Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Homemade Graham Crackers

I got this recipe from an employee magazine in the break room at work.   I decided to try it, and thought they were delicious!  So I figured I would share it here with everyone, since Graham Crackers are a timeless classic. 

Homemade Graham Crackers

2 ½ cups all purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons honey (corn syrup will also do)
1 tsp vanilla extract


In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, or a stand mixer bowl, cream butter, sugar, honey and vanilla on low speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add flour mixture and blend well.  

Transfer dough to plastic wrap, press into a square and refrigerate at least 2 hours, until firm. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or wax paper, set aside.  

Remove dough from fridge.  On a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough into 1/8-inch thickness.   Cut out 2 ½ x 5 ½ inch crackers.  Roll additional scraps into 1/8-inch thickness and cut out as many additional crackers as you can.  

Place crackers on lined baking sheets and use a tooth pick to poke uniformed holes in crackers about ¼ inch apart.  Bake 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through, until crackers are brown and slightly firm.  Let cool on baking sheet for about 3 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.  

TIP:  Before baking, you can also sprinkle the crackers with a cinnamon-sugar mix. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sole Meunière Recipe ( Fish Fillet With Butter And Lemon )

This is a rich, buttery French sole fish recipe.  But you can also use whatever fish fillet you have.  Its also quite special, because upon her first visit to France, the world-famous chef Julia Child had this dish in a French restaurant, and it inspired her to take an interest in French cooking.  In the film “Julie And Julia” there is actually a shot of this dish being served to Julia, right at her table!  

 This recipe is great when you end up with some fish in your home and aren’t sure how you want to cook it (maybe you have some catch from a recent fishing trip?).  Its quick, simple, classic and delicious!

This is for ONE fish, but you can double, triple, etc. the recipe as needed.  
14oz. sole filet (or any fish filet you have)
¼ cup plain flour
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons oil
3 ½ tablespoons butter
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Season the flour with ½ tsp salt and ten shakes (or turns0 of pepper).  Or to taste.  Mix together.

Place the fish in the flour and coat each side with it.  Gently tap to remove any excess flour.  

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle pan with a pinch of flour.  If the flour sizzles, the pan is hot enough.  

Add HALF of the butter to the pan and place the fish in the pan.  NOTE:  If cooking more than one piece of fish, DO NOT crowd the pan, or else fish will steam, rather than turning brown.   2 fillets maximum in the pan. 

Reduce heat to medium.   Cook fish on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, only moving gently, until golden in color on one side.  

While fish cooks, in a separate pan, melt the remaining butter on medium heat.  When butter starts to turn slightly brown, add the lemon juice and parsley.  Remove from heat and place butter-lemon “sauce” in a small bowl.  

Carefully turn the fish over, and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes, until other side is also golden in color.  

Remove from pan and place on a serving plate.  Pour butter-lemon sauce over fish and serve.    

**TIP:   If you prefer breaded fish, you can simply coat the fish in a beaten egg, then roll in some bread crumbs before frying, and simply add all the butter, lemon juice and parsley to the pan while cooking the fish.  

Also, a great side to serve this fish with would be steamed asparagus and halved new potatoes, seasoned and cooked however you like.