Sesame Cents

                                             

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You’ll want to keep these little cocktail cookies on hand year-round.  They are simple to make, keep well in the fridge, and take less than fifteen minutes to bake.  This recipe makes about four dozen depending on the size of the coins.

  • 1/3 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 3 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup of sesame seeds, untoasted

Process first five ingredients until dough forms.  Divide it into halves and make rolls about 2 inches in diameter.  Wrap in foil and chill for an hour.  Slice into quarter-inch, coin-like, discs and sprinkle sesame seeds on top of each coin, pressing gently into the dough.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 400 degrees  in the lower oven for eight to ten minutes or until brown.  Watch carefully to make sure seeds do not burn.

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Sundried Tomato and Basil Loaf

This is a tasty dish for a picnic or tailgate crowd.  Keep the loaf wrapped in foil and slice just before serving.  Better make two, for about 30 servings.

  • 2 cups of swiss cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of spring onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • 1 loaf of french bread

Cut a thin slice off the top of the bread and hollow out the soft interior.  Combine the other ingredients and fill the loaf, replacing the top slice.  Wrap in foil and bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Wrap in a towel and keep warm in an insulated bag if possible if you are traveling any length of time.

 

Clafoutis for your Fillings

We had our first clafouti at a bed and breakfast in Paris.  The eggy pancake was filled with an apple and cheese mixture and we were sold on the concept.  These  mini-clafoutis are perfect for a cocktail party that requires a creative (like fancy) approach for a favorite filling, be it tapenade, shrimp and bacon, mushrooms, or herbal cheese.  Bake them in a mini-muffin pan and pipe in the filling when cool.

  • 1/4 cup of corn starch
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup of whipping cream
  • Sea salt and Cayenne pepper to taste

Whip vigorously until thoroughly combined and fill cups in a mini-muffin pan not more than half full.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 18 minutes and let cool at least 20 minutes before filling.

 

White House Souffled Saltines

These actually were served at the White House during the Kennedy years!  And they are quite delicious.  Set aside some time and don’t plan on doing this for a large party…but it will be worth the effort.

  • Two dozen saltine crackers
  • Four tablespoons of melted butter or olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Your choice of poppy or sesame seeds, dill or rosemary, or what-have-you

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Float saltine crackers on a rimmed baking sheet filled with ice water.  Let soak for ten to twenty minutes and remove with a slotted spatula, draining excess water.  Very carefully place in a single layer on a buttered baking sheet and brush gently with butter  or spray with olive oil. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings and bake for 25 minutes until puffed and golden.  They may be crisped later in a hot oven for 3 to five minutes.

 

Black Sesame and Blue Cheese Wafers

This is a sensational departure from the well-loved, but

sometimes overworked, Southern cheese straw recipe.

Black sesame seeds may be found in any oriental grocery

if your local corner market does not carry them. The wafers

freeze well and may be recrisped in a 350 degree oven.

½ cup of blue cheese

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour

3 tablespoons of cornstarch

2 ½ tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds

Freshly ground black pepper

Sea salt

Combine all ingredients, except the sesame seeds,

in a food processor until you have a well-mixed ball of

dough. Roll it into a two-inch diameter log, wrap in

plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Remove to a floured surface and cut into quarter-inch

thick wafers. Place on an oiled baking sheet,

generously press sesame seeds into the top of each

wafer and bake at 375 degrees for ten to fifteen

minutes or until crisp. Let cool before removing with

a spatula to serve or store in a sealed and

refrigerated container.

Bottom of the Bayou Cajun Crackers

Something crunchy, something spicy, something

different. Nibble these Cajun crackers instead

of mixed nuts and be prepared to refill the bowls.

2 bags goldfish crackers
1 bag oyster crackers
1 package of Buttermilk Ranch dressing mix, powdered
1 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon of green onion tops, finely minced


Blend dressing mix, seasoning, onions and oil.

Pour over crackers and toss gently. Let stand for

eight to ten minutes. You may have to toss gently

again to be sure all of the mixture is absorbed. Toast

lightly on a baking sheet in a 275 degree oven

for twenty minutes and remove to a sealed container.

Stuffed Yeast Rolls

You know those brown-n-serve rolls most of us grew up

with and swore we would never eat another after we left

home? Well, this miraculous conversion of a ubiquitous

ball of yeast and elevation to gourmet status will make

you take it all back! Just try this recipe!

4 dozen small dinner rolls

1/2 pound of sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small can of tomato paste

1 small can of sliced black olives

1 small can of diced green chile peppers

6 boiled eggs, chopped

1 tablespoon of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon of fresh basil, minced

1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

1 stick of butter

I use an apple corer to remove the center of each roll, being

careful to not cut through the bottom but you may use a sharp

spoon. Reserve the bread centers and lightly blend the

remaining ingredients in a food processor. You should add up

to a quarter of the reserved bread centers to get the right

consistency to stuff the rolls. Place on a baking sheet and

put in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the tops

of the rolls are lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving.

Make these ahead, if you like, and freeze until company

pops in!

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