Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘rosemary’

RosemaryThymeCrackers_3407

A cracker that’s flavoured delicately with olive oil, rosemary and lemon thyme.

Inspiration to bake comes from so many different places, at least it does for me. Case in point: I was on the streetcar returning home from my weekly status meeting with the marketing company when I pulled out my phone to check up on what’s going on in the world of Facebook. The very first story I see is a recipe for crackers from one of our favourite Food Network Canada’s celebrity chefs, Laura Calder (French food at home). You already know how I love to bake my own crackers so this post hit all the right buttons and I knew right away I wanted to make it. The recipe uses fennel seeds and JT is not a huge fan of fennel, so I improvised and replaced the fennel seeds with chopped rosemary. What can I say? They are light, crispy, delicate crackers that (wait for it) taste as if they were deep fried but they are NOT! The recipe came together so easily (I used my food processor to make the pastry-like dough) and they baked up rather quickly. I made mine long triangles but you can really do any old shape; I rather liked that they weren’t uniform and quite rustic. I changed the name of the crackers because mine had a distinct Olive Oil flavour. Definitely making these again.

Olive Oil, Rosemary and Lemon Thyme Crackers

(Please click here to see Laura’s original recipe)
Makes about 24 crackers, but it depends on what size you cut them.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (125 g) flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • A good grinding of mixed pepper corns
  • 2 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) non-fat yoghurt
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Using the metal blades in your food processor, add all the ingredients and pulse until entirely combined and the dough resembles small pea-like chunks. Don’t over mix because we don’t want the butter to melt.
  3. Turn out onto a piece of lightly floured parchment and roll out to about 1 mm (1/8″) thick. You will need to flour both sides as this dough is rather sticky.
  4. Cut into shapes using a pizza wheel and a kitchen ruler. (I cut triangles that were around 13cm x 5cm  (5″ x 2″)
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they begin to get a golden tone. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Store in an air tight container.
  7. Serve with your favourite dip or cheese.
RosemaryThymeCrackers_3401

They are strong enough to hold dip.

RosemaryThymeCrackers_3400

I used a lovely peppery Olive Oil (the one that our neighbour Tom’s father bottles from Greece).

Read Full Post »

At the Delicious Food Show, JT and I happened upon a lovely vendor who makes the most beautiful savoury Shortbread Cookies. You know that I’m definitely more of a savoury person (no pun intended!) so I was excited to make these delicate little cookies as soon as I got home. I didn’t want the rosemary to be too overwhelming so there isn’t that much of it, feel free to add more. You could also brush the tops with a beaten egg and sprinkle a little flavoured sea salt on each one, but I didn’t want to fuss that much. I served these for cocktails with one of our neighbours as part of an antipasto platter. They were very much appreciated!

Antipasto_1246

We bought three types of cheese, three types of meat and served it with grapes, grilled tomatoes on the vine, roasted almonds, bacon jam and the Ice Wine Syrup

CheddarRosemarySB_1240

The light is beginning to fade to winter.

Cheddar Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Makes about 72 little single bite cookies. Original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 227 g Old Cheddar Cheese (or any other sharp cheese that would pair well with rosemary)
  • 1 tsp salt (or less if using a saltier cheese)
  • 2 1/2 cup Flour (cake and pastry)
  • 227 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Sift together salt and flour; set aside. Using electric mixer with cookie dough hook, cream together cheese and butter until well blended.
  2. Gradually add dry ingredients: if dough becomes too thick, use a wooden spoon to stir but don’t work it too much, this is shortbread so you don’t want to activate the glutens too much. Divide dough in half and shape into rounds; wrap well in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour or freeze for another time.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough quickly into 2mm or 1/4″ thick sheet and cut with a small cookie cutter (I used 4 cm or 1 3/4″ round for these, they do shrink a bit). Put dough into refrigerator while waiting to bake batches.
  4. Bake just until slightly golden, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from baking sheets and cool on a wire. Store in an air tight container or freeze, as I do. To serve, thaw desired amount at room temperature and serve.
CheddarRosemarySB_1242

The rosemary is very subtle in this tender savoury shortbread cookie.

