honey mustard glazed peanuts

Taking an idea from Ideas in Food I got some raw peanuts from Crestview Market, shelled a bunch, added some Marzetti's honey mustard dressing and salt and baked them at 170°F overnight.


After, yum.


Wheat Crackers with toppings

The past several days, a few text-type ear worms got to me and inspired this preparation of crackers. It's good and it's general, have fun with it.

My ear worms
1. @Twixlen got Kitchen Aid dough roller attachments.
2. @Hungry_Woolf, when she was an innocent young blogger, used said rollers to make crackers.
3. My health-crazed most recent favorite writer, Martha Rose Shulman disclosed a cracker recipe as my jumping off point.

water, 100 g
vegetable oil, 30 g
salt, 3 g
atta flour (a fine whole wheat flour commonly found in Indian markets), 120 g
unbleached white flour, 80 g
Mix and wrap in plastic and let sit in fridge over night.  This is a dry dough, not slack; this should be dry enough to make it through the rollers without sticking.  The dough is unleavened, yet, when baked gives a tender and crisp cracker.

Cut dough in thirds and flatten each into a squat, disc and run through rollers on the widest setting.  Keep shaping and reshaping and run through rollers repeatedly until you get a nice long rectangular shape; finish it by running through the next thinner roller setting.
See video below for a typical piece of dough, this takes a little practice to get a feel for the reshaping:

Take sheet of dough and place on parchment lined baking sheet, preheat oven to 350 (convection if you have it) and repeat with rest of dough.

Sheets misted with water, sprinkled with salt, pepper and sesame seeds and rolled lighly with a rolling pin to embed the toppings.  I also score the dough with a pizza cutter so breaking these crackers will be easier when they come out of the oven.  Bake these about 20 minutes, let cool a little and snap them apart whatever shape you used.

Probly coulda cooked these a little more, until browned, but they were still crisp and tasty.  A teaspoon of sugar in the dough would help browning without giving much sweetness.


salt, sugar, pepper, smoke

The past week our smoker's been going full tilt.  A handful of briquettes, some chunks of wood and a (slightly modified) kettle grill can do anything...

First, I lit a few briquettes (Kingsford with the embedded mesquite) and stacked them on one side of the lower grate of the grill using a couple bricks to keep them stacked against the side.  Maybe 10-20 briquettes at any one time.  On the other side of that same grate was a tray of water, to moderate the temperature.  The stainless insert is no longer commercially available, but the extra capacity could also be achieved using the rotisserie collar.  This gives an approximation of the mighty Weber Smokey Mountain.

 This was posted earlier but should not be forgotten.  Some almonds lightly dressed with olive oil and coarse salt and allowed to smoke a couple hours.

This glorious 10 pounds of bacon was a barter job with some friends from Twitter, I think we made out better on the deal.  Thanks @SelimaCat and @M_Herriot!  They cured, I smoked and received oodles of their homemade goodies.  These pork bellies looked fantastic.  They took about 2 1/2 hours. We pulled them and wrapped them in foil when they hit about 140°F.

I grabbed a couple pieces of salmon, mediocre quality, just Kroger stuff and layered them with salt, brown sugar and peppercorns, (no weighing) and let the fish sit in it for two days.  The fish was rinsed thoroughly and smoked about 2 hours while I endured the mania of holiday Target.  It's pretty amazing.  You need to smoke salmon.

With these conditions, the smoking chamber was about 200-225F.  Smoke wood, apple, generously donated by @RachelTayse and @Alex_Baillieul an industrious and creative couple I've enjoyed getting to know.


Cantuccini (retrospective)

I realize a lot of cookies are being cooked right now for exchanges - pththththth to all that, humbug.  But, I decided to pad out a few gift cards with cookies.  I pulled up an old prep and was pleased the recipe held up with not a single tweak.  I made a classic biscotti.


cherry wood smoked almonds

I bookmarked a prep from one of my favorite blogs Menu In Progress long ago on smoking almonds and finally got to try it.  All I did was coat them with a trace of olive oil, shook some salt on them and tossed them in the grill using indirect heat and only about 10-20 briquettes (and water bath).  I also used some traeger cherry pellets and maintained about 225-250F for a couple hours.  On cooling, the slick oily appearance disappeared; the almonds were crisp and smoky.  The only problem, they won't last long.  I think I might even try sugar and salt next time.