Parmesan Walnut Crackers

I do love to make crackers. I have a cracker binder. I am guessing not many people have those. I mean a cheese cracker binder. Well, there it is. I just cannot help it, I love cheese crackers. This recipe was my winner in 2012 cracker challenge. Not my best year, but the best crackers. And I keep on making them again and again. dd_1673

8 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ozs freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
big pinch of fresh cayenne

Cream butter and Parmesan and mix well. Stir in flour, walnuts, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Form mixture to 1 inch logs and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days, or longer.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut log into 1/4 inch slices. Place slices on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake for 20 minutes until edges are golden.

Winner of the cheese cracker challenge. Yes, I do a cracker challenge quite often. So sad. And very geeky. But that is me.

I think I’ll do it in January just for fun with a new set of recipes. Might include cheese straws for this one. Or maybe not. We shall see.

Fusilli with Artichoke Hearts and Parmesan Cream

DD_9096

Pasta with Artichoke Hearts and Parmesan Cream

This is a recipe that calls for things that I have on hand – my favorite kind of recipe. After making it, it is also very easy and quick to make, perfect for the weeknight when you want to make something creamy and homey, but without a lot of fuss. I guess that’s the basis of the kind of cooking I like to do on the weeknights, now, weekends – that’s another story entirely. But for a Wednesday night this was very very good. If you don’t have fusilli on hand, which I didn’t, use any pasta that will hold the sauce better, such as rotini or a ridged pasta like mezzo penne.

Fusilli with Artichoke Hearts and Parmesan Cream

SERVINGS: 4 – 6

  •  2 1/2 cups canned, drained artichoke hearts (two 14-ounce cans), rinsed and cut into halves or quarters
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 pound fusilli
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, scallion tops, or parsley
  • 1 cup heavy cream

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the cream, salt, pepper, and artichoke hearts. Cook until just heated through, about 3 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fusilli until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the cream sauce, Parmesan, and chives.

Source: Food & Wine

21 Jan 2015

Bench Notes: I used two cans of baby artichoke hearts and halved them after rinsing very well and dried them on paper towels. Also used mezze penne because didn’t have enough fusilli, it worked okay, but will use fusilli next time. Used half and half and heavy cream which means it took a little longer to get the sauce to thicken, but it was a lovely cream sauce when it was finished. Added a little lemon zest to serve. Might add a little lemon juice next time and extra black pepper.

This was quick and easy and very tasty. Can’t wait to try it left over for lunch.