Read Full Post »

When I was 29 I contracted Mononucleosis for the first time (even though it is commonly known as a teenagers illness, I’d never had it before). We had been invited to a brunch at a friend of a friend’s place (we usually met up at a pub but this time it was brunch at her place) and one of the guests had it. Ironically this guest was the daughter of a nurse and she STILL ill advised her to attend the brunch in a totally infectious state. Two of us (Barb and I) were gifted with Mono that day. I was reminded of this story because my friend Charlie’s daughter (Hotly Spiced) is suffering through ‘the glange‘ herself (glange in Australia, Mono in North America — hey, I wonder what they call it in England?).

I was home for about a month from work, and my boss was very understanding. In those days we only had internet by dial up, so it was quite painful doing any form of work. But they kindly sent home a large paperweight Mac and some floppies so I can drudge through my boring day. The nature of the illness is that it robs you of any energy, so I worked for a bit, but mostly watched TV like a zombie which for the by and large was brutally bad in those days.

Chewy and lightly scented with Rosemary

There were a spattering of cooking shows on TV during that time, I don’t believe Food Network existed or it was just being born. At any rate, I got onto Biba’s Italian Kitchen. I loved her food and how accessible she made it (like John does at from the Bartolini Kitchens). I was sleepy watching Biba when she started making a sponge for focaccia bread. Now this is interesting…I jumped up (OK, maybe I wasn’t as close to death as I may have made out I was) and grabbed the nearest scrap of paper and oil pastel (OK I may have also been drawing in bed) and scribbled down the recipe. Years later JT bought me her cookbook Trattoria Cooking which is not as impressive as I had hoped (no photos at all). But the Focaccia recipe is in it and I recently made it for a dinner party we had.

Where is that special EVOO I’ve been saving?

Rosemary Focaccia

Adapted from Biba’s Trattoria Cooking

Makes one 12″ x 18″ sheet of focaccia

Sponge Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp quick rising dry yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup lukewarm water

Directions:

  1. Prepare the sponge by mixing the flour and yeast water together and knead for 3-4 minutes by machine. My sponge was very wet, so I had to add quite a bit more flour to the mix. You want the sponge a little softer and sticker than a normal bread dough.
  2. Allow to rise in a bowl wrapped tightly with plastic wrap for 2-3 hours (I proofed my sponge in the fridge overnight, cover lightly in olive oil).

Focaccia Ingredients second rising:

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 tsp quick rising dry yeast dissolved in 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed rosemary leaves, washed and dried
  • 3 tbsp EVOO, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. If you have proofed your sponge in the fridge like I did, you will need to allow it to come to room temperature.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the second rising in your mixing bowl with a dough hook attachment. Add the sponge and kneed energetically for about 5-7 minutes. After kneading, the dough should be smooth and pliable.
  3. Cover with a light drizzle of olive oil and tightly wrapped plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 450°F for 30 minutes before baking. Lightly oil a 10″ x 14″ cookie sheet and roll out the foccacia until it is about 1/2″ thick or to the edges. Dimple with your fingers. Bake until focaccia is golden in colour.
  5. I like a chewy focaccia, so I generally brush water on the entire surface after it has finished baking (the crust won’t set hard this way). Serve warm with your best olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

You can also see some pretty impressive focaccia bread recipes below:

http://rufusguide.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/rosemary-and-caramalized-onion-foccacia/

http://www.inspirededibles.ca/2011/07/stone-baked-kamut-focaccia-with-fresh.html

http://angiesrecipes.blogspot.ca/2011/02/rosemary-cranberry-focaccia-with-pine.html

http://fromthebartolinikitchens.com/2011/03/02/spianata/

http://www.kitchenbelleicious.com/2011/08/24/chipotle-olive-foccacia/

http://thatskinnychickcanbake.blogspot.ca/2012/05/provencal-olive-fougassefrench-fridays.html

 

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: