We can’t wait for lunch this week! Creamy and smooth garlicky hummus smeared on homemade savory rye crackers. Hurry up, Monday!
Instead of making bread to go with our lunches this week, I opted for homemade crackers. My last attempts at cheese crackers (see this link) were highly successful and ridiculously addictive. Maybe that’s why I’ve stayed away from them for awhile. I had some rye flour left from my Swiss Farmer’s bread recipe. The mix of rye flour and caraway seeds are always a winning combination. These crackers are also flavored with garlic, onion, and a bit of salt.
To go with these delicious crackers, I made a hummus with the ingredients I had on hand. I find that the canned white beans add a nice smooth texture like tahini, but do not have the sharp flavor of tahini. What I like best about this hummus is the zing of the cumin and garlic.
Join me for lunch this week? Here are the recipes for both the crackers and the hummus.
Homemade Rye Crackers
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp caraway seeds
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 2/3 cup water (as needed)
- Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine first six ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- With a fork, stir in canola oil.
- Continue to stir with fork and add water by tablespoons. Dough will come together into ball.
- Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Divide dough into 4 pieces.
- Roll out dough, one piece at a time, until it is about 1/8 inch thick (3 cm).
- Cut rolled dough into serving-sized pieces. Prick each cracker several times with a fork.
- Place crackers on parchment-covered baking sheet.
- Bake crackers for 12 minutes. They will be lightly browned on edges when done.
- Allow to cool completely on wire racks.
Chickpea and White Bean Hummus
- 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
- 1 15 oz. can white beans
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- a few dashes hot sauce, we like Cholula
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Rinse and drain beans.
- Combine beans, lemon, cumin, garlic, hot sauce, salt and half of the olive oil. Place combination in bowl of a food processor in a regular bowl with stick blender at the ready.
- Process mixture until smooth, adding more olive oil in order to reach desired consistency.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a crack of black pepper.
Harumaki (spring rolls) are a fun, tasty, easy-to-make appetizer or side dish. Both the wrappers and the filling can be modified to suit just about any taste. Recipes follow.
So named because they were a traditional part of Chinese New Year and a celebration of the coming spring, originally spring rolls were filled with vegetables and shaped like gold bars; thus they were a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. When Chinese immigrants brought this popular food to Japan, the name was directly translated to haru (spring) maki (roll). These days spring rolls are part of menus the world over, in part because they easily lend themselves to fusion cooking.
Our contribution to a recent dinner party was harumaki filled with sweet Alaskan shrimp, shitake mushrooms and fennel, which we’d recently been presented as a gift. These ingredients were arranged on a piece of nori (dried seaweed) and rolled up in thin squares of one of our favorite pasta doughs. Served hot from the deep fryer along with a lime-infused Ponzu dipping sauce, they were a big hit.
The Alaskan shrimp we use in our recipes are usually pink, coon stripe or side stripe shrimp – species often served in sushi restaurants as ama-ebi (sweet shrimp). The pinks and side stripes in particular have a distinctively sweet flavor.
Alaska Shrimp Harumaki (for eight, two-bite rolls)
- 2 to 4 shitake mushrooms
- 8 nori (dried seaweed) rectangles approximately 2 1/2″ x 3 “
- 8 wrappers 3″ x 3″ (we used pasta dough). (Ready-made egg roll wrappers are available in most grocery stores.)
- 8 ounces shrimp, shelled and veins removed
- fresh fennel leaves – enough for each roll
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- olive oil
- water (to help seal the wrappers)
- Cut the mushrooms into 1/4 inch slices.
- If shrimp are small, use whole. Otherwise cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
- In a bowl, toss together the mushrooms, shrimp, lime juice, ground pepper and sea salt.
- Place 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and heat over medium heat till oil sizzles when a drop of water is added. Add the shrimp mixture, stirring frequently for about 90 seconds. Remove from heat and return mixture to bowl to avoid overcooking.
- Place one piece of nori in center of each wrapper. (Prevent nori from breaking by first dipping in water.) Place shrimp mixture and fennel in center of nori.
- To wrap: Position square so that one corner is toward you. Fold this corner over the filling. Next fold the right and left corners over the filling. Then roll wrapper toward top (remaining) corner as you would a burrito.
- Seal by slightly moistening the last corner and gentle pressing closed. Seal well to prevent oil from leaking in during deep frying.
- In a deep fryer or sufficiently large pot: Add enough frying oil (we use light olive oil or canola oil) so that rolls will be completely submersed. Bring oil to 350°F. Place rolls into oil and cook until wraps are golden brown. Do not overcrowd. Remove and drain on a plate covered with paper towel.
- Serve immediately with ponzu dipping sauce.
Lime-Infused Ponzu Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- small square (about 3/4 inch) konbu (dried kelp)
- Mix the ingredients together in a non-reactive container and let rest for 8 hours.
- Remove konbu.
- Combine the following dried ingredients to make 1 tbsp: onion, garlic, chili pepper, cilantro. Or use fresh ingredients.
- 1 cup semolina
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- In a bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork.
- Add 1 tbsp water. Continue combining. Consistency of dough should be as dry scrambled eggs. Add more water 1 tbsp at a time as necessary.
- Kneed dough by hand till it forms a ball. Wrap ball in plastic (or cover container tightly) and let rest for 20 minutes.
- Finish processing into squares using a manual pasta machine.