Savory Crackers

This is adapted from Real Snacks:  Make Your Childhood Favorites Without All the Junk by Lara Ferroni.  We doubled the recipe, used unsalted butter, and cut the salt in half.  I think the recipe was for older kids who were used to “normal” salt levels in commercial crackers maybe.  We changed the seasoning a bit too, according to what we had on hand.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup multigrain flour 
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder 
  • 3 tsp. cane sugar 
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp. nutritional yeast 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (aprx 120’F)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 400′ F.
  2. Sift / whisk all dry ingredients together.
  3. Using food processor or stand mixture, cream together butter and warm milk.
  4. Gradually add in dry ingredient mixture.
  5. Mix until dough forms into a ball that comes away from the bowl.
  6. Roll out to 1/8 inch thick.
  7. Prick dough all over with a fork.
  8. Cut into desired shapes.  Recipe suggested 1 by 2 inch rectangles.  Will even did some fancy ones.

Bake for 4-5 minutes, rotate pan, and bake 3-5 minutes more.

Let cool on rack. 
Packaged by Will!

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    Israeli Couscous Casserole with Vegetable Cheese Sauce

    Vegetable Cheese Sauce

    • 2 cups chopped leeks (or 1 chopped onion)
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen chopped kale (any fresh or frozen greens)
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
    • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (from powder) or water
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch wisked into 1/2 cup cold water until smooth
    • pepper
    • 3 ounces grated cheese (old cheddar), aprx. 1/2 cup
    • 1 ounce grated hard cheese (parmesan, or I used peccorino romano), aprx. 1/4 cup
    1. Saute leeks (or onion) and garlic until soft and translucent.
    2. Add milk and broth/water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add kale. Simmer until vegetables are very tender.
    3. Whisk cornstarch into cold water until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to simmering vegetables and milk. Simmer 5 -10 min until thickened.
    4. Use immersion blender or other kitchen tool to puree the sauce until relatively smooth, the kale should be in specks like parsley or some other herb.
    5. Add cheese to sauce, stir til melted.

    Casserole

    • 2 cups dry Israeli Couscous, boiled like pasta, aprx. 8 minutes, drained (I toasted mine in a dry fry pan for a bit of a nutty flavour)
    • 4 cups cauliflower, florets and stems, chopped, then roasted (425’F, 20 min.or microwaved til slightly cooked, or just raw, can be from frozen too)
    • 4 cups broccoli, florets and stems, chopped(425’F, 20 min.or microwaved til slightly cooked, or just raw, can be from frozen too)
    • 2 cups mushrooms, caps and stems chopped
    • Bread crumbs, regular or panko, with a bit more cheese if you like

      1. Fold roasted/thawed/steamed vegetables (cauliflower and broccoli), couscous and mushrooms into cheese sauce.
      2. Divide mixture into two oiled baking pans. Sprinkle breadcrumbs lightly on top for crunchy topping if desired.
      3. Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.
      4. Extra pan can be frozen unbaked, then thawed and baked at 425’F for aprx. 25 minutes, or baked from frozen for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

      Obviously you could use any combination of fresh or frozen veg, including leftovers.  Adding some leftover beans, lentils, or meat would be great too, and any cheese equalling the same aprx. amount would be awesome too.   And pasta could be used or even leftover rice, or stale bread in cubes!

      Just for comparisons sake, this shows the difference between regular and Israeli couscous.

      Israeli Couscous Vegetable Cheese Casserole

      • 2 cups dry Israeli Couscous, boiled like pasta, aprx. 8 minutes, drained
      • 4 cups cauliflower, florets and stems, chopped, then roasted (425’F, 20 min.or microwaved til slightly cooked, or just raw, can be from frozen too)
      • 4 cups broccoli, florets and stems, chopped(425’F, 20 min.or microwaved til slightly cooked, or just raw, can be from frozen too)
      • 2 cups mushrooms, caps and stems chopped
      • 2 cups chopped leeks (or 1 chopped onion)
      • 1 cup fresh or frozen chopped kale
      • 2 cloves garlic
      • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
      • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (from powder) or water
      • 1/4 cup cornstarch wisked into 1/2 cup cold water until smooth
      • pepper
      • 3 ounces grated cheese (old cheddar), aprx. 1/2 cup
      • 1 ounce grated hard cheese (parmesan, or I used peccorino romano), aprx. 1/4 cup
      • bread crumbs
      1. Saute leeks (or onion) and garlic until soft and translucent.
      2. Add milk and broth/water.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Add kale.  Simmer until vegetables are very tender.
      3. Whisk cornstarch into cold water until smooth.  Add cornstarch mixture to simmering vegetables and milk.  Simmer 5 -10 min until thickened.
      4. Use immersion blender or other kitchen tool to puree the sauce until relatively smooth, the kale should be in specks like a parsley garnish.
      5. Add cheese to sauce, stir til melted.
      6. Fold in roasted/thawed/steamed vegetables (cauliflower and broccoli), couscous and mushrooms.
      7. Divide mixture into two baking pans.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs lightly on top for crunchy topping if desired.
      8. Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.
      9. Extra pan can be frozen unbaked, then thawed and baked at 425’F for aprx. 25 minutes, or baked from frozen for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

      Soup for Olivia

      Not a recipe so much as a description of how I made this soup, so Olivia’s Moms can look it over and make sure I’ve not included anything totally innapropriate.  If I’ve made a mistake Clare can alway add a bit of salt or hot sauce and enjoy it herself (I’m sure Meredith wouldn’t want the pork hock meat or broth!)

