One of my favorite bloggers in the whole wide world- that would be Chef Tess Bakeress- issued a challenge last week to try using a fresh herb in something new. Well, since I love challenges and since I just happen to have a super abundance of basil in my garden right now.. I decided this one was right down my alley. Normally, when I'm looking for a recipe these days, the first place I look is online. (What did we ever do before the internet?) But, I figured since it was a challenge after all.. I really aught to make an effort to dig up something on my own. So, I began rummaging back thru my old cookbooks.. cough.. oh, dear, cough..it seems they are just a 'mite' dusty. Guess it has been awhile! LOL Anyway, I did manage to rediscover one of my favorite 'browsers'. You know, those cookbooks that its so fun to read thru and you're sure you will try all those recipes as soon as______ fill in the blank. Well, in my case, it was always as soon as I finally managed to grow an herb garden. Guess what? I actually have an herb garden this year! Granted, it only has 4 herbs in it, but that counts, right??
Anyway, the book is Herbal Treasures by Phyllis V. Shaudys and the recipe I decided to make was 'Opal Basil Cheddar Crisps'. Oh, my goodness- this was something I really should have tried years ago! They are delicious- crispy and chewy all at once, and full of cheesy 'numminess'. (That really aught to be a word if it isn't- I'm just sayin'.) The basil is not the main event here but really more of a subtle background flavor that makes everything else work. The recipe says to serve them hot- and they are at their best warm, but I love them cold too. I'm so glad I finally got a chance to try this one! Thanks again, Chef Tess! :) PS Make these for a party or quickly pass them out to your neighbors- they are definitely NOT low fat and way too hard to resist. Enjoy!
Opal Basil Cheddar Crisps
Yield: 40 snacks
8 ounces medium-sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce (I used Chipotle)
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp. chopped purple opal basil
1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl mix the cheese, butter, Tabasco sauce, and mustard. Blend in the flour and basil. When combined, stir in the cereal and blend well. Shape into small balls. Place on a greased baking sheet and flatten with the bottom of a lightly floured glass. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Serve hot. The crisps may be stored for several days in an airtight container or frozen. Reheat for 5 minutes as needed.