Honey Cornbread Crackers

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Sometimes in life, the timing is just off. Sometimes in the kitchen, the timing is just off.  If I had to give this post a theme, I think it would be timing. Timing that was…off.  Why?

Well, you guys remember when I first started making and sharing recipes for DIY crackers, right? I began with the Curry and Ginger crackers, kept it going with the Pumpkin Cinnamon and a little while after that did Cinnamon Sugar ones. For a while, I went on a cracker making spree. It was a tasty little expedition.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that this post has just been sitting in my drafts folder since mid-January. I had actually tested out one additional recipe with all of the other ones, but I never got around to posting it. I really don’t have a good excuse; it always just seemed like the timing to post it was off. I would have another recipe that I thought needed to come first, then it seemed like it was the wrong season/time of year, at one point I hated the pictures, then I didn’t hate the pictures anymore but I still thought the timing was off, then I hated the pictures again, then I didn’t think anyone would care to read about yet ANOTHER cracker recipe. Yada yada yada.

Excuses. Y’all get it.

Today is a rare day where I DO think the timing/time of year for this recipe is right, I don’t hate the pictures, and I do think this recipe should generate some interest. So while that perfect harmony still exists, I’m finally booting this post out of my drafts folder and onto the blog for all to see. My fourth cracker recipe, though probably not the last. It’s eight months late, but eh… better late than never.

What do you guys like to eat alongside your chili? For most people, it’s a hunk of cornbread. For others, maybe it’s crackers; y’know, those oyster shaped ones that come in the sealed packages. I’m good with both, although I’m a bit more partial to the cornbread. Fortunately with this recipe, you really wouldn’t need to pick as it’s a combination of the two.

A while ago Townhouse had a line of crackers that they put on what they called a ‘Bistro’ line. They came in flavors of Multi-grain and Cornbread. The multi-grain was tasty but the Cornbread ones? Guys. They were SOOOO good. I could go through an embarrassing amount of them in one sitting, so perhaps it was for the best that they were discontinued, but I still feel a way about it. Although now, I don’t suppose it matters because I’m pleased to announce that these really do taste almost identical.

The texture of these is different and, I think, better than a standard oyster/saltine cracker. They’re a bit thicker. The cornmeal gives them a gritty, sturdy coarser texture. The honey makes them slightly sweet. I really do have to say, they taste like cornbread would if it were put into a crisp cracker. They were yummy enough for me to just eat them completely solo as snacks, but I can think of several other uses for them.

Cheese lovers should know that these are perfect for eating with cheese. They would be delicious crumbled or dipped into guacamole or bean dip. Tomato soup would complement them very nicely. And  yes, of COURSE, you should eat them alongside or dipped in your chili.

Aren’t y’all glad I decided to finally share? Be easy.

Sharing at this week’s Fiesta Friday #191, co-hosted this week by Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju.com and Antonia @ Zoale.com.

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Honey Cornbread Crackers

Recipe Adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Baking Book

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Ingredients

  • 6 oz all-purpose flour (a little over 1 cup)
  • 4 oz yellow cornmeal (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry powdered milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter (cut into 8 pieces)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1/3 cup whole milk

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium size bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugr, dry milk, kosher salt, baking powder, and baking soda until well blended.

Cut the butter into the dry mixture with a pastry blender, a fork or two knives. The mixture should look like fine crumbs.

In a small bowl combine the honey with the milk, then pour this mixture into the butter/dry ingredients. Stir until you have a smooth dough that doesn’t stick to the bowl. (Drizzle in additional milk if too dry/crumbly).

Divide the dough in half. Sprinkle some flour on a clean, flat surface. Using a well floured rolling pin, Roll out the dough half to about 1/16th inch. From here, cut the dough into whatever desired shapes you want using cookie cutters, pizza wheel, bench scraper or a knife.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the cut cracker dough onto the sheets and freeze for about 20 minutes.

