Saturday, January 3, 2009

Savory Pizzelles with Chicken Carbonara Filling

I have craved pizzelles for about six months, but told myself I could not buy a pizzelle iron until we moved to a bigger house. Knowing my husband has a difficult time finding Christmas gifts for me, I put this at the top of my one-item list and hoped it would show up under the tree. I was not disappointed. We christened it this evening with savory parmesan-basil crackers. The aroma permeated the house in a pleasant sort of parmesan-y way. The results were tasty and worth a repeat in the near future.

Savory Pizzelles
3 large eggs
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup flour
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp basil, finely snipped
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

1. In medium bowl, beat eggs with butter until blended. (Depending on the egg temperature, it may congeal the melted butter slightly.)
2. Stir in remaining ingredients until blended.
3. Preheat pizzelle iron. Drop batter into iron according to manufacturer's instructions. I used about 2 tsp of batter for each pizzelle. When you place the batter, place it slightly "behind" the center. The batter will ooze towards a centered cracker and will have a more uniform thickness.
3. Remove pizzelle from iron and wrap around cannoli form. Do not remove each cracker until you are ready to wrap it. They harden quickly.
Notes: You can make pizzelles up to one week ahead of serving; 1/2 hour before serving, preheat oven to 250 degree. Wrap pizzelles in aluminum foil; heat in oven until warm. Butter burns faster than margarine, so if you want a crunchier cracker, go with butter. For a Mexican flair, omit the parmesan and basil. Add queso fresco and cilantro. For Asian flavoring, add basil and curry or Chinese five-spice. Be creative.

Chicken Carbonara Filling
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup shredded chicken, cooked
1/4 cup crumbled bacon
3 tbsp basil, finely snipped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Dash salt and pepper
1. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour and stir until the mixture forms a paste.
2. Over medium heat, slowly add a tablespoon of milk. Stir. Continue slowly adding milk until your rouex reaches a thick gravy consistency.
3. Add chicken, bacon, basil and parmesan. Stir.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe could work well as an appetizer or main dish. If you want a Mexican flair, omit the bacon, basil and cheese. Add corn, beans, chili or chipotle powder, olives and sun-dried tomatoes. For an Asian flavor, use a curry sauce instead of a cream sauce.

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