Rosemary sea salt crisps

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I love finding new little party snacks to serve at a dinner party of 2 to a party of 30.  I love making food and sharing it, especially if it’s good. I especially like the kind of party bites you can make way ahead of time and that costs nothing compared to the very similar store bought items.

I decided to make my own crackers after reading a recipe for cheddar crackers from a recipe in one of the last Martha Steward Living magazine. I made Martha’s cheddar crackers. I froze half the dough and baked the other half.  The crackers were very flavorful, however I cut them too thick and they were chewy. I tried to fix the problem by putting them back into the oven and ended up making little tasty bricks.

I have learned a lot in my cracker making and think I’m improving-it’s seriously easy to make once you understand that you need to roll the dough as thin as possible. I think next time I will put the rolled out dough into my pasta machine and make it even thinner.

But enough said, these crackers are delicious. I wanted to see how long the shelf life was, but they didn’t even make it past a day. I do still have 3/4 of the dough frozen in 3 parts in the freezer-I know it will last up to one month. I will pull them out at the next gathering or bring in a nice little clear plastic bag with bow for a hostess gift. The great thing too is these are significantly cheaper to make than store bought-almost 1/8th the cost and there is no waste. I’m tired of spending 4-8 dollars on artisanal crisps that are 1/2 eaten and not easily kept and end up being tossed after a few days.

I ate these with a little sharp cheddar cheese and tomato. The crackers pair well with goat cheese, brie, sharp cheddar- you can even top with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, sharp cheddar and cucumber, smoked salmon and cream cheese… the possibilities are endless.

Even the photo below just has a few slices of tomato with salt… delicious balance of juicy and dry.

IMG_5478Rosemary Sea Salt Crisp ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of salt for mixture

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup warm water

2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary

Toppings-

2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary

1 tablespoon Maldon salt or a nice fleur de Sel ( if you have neither-kosher salt will do)

You can play around with these toppings.  The next I will try will be poppy seeds with salt, maybe sun-dried tomatoes and olives, chili pepper, pine nuts with salt maybe, or whatever I can find that I think will compliment the cheeses I’m thinking of serving these tasty crisps.

Directions:  Heat the oven to 425 and place rack in the middle.

Set two cookie sheets with parchment paper/

Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl as well as the 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary.

Add the oil and water.  Mix this as much as you can for it to all be cohesive. If there is still too much flour or it’s not coming together add a bit more water and oil, one teaspoon of each at a time.

Roll the dough out. Cut in half and put top half on top of other.  Get some muscle into this. Keep rolling and dividing and rolling till everything has come together.  At this point you can reserve half or even 3/4 of the dough for another time. My advice is if you are keeping 3/4th of the dough (1/4 makes about 20 crackers) you should divide the dough into 3 balls that way you can have more or less depending on size of gathering. 1/4 is a great amount to put in a little gift bag.

Get working again with your rolling pin. This is where I think my pasta machine would help as my arms almost fell off using my wooden rolling pin. If you have a marble rolling pin you are in luck and you can probably get this dough as thin as possible.

I cut my little squares/rectangles and rolled each one again individually.  Place each on the cookie sheet as close as you want together. Add salt and rosemary to the tops and prick each cracker with 3- 4 fork holes.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes depending on your oven.  Let the crackers cool completely. Best is to transfer them to a wire rack so they can cool in a uniform way and get crunchier as they cool. You can store your crackers in a tin or place them in a sturdy clear gift bag-tie a bow and it’s a gift ready-but it won’t last more than 5 days.

 

Hope you enjoy and if you think of other toppings that would be yummy, let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

Pizzas! -Pissaladiere and black olive,mushroom and ham

I love this pizza for parties-slice it up in smaller portions and you have a savory little bite.

I got two pre-made pizza doughs. Luckily as the pissaladiere took longer than expected. I had no idea what time it was and getting dinner done in 15 minutes wasn’t happening with onions that had to cook slowly for 45 minutes. So we ate the mushroom, black olives and ham pizza on Friday and enjoyed the anchovy, onion and black olive pizza on Saturday.

For the Pissaladiere:

3 lbs of sweet onions-about 7-8 depending on size

6 tablespoons of thyme

3 tablespoons of butter

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 can pitted black olives or cured black olives

3 small tins of anchovies

Pizza dough-I bought mine as I love Papa Joe’s pizza dough and there is no reason for me to make it at home-but just google pizza dough if you want to make it homemade.

Slice up onions as thin as possible

Melt 3 tbsps butter in 3 tablespoons olive oil and add 3 tablespoons fresh thyme.  Add onions and stir occasionally. Keep onions covered for 45 minutes.

Once onion mixture is done add them to rolled out pizza dough that has been placed on a greased cookie sheet.  Add the anchovies in a criss/cross/latice manner-please see video above.  Place one olive in each rectangle/diamond area.  Sprinkle the rest of the thyme and bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven and likings.

This pizza can be frozen before it’s baked for up to one month. It’s great for appetizers or just a simple meal. Serve with a side salad with an easy dijon vinaigrette.

Enjoy!

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