Using a fork, prick the surface of the cracker dough evenly. Spray the tops with cooking spray, then sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 12-16 minutes until golden brown at the edges. Allow to cool for about 60 seconds on the baking sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Texas Bowl of Red

Bowl of Red1Tagged

Scandalous Day 3

So I realize that chili may seem verrry random and out of place in our countdown to Scandal on Thursday, but it’s not. I did put some thought into it before including this recipe in the series and hopefully by the end of this post, it’ll make some sense to ya.

Let’s start with talking about Texas Chili. It’s actually one of those things that when introduced into a certain crowd, can actually create quite a stir/debate about what exactly it is, or ‘should’ be. I know that there are different strokes for different folks, but I’ll go ahead and give my own definition of what I think classifies as true ‘Texas chili’.

Bowl of Red2Tagged

Rule #1. There are no beans in Texas Chili. Let me repeat: there are NO BEANS in Texas Chili.

Rule #2: Rather than the traditional ground beef used in other varieties, the meat in Texas chili is usually a chuck roast, or bottom round that’s cooked low and slow until fork tender.

Rule 3#: It’s gotta be red.

Rule #4: It’s gotta be thick.

So what’s the Scandal inspiration for this dish? Give you guys one guess. Yep. It’s our very own White House Chief of Staff, Cyrus Beene.

There are no beans in Texas Chili, and despite the sound of the pronunciation, there are no ‘beans’ in Cyrus Beene either.

*rimshot*

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Okay, now that I’ve got that very cheesy joke out of the way, I’ll go into the real reasons why I thought of Cyrus when making this dish. Texas Chili is usually a pretty simple, streamlined version of chili- there’s usually not much to it but meat and chili peppers. Similarly, I don’t see Cyrus as one of Scandal’s more complicated characters. He’s ruthless, ambitious and intelligent enough to know what he wants and needs, then does whatever he believes is necessary to achieve it. No bells and whistles. No glamour. No fancy stuff. He is what he is- nothing more, nothing less.

Like Texas Chili, people have a lot of strong opinions about Cyrus that are usually at two different ends of the spectrum: you either like him or you absolutely despise him. Texas chili has a lot of rules that surround it that when violated, catch a lot of flack. I think we all know by now that when you cross Cyrus, there’s going to be a lot more than just flack coming your way. We all know that like thick and spicy Teas Chili, the thick-skinned Cyrus can bring some SERIOUS heat, that more often than not, has him seeing ‘red’.

You guys know me enough to know that I am not a fan of soup, or anything that’s called a stew or chili being watery (like a soup). Therefore, I made my Texas Chili very thick…very VERY thick. I can see how some would say that the one in these pictures looks a tad too thick to be classified as chili and not stew. I can accept that. Making it again, I would maybe decrease the amount of masa harina flour that I used to thicken it. Maybe.

Guys- TWO.DAYS.LEFT.TIL.SCANDAL. I am the most excited!

Cyrus Beene: love him or hate him?

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Texas Bowl of Red {‘Beene’ Chili}

Recipe Courtesy of Food Network.com

CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE VERSION

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 pounds boneless beef chuck or shoulder, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 4 14 -ounce cans low-sodium beef broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup masa harina (instant corn flour)
  • Chopped white onion and sliced pickled jalapenos, for topping

Directions

1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

2. Add half of the beef and cook, stirring, until browned, about 4 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot and brown the remaining beef, then return the first batch to the pot.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the garlic.

4. Combine the chili powder, cumin and flour in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the meat in the pot and stir until evenly coated. Crumble in the oregano with your fingers, then add 3 cans beef broth, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; stir to combine.

5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low; partially cover and simmer until the meat is just tender, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.

6. Whisk the remaining 1 can broth with the masa harina in a bowl to make a creamy paste; stir into the chili. Continue simmering over low heat until the meat is almost falling apart, 30 minutes to 1 hour, adding up to 2 cups water if the chili gets too thick.

Divide among bowls and top with onion and pickled jalapenos.

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