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Donna Rundle, Mortons’ manager of restaurant services, donated this recipe for the book. It plays on two of the flavors we love at Morton’s: blue cheese and smoked bacon. Once you try it, you’ll be addicted. Everyone we know is mad for it, and it’s as amazing with raw vegetables or crackers as with good French bread. Donna says she got the idea for the dip when, on the way to a family reunion in Kansas, she passed through Newton, Iowa, where Maytag blue cheese is produced. She bought a big wheel of cheese and then set about coming up with any number of ways to serve it. This was one of her favorites. Serves 8 to 10
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes or until nearly crisp. Drain the bacon and wipe the skillet dry.
Return the bacon to the pan, add the garlic, and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes longer or until the bacon is crisp. Take care the garlic does not burn. Drain on paper towels.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the cream and beat well to mix. Fold in the bacon, garlic, blue cheese, and chives.
Transfer to a 2-cup baking dish, top evenly with the almonds, and bake for about 30 minutes or until heated through.
Serve with crackers, baguette slices, or vegetables.
Cabernets from Chile tend to have a great vegetal character and strong tannins. They can be drunk young and taste great with this dip. Concha y Toro and Casa Lapostolle Apalta Vineyard are reliable producers.