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Blue cheese, chilli and pear Dante chips for Joan Crawford

November 8, 2014

Dear Joan,

How I wish you could be present at tonight’s dinner party in your honour. The brainchild of the High Priestess of Silver Screen gourmet glamour herself, Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers, glittering gatherings are happening across the globe. Cocktail glasses will be raised, and platters covered with a menu of your making. The recipes tonight are all yours Joan and alas not a morsel will cross your lips. But would I really want you as a guest at my table Joan? You invented self-promotion on a scale that Lady Gaga could only dream of. I have a horror of that kind of ‘push’ and I’m sure you’d sense it and dislike me on the spot too – your heavy-lidded gaze turning frosty. And the ice on your heart too Joan. How could you strike your adopted children out of your will especially as you treated them so cruelly. Or did you? What is the real truth?

I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt; that beneath the glamour and acting, you weren’t a totally cold creature. Because of food. People who love to cook, who love to eat, who love to share and feed others, can’t be all bad. These recipes are from a treasury of your culinary creations put together by Jenny and soon to be immortalized in a cookbook.

I’ve tinkered with your original Joan. Even such an icon as yourself could not tempt me to use potted ham. But I think you’d approve of the salty blue cheese melted over a sweet, limey, chilli paste with the refreshing sweet slice of fresh pear. It’s the perfect simple appetiser to go with an ice-cold martini that’s named after you made of gin, vermouth and strega with a grapefruit twist. Or there’s a Joan Crawford Cosmo too. Great for a dinner party or an intimate meal for two.

“I need sex for a clear complexion, but I’d rather do it for love.” – Joan Crawford

Blue cheese and pear Dante chips

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 pack of plain tortilla chips (wholemeal or blue corn would be good)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of Lime & Chilli Exotic fruit for cheese from The Fine Cheese Co or other fruit paste for cheese
  • 100g Roquefort or other medium blue cheese
  • 1-2 ripe pears


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C. Line a baking tray or two with baking parchment. Lay as many tortilla chips as you want to use over the tray. With the back of a teaspoon spread a thin coating of fruit paste over each chip.
  2. Crumble a small amount of blue cheese on each tortilla chip; a scant 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon on each is sufficient as the cheese is so salty.
  3. Put the trays of tortilla chips on the top shelf of the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melted. Cut the pears in quarters and remove the core, then slice and cut each slice in half. Place a sliver of pear on each tortilla chip. Serve.
  4. For a party, you could assemble the tortilla chips ahead of time and keep the pear slices in acidulated water (with lemon juice) to stop them from turning brown. While the Dante chips are in the oven, drain the pear and pat dry on kitchen paper.

Blue cheese and pear dante chips - My Custard Pie

I used beautiful, juicy, ripe pears from Turkey for this (seasonal in the region) – perfect for Simple and in Season by Ren Behan hosted by Katie of Feeding Boys and a Firefighter. Do visit for loads of seasonal inspiration.

If you’d still like to be a part of the Joan Crawford glamour email joan(at) for the recipes.  If you send photos or your party and Joan dish or a link to your post to Jenny by Monday November 17th you’ll be in the draw for a copy of her Joan Crawford book. Join in the virtual fun on Twitter @silverscreensup #joancrawfordcookbook. To quote Jenny, “Have a glorious time sprinkling star dust around your kitchens my lovelies!”

  1. November 8, 2014 8:36 pm

    I’m sure she would have approved, although I suspect they might be too good for her… In any case, I approve wholeheartedly – roquefort and pear is a divine combination.

    • November 9, 2014 7:45 am

      It’s my favourite cheese/fruit combination – I ate that plateful single handed.

  2. November 8, 2014 9:36 pm

    Beautifully written and I am tempted to give Joan the benefit of the doubt, though possibly wholly undeserved. The daughter that wrote the “tell-all” book lived in Freeport, Bahamas and my in-laws knew her. By all accounts, she (the daughter) was a normal, sane woman so perhaps the childhood abuse tales were true. They had a signed book, which I read one spring break. Quite scandalous at the time.

