Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Well and truly Bitten

If you don''t already know of Mark Bittman, you should. Especially if you are and aspiring cook. Not chef. Cook. The New York Times columnist (author and occassional TV star) is truly a home cook to learn from. His cookbooks (my bible is the How To Cook Everything Vegetarian -- an extension of his How to Cook Everything tome) are fixtures in my kitchen as they're easy to follow and offer many alternate suggestions on one master recipe.

The latest recipe I decided to try was a simple one for home made crackers. I made two batches: one were plain ol' cheese the other, spring onion crackers. The recipe is more or less the same.

All you need is all purpose flour (1 cup), 2 tbsp butter or neutral oil like grapeseed or corn and 1 tsp salt. You can add cream cheese (1/2 cup) or parmesan (also 1/2 cup). I chose parmesan simply because I had some in my fridge. Oh and you will need 1/4 cup water when pulsing the mixture into a dough (don't add more water as dough should not be sticky).

For the  spring onion crackers, replace the 1/4 water with milk and add chopped spring onions (they have to be minced, almost).

One thing to remember, when rolling the dough, make sure it's no thicker than an inch. Thinner is better so your home made crackers cook faster and are crispy without being burnt. Mine could have been a bit thinner but it was still ok.

Also, with a knife, lightly draw lines diagonally and horizontally -- i.e perforate the dough so you can break it easily into squares  once baked.

Bake it at 190C for about 15 mins or till golden and cooked through.  They taste like cream crackers (the ones that are slightly buttery) with a hint of cheese.

I used to spend a ridiculous RM7 on Arnott's shapes every once in a while. Well, not anymore cos these crackers taste incredibly alike. Better actually, cause anything home made tastes better somehow. So  Goodbye Arnott, So long Jacobs, my snacks from now are Bittman Crackers manufactured in PJ.

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