Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blue Stilton & Pecan crackers

Blue Stilton and Pecan crackers 4

This is the time of the year when I seem to spend every waking sun-filled hour outside.

I have a list of projects a half mile long (see honey I didn’t say a mile long, it’s getting shorter!).

I walk around the yard and my mind is constantly churning with ideas.

“Let’s pull this shrub out”

“Let’s rip this up and replace it with something else”

“I need to re-paint that”

“I need to find ____ for this space”

“What if I move that over there?”

And that’s just the stuff I say out loud.

I also keep a gardening journal. I am constantly writing notes in it. It’s my little reference guide.

In addition to the journal I have a running excel list which keeps me in check with all the things I have to do.

It’s a bit hectic in my head.....and on paper too. It's also the time of year when meals with meat, potato and veg kinda just go out the door. Some nights it's a big salad with walnuts and pears, other nights it's pita pizza's on the grill. I have to prioritize and when we're talkin' spring yard prep, full course meals get pushed to the way side a bit. Some night it's homemade crackers and fruit.

With that being said...let's move on to crackers! Yup homemade crackers. You can do it!

This is an Ina recipe. I love Ina. You all know that. I love that she takes simple everyday ingredients and turns them into something lovely. These crackers are the epitome of loveliness. The Stilton gives you a sharp bite but the butter mellows is all out. I ate slices these with a thin slice of Granny Smith apple. Devine.

Blue Stilton & Pecan Crackers
recipe from Ina Garten
1 stick of unsalted butter at room temp
8 ounces of Stilton at room temp, crumbled (or 12 ounces with the rind)
1 ½ all purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 extra large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash
½ cup walnuts, finely chopped

In the bowl of and electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the Stilton together for about 1 minute or until smooth. With the mixer on low add the flour, salt & pepper and continue beating for 1 minute until the dough is in large crumbles. Add 1 tablespoon of cold water and mix until the dough comes together.

Dump the dough onto a floured board and roll it into a 12 inch long log. Brush the log completely with the egg wash. Spread the walnuts on a cutting board and roll the log back and forth in the walnuts, pressing lightly to distribute them evenly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 4 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Cut the log into 3/8 inch thick slices with a small sharp knife and arrange the crackers on the sheet pan. Bake for 22 minutes, until very lightly browned, rotating the pan once during baking. Cool on the pan and serve at room temp.

Blue Stilton and Pecan crackers
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