    Joan and her issues aside, what a wonderful flavors you have combined here, Sally!

    • November 9, 2014 7:46 am

      You’ve made me want to read it now Stacy!

  3. November 8, 2014 10:46 pm

    amazing sounding appetiser!

  4. November 8, 2014 11:25 pm

    Sounds like a glamorous party! And you’re probably right to assume the party was better without her … 😉

    • November 9, 2014 7:47 am

      Although a party with a bit of mischief making can be very memorable don’t you think…?

      • November 9, 2014 12:24 pm

        I don’t mind mischief – but having watched the film about her kids I am wondering if you wouldn’t be better off inviting Jack the Ripper 😉

      • November 9, 2014 12:43 pm


  5. November 9, 2014 6:39 am

    Beautiful Sally… I am bookmarking this recipe as well… glamour and glitz intact!

  6. November 9, 2014 2:13 pm

    Love the combination of fruit and cheese! These look so elegant.

  7. therealgeordiearmani permalink
    November 9, 2014 4:54 pm

    Elegance personified, great combo!

  8. November 9, 2014 5:21 pm

    Such a fantastic and elegant idea- definitely will give it a try sometime if I have friends coming round! 🙂

  9. November 9, 2014 9:21 pm

    A wonderful post! That is such a great combination. Refined and tasty.



  10. November 9, 2014 10:14 pm

    Joan would have loved the party! Great intro!

  11. November 10, 2014 1:24 am

    Awww pear and blue cheese… yummmm… I usually eat this over an endive salad or on a cheese platter but I love the idea of having it over tortilla chips with a cocktail!!!

  12. ramblingtart permalink
    November 10, 2014 9:10 am

    This sounds delicious – such perfect food for the blazing hot day we’re having. I hope she wasn’t as horrible as she sounds.

  13. November 10, 2014 10:28 am

    What a lovely post Sally, and I love the recipe you chose 🙂

  14. November 10, 2014 3:36 pm

    Oh wow – I *love* the flavours in those little bites! ALso love the entire idea of the book, and the virtual party 🙂 The quote about Joan’s reasons to have sex is fabulous ;o)

  15. November 10, 2014 8:41 pm

    Sounds delicious! I’m a sucker for the blue cheese and pear combo anyway, and tortilla chips are particular weakness. I think this will be made. And not shared…

  16. November 10, 2014 10:17 pm

    This will be perfect with sparkling….love! Easy peasy to make for guests. Nice post.

  17. November 11, 2014 2:25 am

    Pears and blue cheese, a delicious combination. My most recent recipe co-incidentally uses a delicious Irish one called Wicklow Blue. I’ll be giving these a go.

  18. November 11, 2014 5:52 pm

    Ah Sally, this post made my heart SING! Thanks so much for being part of my Joan Crawford Virtual Reality Dinner Party. As usual you do everything with such style and panache. Joan would have LOVED your take on her recipe I just know it. I am going to make a version of Joan’s salty snacks like yours sometime soon too! With cocktails naturally!

    I’ll be blogging about all the parties that went on in Joan’s honour over the next week or so.

    The Cooking With Joan Crawford cookbook has been a labour of love and I hope it will throw a little light on what an amazing hostess Joan was back in her heyday. It’s only available from if you are in the UK or if you are outside the UK. If any of your readers are interested, here’s a link to my book page… – clicking on the pic shows you a preview of the first few pages of the book…

    Raising a Joan Crawford Cosmo Cocktail in your direction from London Sally! Cheers xxx

  19. November 17, 2014 5:57 pm

    This combination sounds wonderful, and they look beautiful, too!

  20. November 25, 2014 5:52 pm

    What a wonderful sounding party snack… I could easily scoff a tray full of these with a glass or two of wine… not sure it would be wise for me to make them on that basis!!! Thanks for entering them into November’s round of Simple and in Season.


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