      Broth

      • Vegetable scraps
      • Lemon grass
      • Lemon peel
      • Ginger root
      • Outer leaves and ends of leeks
      • Pork shin hock bones, trim (solid, lean meat picked over and reserved for soup)
      • Garlic
      • Peppercorns
      • Dried herbs

        Cover scraps with water, bring to a boil, then simmer for a few hours.  Strain broth, cool to allow fat to seperate.  Skim off fat and discard.
        Soup

        Soup

        Strain the broth, cool, and remove all fat.

        In large soup pot saute the following:

        • Diced carrot, celerey, broccoli stems, broccoli florets, mushrooms, parsnips, onion
        • truRoots sprouted rice and quinoa blend
        • Split green peas, soaked overnight
        • Pork hock meat, picked over, lean meat only
        • Tiny black lentils

          Saute vegetables until translucent, add other ingredients and cover with broth.  

          Simmer til vegetables are tender, and split peas are soft, adding enough stock to make soup  to desired consistency.  

          Simmer until rice and lentils are soft.


          Grown ups could add salt, soy sauce, or miso, hot sauce, chili peppers, smoked paprika, or whatever.

            Quick Kimchi

            I’ve tried fermenting cabbage several times, but it always went horribly wrong.  This time I’m trying something super-simple, from the Stone Soup Blog.  My attempt is based on their Quick Kimchi recipe:

            • 1/2 large white, savoy or napa cabbage (regular white cabbage)
            • 1 bunch bok choy (optional) omitted
            • 2-3 teaspoons chilli flakes
            • 5cm (2in) piece turmeric, grated (they carry this at my Superstore and I plan to try it asap)
            • 5cm (2in) piece ginger, grated
            • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
            • 1.5 – 2tablespoons fine salt

            I added a clove of garlic and a small jalapeno, grated.  I realize this is far from authentic kimchi, I just want to manage to succesfully ferment cabbage into something edible for now.

              I guesstimated how much cabbage would fit in my jar.


              After assembling the other ingredients (powdered tumeric subbed for fresh),


              Everything gets mixed togetherlong with some additional pink Himalayan salt.

               

              Now we wait for a few hours or overnight, covering the kimchi with a tea towel.  I also pounded the cabbage with a weird stirring tool we have.

              The cabbage didn’t release much liquid at all, but it did decrease in volume by about half.  Not sure how that happened, but here it is:


              Next I packed down the cabbage as much as possible, and topped it with several pieces of outer cabbage leaves to keep everything submerged.


              Finally I topped it off with filtered water.


              Then, seal up the top with a masom jar lid, and let sit out on the counter.  It should start to ferment, and needs to be opened once a day to release the built up gas.  We’ll see what happens!

              Day 2:

              The cabbage seemed to have a re-absorbed some of the liquid, but seemed to return to its original state and liquid level once I packed it back down. No smells or signs of frementation yet.

              KFC-Inspired Chicken in the Slow Cooker

              I wanted to try out Stephanie O’Dea’s recipe to see if it was at all alike, but also just to have a nicely, but not too strongly, seasoned batch of cooked chicken meat to use in a variety of things.  

              She originally came up with the idea as some of her kids are gluten free and had never been able to try “the real thing,” as she describes in this NPR article.

              She does a whole chicken but I used a tray of chicken thighs, skin removed by Will!

              This is the spice rub:

              • 1 teaspoon paprika
              • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (I used half salt, half garlic powder)
              • 1 teaspoon onion powder
              • 1 teaspoon sugar
              • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground thyme
              • 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
              • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground sage
              • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
              • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
              • 1⁄4 teaspoon dried marjoram
              • 1⁄4 teaspoon celery salt
              • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom (I substituted corriander)

              I let the thighs sit overnight with the rub on, then browned them both for flavour and to help keep the thighs a bit intact, rather than ending with a mess of meat and tiny bones!

              Now it should cook for at least 6 hrs on low, or 4 hrs on high.


              My chicken was done after about 5 hours, as it was small pieces , not a whole bird.  It is reminiscent of KFC but no gross/good greasy deep fried taste.  You could definitely use it anyhere you’d use rotisserie chicken.


              I’m going to put the juices in the fridge to get the fat off, then add some broth and thicken with some cornstartch for a gravy.  With leftover mashed sweet potatoes and some roasted cabbage it’s what’s for dinner tonight.

              The Verdict:

              Very good, will make it again.  Weirdly like KFC but good for you tasting, especially the gravy I made with juices, thickened with cornstarch.