Friday, December 17, 2010

Salmon, Hodgepodge, and Cheddar Dill Crackers


Hodgepodge is basically a bunch of veggies, covered in a white sauce. It's not hard to do. Boil a few potatoes and carrots until almost done, throw in broccoli and peas and cook about 3 more minutes. Drain and put pot back on the stove.

Add 2 tblsp butter, chopped onions, and thyme to soften. Grate in a clove of garlic and sprinkle in 2 tblsp flour and cook a minute or two to cook out the raw flour taste. Slowly add 1 cup hot milk, whisking to incorporate, toss in a tablespoon of dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste, and allow to thicken (stir often!).

Throw cooked veggies into the pot and coat with sauce. When ready to serve, sprinkle with a little fresh herbs (dill was great!).

Crackers are easy to make, and can be flavoured however you like.

Cheddar Dill Crackers

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup butter (cold or frozen, depending on your method)
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Set oven to 350 degrees.

There are two ways to do this: You can make it in a food processor, or you can make it in a bowl with frozen butter. The latter will result in much flakier and more tender crackers. Your choice though...

Combine flour, cheeses, dill (or your choice of herb), garlic, salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine 1 cup flour, seasonings, and cheese. If using the food pro, cut cold butter into small cubes and pulse just until contents of the bowl resemble course cornmeal. Don't overwork it.

If you're using the frozen butter technique, grate frozen butter into dry stuff and gently stir to combine.

For either method, now add milk, a bit at a time (I needed a little more than 2 tblsp) until dough forms a ball. Use flour as needed to keep things from sticking.

Roll out to about 1/4" thickness (more if you like a more biscuit type deal, less if you like crispy goodness). Cut into even shapes (squares, triangles, whatever, but make them around the same size for even cooking). Pop onto a silpat (or parchment, or lightly greased) covered baking sheet and slide into the oven for about 15 minutes or until lightly golden.

They will crisp up as they cool.


I did a nice and easy salmon last night...rinsed and dried the filets, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and pan fried in a hot pan with olive oil until just done. I added a squirt of a balsamic glaze at the last minute for a little kick.

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