Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lavash Crackers

The Crackers:

I really enjoyed making the crackers. I know the recipe was pretty simple, and as long as you could roll them out thin enough, the product was fool proof. But I must say, I love the kneading and the waiting, watching the dough rise, so it gets to the time I get to knead again. I loved the feeling of the warm dough becoming more pliable and the feeling that it was helping mature with the warmth of my hands in the kneading. I enjoyed it a lot, even the rolling, which I thought would be boring, because I got to stretch the dough out in the air like a pizza base or something. :)

This is what I did with them:

Half mixture rolled and sprinkled with sesame seeds, shredded coconut, pounded coriander seeds and salt.

Half mixture rolled and sprinkled with homemade pecan praline (pounded) and granulated sugar.


Both baked in thin sheets and broken into rough, crispy shards. :) I had to fight to keep the best-looking shards for photos…very morish.

The Dip:

Well the first savoury dip was easy to make, but hard to think of. I had tonnes and tonnes of ideas for the sweet cracker dip, although the vegan aspect was troubling me a bit, with no use of creamy things like yogurt or cream cheese. Still, after assurance from my celiac friend that coconut milk is indeed gluten free, I settled on a Thai green curry dip.

lavash 2

I originally planned to use some tofu or ground peanuts to thicken the dip, but didn’t have tofu to hand, and my mum’s not fond of too much peanut. So seeing the avocado in the fridge, I thought it would add to the green, while hopefully not adding too much full on avocado cream dip taste. I really just wanted this dip to taste like a curry sauce that you’d slurp off of noodles. I thought grating another veggie into the mix would distract from the avocado, and carrots were easy to find in the draw. In the end I got a lovely coloured, flavourful, creamy and tasty dip. It tasted like the curry sauce I wanted, but that was after much too-ing and fro-ing to get the Thai sweet and sour flavours of the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice to set up just right.

Thai green curry dip:

- 1/2 avocado, mashed smooth with lime juice
- ½ brown onion, chopped
- Olive oil
- Small carrot, grated
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp garlic granules
- Large Tbsp Thai green curry paste (make sure vegan and gluten free)
- 150ml tin coconut milk
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- Fish sauce and lime juice to taste
- 2 drops sesame oil
- Lime wedge and ground roasted peanuts to garnish

Fry the onion in oil till translucent. Add spices and carrot and sauté for a few minutes. Add curry paste and sauté till fragrant. Add coconut milk and curry powder, sesame oil and simmer till it thickens. Stir in avocado mash; add lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Add 2 Tbsp of the ground peanuts and mix. Serve hot or cold with lime wedge and sprinkling of peanuts.

The sweet dip, as you can probably guess from the photos, wasn’t so successful. I tried to be too smart, and made a vanilla soy milk ice-cream, that I was going to put blueberries thru and serve with the praline crackers, but then I wasn’t fond of the texture (I don’t have an ice-cream machine anymore , so it wasn’t really creamy) and realised that a dip really should be able to sit there without melting all over the place in a few minutes.

Then I thought up a raspberry and vanilla mouse. I was going to use blended silken smooth tofu, and jam down some frozen raspberries, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla seeds in a saucepan and just mix them together and in the fridge it goes. But even with strict shopping instructions, I returned home to firm, rather than smooth tofu, and thought that the dip wouldn’t be so appealing with large tasteless bits of tofu bobbing around in it (I’m not too huge a fan of tofu, and eating it sweet is a scary thing I’ve not tried as yet).

On the third strike, I thought I’d had a stroke of genius, for a smooth, boozy, warm and comforting dip, almost like an alcoholic fondue style. I was going to make golden banana rum dip. The plan was simple: golden syrup, sugar and water in a pan, heat down to syrup. Add some banana’s sliced and a little vegetable oil to another pan, and fry till they are getting a bit golden edged, add to the syrup pan and put in some golden rum, and flambé a bit. Add all this to the blender and make smooth, then dip the praline crackers in the smooth and sweet rum banana sauce. Unfortunately by the time I got home from an ‘absurdist’ play that my friend wanted me to see (and which type of play I have absolutely refused to ever see again) I just didn’t think it would be wise to stay up past 12 making this dip. I was very tempted to throw a sickie and make it today tho .

Anyhow, I will be enjoying these crackers with some native hibiscus and raspberry jam, till I can try the banana dip that is.

Thanks guys :)

- Monique

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