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Foodie Friday: you can make crackers?

October 8, 2009

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.

Olive-oil crackers

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.

Hummus

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)
Lemon juice
Olive oil
Salt

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!

Lady Brett

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2009 12:32 pm

    Oooh, hi! I don’t know if I’ve commented here before. I clicked over to you probably from Sugarbutch a little while ago…

    Anyway, I couldn’t help commenting now because I live in San Francisco and I have a suggestion! I was planning on posting this on my blog today, actually, because it should be pretty awesome:

    ArtXX magazine, which is a bi-annual radical sex-positive magazine for marginalized women in the arts (queer, women of color, kinky, etc.), is hosting a fundraiser party tomorrow night (10pm) at El Rio in the Mission, which is my favorite bar in SF. (I’m not in any way related to the magazine, I just think it’s awesome, and the party looks sweet.) Cover is only $5 and El Rio has a sweet patio, and there will be live music (dance-y, funky, folky), and Big Moves, a fat dance troupe, will be coming through… and basically it will be an awesome party.

    Let’s see… link to the magazine homepage is here: http://www.artxxmagazine.com/
    and here’s the link to the event:
    http://www.artxxmagazine.com/community.html

    Just my $0.02!

    Also, if you have lunch free (or dinner…), go to Ike’s Place for sandwiches. You won’t regret it. http://www.ilikeikesplace.com/

  2. October 13, 2009 2:50 am

    sounds yummy, but garlic-o-holics such as myself require more than just ONE clove!! also, tahini is require but ya only need a little tiny bit so if you don’t make hummus much, do not buy a huge jar. process the garlic until it’s minced into tiny pieces, then add everything else. smaller pieces more evenly distributed. roommate who makes hummus makes giant batches and puts like 6 cloves of garlic. maybe i’m spoiled ;)

  3. October 13, 2009 2:49 pm

    alphafemme – thanks for the info…i was rather looking forward to going, but my flight was delayed by half the damn day, so i really only got to see my hotel! =(

    miss a – i would definitely agree that more garlic is the way to go, but only after roasting! as i made it it actually tasted really garlicky, but more in a bitter/spicy way than a super-yummy-garlic way. but that’s okay, because needing to “perfect the recipe” is an excellent excuse to make more!

  4. October 14, 2009 6:37 pm

    i love how tahini tastes, and usually use 2 or 3 tablespoons at least. it has the effect of smoothing it out and giving it an extra layer of flavor. i prefer unroasted tahini over the roasted kind. a jar (the size of a peanut butter jar) is usually $5 but it lasts forever in the fridge… i like to add enough water and process it long enough that it gets super smooth and fluffy. cayenne is a nice addition as well. hummus is my top potluck dish! vegan, gluten-free, and yummy!

    and you’ve definitely inspired me to make some crackers. i have tons of sesame seeds that could be put to good use. it’s funny, i almost experimented with crackers earlier today but made an apple crisp instead. and i also am somewhat irritated by mark bittman, but his recipes are so damn useful i got over it. in fact it’s his crisp recipe i use, except that i don’t follow recipes as a general rule.

    wow i seem to have a lot to say about this…maybe i need to write a cooking post soon! have fun in SF!!

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