True Confessions of a Mid-Life Cook

There's a definite correlation between my profound love of music and how and what I've taught myself to cook. My favorite music to listen to and to perform is soulful, sensual, sometimes funky and always bluesy in nature . . . and that's exactly how I cook. I like to get my hands in the food. I chop, I knead, I stir with my hands. Sometimes I wear my big rimmed cowboy hat, nightie and Old Gringo boots in kitchen, sometimes a coonskin cap when the mood strikes and sometimes just an apron and a smile. Using the freshest of ingredients, I love to bringing a new spirit to old favorites. I am so to drawn dishes seeping in both Texas and Southern tradition,with a special affinity for those authentic old jewels found in South Louisiana.
Because they, too, are so powerfully soulful?

I've discovered being a good cook is a journey and not a destination. (Yes, I stole an over-used corporate slogan and made it my own--but it's still the truth) Every time we screw up, we learn. And in part, that's what this blog is about. Cooking fearlessly. With heart, with soul -- and with some damn good music to inspire. (If your three layer chocolate cake ends up looking like a Jerry Springer rerun or you cut the tip of your thumb off while making New Year's Day gumbo, WHO CARES?Proclaim Francine Reed's "I'm a Handful" your theme song. She would like that.)
We cook because we find ourselves kinda empty if we don't.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Little Blue Monday Crackers

Don't let these delicate little crackers fool you . . .they carry a powerful punch that will make any blue cheese lover bow at your feet when you share.  Easy.  And perfect for Monday night football watching. Eat them bare or crown them with a favorite topping such as a savory roast beef spread.  After all, beef and blue cheese is a marriage made in culinary heaven!

3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
scant 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup blue cornmeal (or yellow)
pinch of salt
1 beaten egg for glazing (optional)

(Line two baking sheets with wax or parchment paper.)

Preheat oven to 405.
Mix the butter, cheese and egg yolk and then work in the mixed flour, cornmeal and salt just enough to form a soft dough.  Shape the dough into a disc and refrigerate for for at least 30 to 45 minutes to rest.    Dust a surface with flour and a little corn meal.  Roll out pasty til a little under a 1/4" thick.  Cut in squares or half moons.  (Next time, I may use an extra small round cookie cutter for a more uniform look.)  Brush with the egg glaze right before putting them in the oven.  Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges are nicely browned.  Remove to a wire rack and cool.

Note:  Blue cheeses can vary greatly in taste.  Many centuries ago, cheese was left to age in some moldy cave and became streaked with bluish-green mold.  But rather than spoiling the cheese, the mold gave it a pungent and distinctive flavor, and blue cheese was born.  Since then, cheese-makers learned to inject or stir mold spores into different cheeses, and many still use caves to age them.

Play with different blue cheeses to come up with the combination you love the most.  The possibilities are endless.  See the following link:

Suggested listening:

Batman sings "Am I Blue?"


Mary said...

Your crackers sound delicious. As a matter of fact I like all the food and recipes you feature here. I'll be back often. It's nice to make new friends. I hope you are having a great day.Blessings...Mary

Tavern on the Concho said...

Thank you, Mary. Anyone who has a fondness for honky tonk piano is an instant friend!:) Angela