4/15/2013

Homemade Crackers with Herbs

Tomorrow I've a newspaper reporter and photographer coming to do a story on the garden and Long Creek Herb Farm. There's not much to see in the garden this time of year, just empty beds awaiting summer vegetable and herb plants. We have frost predicted for later in the week, so even basil, corn, beans and tomatoes can't be planted yet.

Any time media people come, I always strive to feed them lunch. I believe if a reporter tastes what's from the garden, they will better understand why I have such extensive gardens.

I have an attitude about gardening and it's summed up in, Why garden if you can't eat what you grow?
How that plays out for me, is expecting plants to justify their space in my garden. To be green and put up a flower now and then, may or may not pay the rent on that space. With an iris, the enchanting fragrance evens the debt for space. A Japanese yew, however, does nothing be exist in its green-ness and it's only in the deadest of winter when I crave something, anything green, that it barely squeaks by.

But caraway, dill, poppies and cumin, those pay the rent on their space twice. Once with flowers or herb leaves, and second by their seed. It's the seed, this time of year that I appreciate most, in making homemade seed crackers. And the hot peppers I've been drying, also earn their keep in my Cheddar Jalapeno crackers (any hottish pepper will work for this). Here are the steps for the Cheddar Jalapeno crackers, from my book, Making Homemade Crackers Using Herbs ($5.95 plus postage, from LongCreekHerbs.com).

Cheddar Jalapeno Crackers
1/2 cup, or about 3 ounces cheddar cheese cubes
1/2 large, fresh jalapeno, seeded (or use 1 tablespoon crushed cayenne or similar)
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
4 (about) tablespoons cold water


Step 1, put everything into the food processor and pulse blend
Step 2, roll out the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Step 3, roll out the dough very thin on floured surface.
Step 4, use a knife or pizza cutter and cut the dough into cracker sizes.
Step 5, prick the crackers with a fork. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet until crisp, 10-12 minutes.
Step 6, cool crackers on baking rack. When cooled, store in air-tight bag (they also freeze well).

Jalapeno Cheese Crackers, ready to eat. They won't last long, these are good!

Jalapeno Cheese Crackers and Herb Seed Crackers.
 

3 comments:

Lyndsay said...

Can one use something other than cornmeal in the recipe?

Jim Long said...

I supposed you could use something other than cornmeal, but I can't think of anything similar that would work. Certainly you could experiment and let us know what you used.

Jim Long said...

I supposed you could use something other than cornmeal, but I can't think of anything similar that would work. Certainly you could experiment and let us know what you used.