Foodie Friday: you can make crackers?
But it’s Thursday! Well, yes, but i’m going to San Francisco tomorrow, so. Also, i’m going to San Francisco tomorrow – for work, but i should have some fun time too. Any suggestions?
So, yeah, it turns out you can make crackers yourself. Of course, in theory you can make anything yourself. But it turns out that making crackers is, well, a hell of a lot easier than pie. One of the easiest things i’ve cooked. And it had totally never occurred to me as a possibility.
Thanks goes to the NY Times dining section. Really, you ought to check out their videos. The Minimalist kind of irritated me at first, but really i think he’s the awesome. The Tiny Kitchen bit is really cute (and handy) too. I am not usually inclined to bother with the effort of pulling recipes directly from either show, but watching a ton of them back-to-back was generally enlightening. It served to give me concepts for food, but, more excitingly, gave me a feel for kitchen techniques and style that i may not have thought of before (or that seemed much more complex in writing).
On to last night’s snack-turned-dinner: Homemade Hummus and Crackers
That’s right, the ultimate vegebletarian treat is also super-simple to make yourself. Note that in the case of hummus and crackers simple also means way cheaper than you can buy them for.
1 cup flour (i used bread flour because it was open)
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 400. Mix. Roll. Bake.
Mix: i had to add just a splash more oil than that, but the point is to get all the dough to stick together, but only just. It should stick to itself, but not to your hands. Add more flour, water or oil as needed to get there. Roll it out very thin on parchment paper on a baking sheet. You don’t need any flour, unless you don’t have parchment paper, in which case a lot of flour would probably do the job (the job is not sticking to the sheet). Now you can score the crackers to make them easier to break apart at the end – just run a knife lightly over them in squares (or whatever). Ideally, you just want to cut like halfway through, but it’s not really a big deal if you cut them apart instead. Or if you skip that step. Bake at 400 till they are nice and browning on top (no idea, maybe 20 minutes).
Also, you could make these with pretty much anything. Add herbs, add spices, sprinkle salt or seeds on top. Any flour will do – whatever flavor you like. Any liquid would do – all water, no water, partly butter, cream or yogurt. It really is that simple. In theory. The above is all i’ve tried so far. Experiment! It takes 5 minutes (plus baking), and costs like 50 cents.
So, this one is a little more complicated and specialized than most of my recipes. You’ll need things that plug into the wall. I just got a mini food processor, which i love (oh, right, except for how it failed to work at all the second time i used it. But we traded it out, and i still have high hopes). A blender would work, i’m sure, but i’ve grown to hate blenders. You could probably do it by hand, but that would negate the part about this being so easy you can’t really justify not doing it.
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans, same thing)
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp cumin seeds (or not)
Dump in food processor. Add the lemon and olive oil to taste and to texture as you process. Eat.
This was, i’ll admit, not great hummus – but i think it has the potential to be. Plus, it was still hummus, and therefore good. Next time i am certainly going use roasted garlic. That way it won’t have that “spicy” garlic bite, and i will be able to add a lot more to give it a more garlicy flavor. Also, i have some roasted red peppers i was totally intending to use. Also, technically, you really ought to include tahini in hummus (it may not even be hummus without it, i’m not certain of the rules). I don’t have any, so i didn’t.
Update: Freedomgirl was absolutely right, of course. Now that i have tahini, my hummus is greatly improved. Roasted garlic also comes highly recommended. Or, if you’re lazy like me, simply frying it (whole cloves) in a little oil for a few minutes. Yum!