Licensed to be made in only three English counties (Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire) by the European Commission, by a grand total of six dairies, Blue Stilton has long been dubbed "The King of Cheeses" for good reason.
Fun Fact: Stilton takes its name from the village of the same name in Cambridgeshire, although the cheese has a history of being eaten there, it has never been made there.
What's it like? Well it's a soft and very buttery, mellow and well-rounded blue cheese that is fantastic to cook with, and it's THE best thing to ever happen to twice-baked potato skins. Try this recipe with a nice bottle of wine and some 2" thick steaks soon, you won't regret it.
This is the quick/easy method using microwave to speed up by about half.
Crisp up 6 or 7 pieces of bacon, break into small pieces and set aside.
While heating the oven to 425-450° (whatever) prick your potato skins with a fork and put one potato per person into microwave on a double thickness of papertoweling circled around to make a wheel or into a wheel spoke pattern and cook on high.
1 potato = 3 min
2 potato = 4 min
3 potatoes = 5 min
This half bakes them. When they're done, transfer to cookie sheet into oven and continue baking for 20 minutes as oven baking gives a better texture to the finished product. While they're baking put 3 large pats of garlic/chive butter into a medium bowl and set aside.
When 20 min is up, remove tray and immediately set about slicing in half lengthwise to form the 2 potato skins per potato. Once you have them all sliced take each in turn and stab meat repeatedly with fork to break it up so you can scoop it out without doing any harm to the skin by slipping with the spoon. Once you have all the meat into the bowl with the garlic/chive butter return the "empty" skins to the oven to crisp them a bit.
Working quickly add a BIG spoonful of regular butter or margarine to the bowl and some milk or cream and whip with mixer while adding generous portions of salt & pepper to taste. Then take slices of stilton cheese and crumble it into the mixture and whip that in as well. I buy small wedges of stilton and I use about half the wedge per 3 potatoes, but do it to your taste. Remove the empty skins from oven on tray (you didn't leave them in to there too long I hope) and scoop the whipped potato into the skins. Top with more crushed up stilton and the bacon pieces and return to oven for 10-20 minutes (whatever) and then serve with sour cream and chopped chives or green onions for garnish.
This is extremely yummy with a fine red full-bodied wine and left overs are magic with dinner later or the next day. The taste is sophisticated and yet not stuffy at all. These skins impress with their great taste, you'll love them alone or with company.
Last week I was eating some salad with a wonderful rice wine vinaigrette at the Japanese place in the city and the chef refused to tell me the ingredients! So I have not asked the local pub that makes stilton skins how they do it, preferring to just try to guess my way though it even though I'm really not that experienced as a cook, but I just went with whatever seemed like a good idea to try to recreate this wonderful dish. It turned out so yummy I wanted to share and if anyone else can add some creative touches to make it even better, I'll be listening!