the more pungent blues, though this one seems perfect for a sauce!
I like those when they’re paired with lemon curd or marmalade!
Love the strong flavor of Cambozola and your sauce looks perfect Mimi :)
With pasta? Absolutely!
I know… Fabulous!!!
I love cheese, any and all cheese. I can’t wait to try this. Thank you for the link…I’ll never be able to find it in my little corner of VA.
You can imagine, then, my shock, when I spotted it at my usual grocery store in Enid, Oklahoma!
Great post, Mimi. We love blue cheese. Great isn’t it, how easy it is to make a blue cheese sauce.
Blue cheese seems to one of those things that you either love or hate. I think so many of the supermarket cheeses have sort of a plastic taste probably from all the processing. I think I’ve mentioned Wegman’s before & their incredible cheese department where you can get real cheese & it makes all the difference in the world. Being used to what we have here I was amazed when my daughter brought back some cheese from Germany – what flavor!
That was nice of you to let your husband have his birthday dinner without waiting for the photo shoot. Love a sauce on asparagus & this one sounds absolutely fantastic.
I have definitely learned not to blog on food I’m serving company, or any food that my husband is waiting on!!!
Lovely Mimi. I completely agree, there’s blue cheese and then there’s ‘proper’ blue cheese! I always have some in the fridge – roquefort at the moment in fact.
i especially love it on salads!
Blue cheese is one of my favorite cheeses. Love the idea of topping with caramelized shallots and toasted pine nuts.
Thanks so much Norma!
I was never a fan of blue cheese until I tried the good stuff! And I once had a mushroom cambozola pizza at a local Italian place that was incredible!
Oh my, that does sound good. What a great combination!
Kiddo (my partner in the kitchen) is a Blue Cheese kind of guy. I am not a fan, but then I haven’t had blue cheese beyond the salad bar. The sauce looks wonderful. Will have to give Blue Cheese a second look.
I understand completely, having the salad bar experience as well. But if you can find cambozola, do try it. It’s flavorful but mild!
Yum! Why have I never heard of this before! Just can’t wait to try it! Thanks so much, Mimi! :D
It’s just a perfect cheese. Spreadable, flavorful, and mixes well with other cheeses as part of a cheese platter. Some blues I feel would overpower milder cheeses.
Mimi, I love Bleu Cheese so much, one of my friends once over-nighted me some from Minnesota to appease my cravings. (Here’s the link: http://www.cheesecave.net/) While they don’t produce Cambozola, their St. Pete’s Select and AmaBlu are amazing. I really need to get my hands on some Cambozola… where do you buy it locally?
The funny thing is that they started selling it at our main grocery store in Enid about a year ago. It might disappear one day, so I try to buy a lot of it so they think it’s popular. Other good cheeses have come and gone. But I’ve always seen in at Whole Foods, including the one in Tulsa. Don’t really shop anywhere else outside of Enid. I’ll check out your link – thanks!
P.S. I don’t have any experience with their shipping (I usually end up squirreling some home in an ice-packed cooler myself when I visit!) Had a horror story of a shipping experience with UPS re: a cheese order from Wisconsin once (during our 110 degree heat wave here…) Do whatever works best for you! (And do tell about your Cambozola source… my birthday’s coming up next week, and the dinner you prepared for your hubby looked divine!)
I’ll send you some if you can’t find it!
I have to say that anything with Cambazola on it would have to be delicious! I love how you’ve paired this sauce with asparagus, it must taste divine.
Thank you so much! It was a delicious combination!
This sauce is over the top! So easy and so many things your could use it on but on top of the asparagus with caramelised onions sounds like a winner. BTW your gravatar does not have your blog link on it…
I have no idea how to control anything about the computer part of blogging, but thanks for telling me!
No worries I am sure you will have it sorted or I can talk you through it next time your on Facebook chat…
I’m a recent convert to blue cheese (it happened at a winery, actually, paired with an amazing Oregon merlot), and your sauce sounds delicious!
It really is good! I love it as a sauce!
I love blue cheese sauce and I’ll have to look for this particular blue cheese. Your mom was right, cheap blue cheese is just awful and I’ve had too much of it! I do like Camembert so I’m sure this cross between two cheeses is excellent.
Thank you for your comment! It is really fabulous cheese – I hope you can find it!
Hi Mimi, I just wanted to write back and tell you I found the cheese at my local Whole Foods! They had a sample out and I was thrilled to even taste it. It’s wonderful!! I’m excited it’s readily available for me and so ill be back to get a wedge and start cooking. Thank you for writing about it!
It’s one of my favorite bleu cheeses. I have to try that very simple sauce because I love “beef and bleu”!
Thank you for sharing this recipe! I love blue cheese and can’t wait to try this on a steak!
You are so welcome! Easy, and delicious with this particular blue!
Triple cream cheeses are my weaknesses…vive le frommage!
Me, too. so so good!