Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Crackers and breadsticks and chicken, oh my!

Here's what I did with my snowy Sunday...

I made whole wheat cumin seed crackers, topped with sesame seeds and kosher salt:
Whole wheat cumin seed crackers

I experimented with an apricot chicken and rice dish:
Apricot glazed chicken and rice

I made a batch of crunchy herbed breadsticks (this batch had oregano and parsley, and romano cheese instead of parmesan):
Homemade crunchy breadsticks

To explain 2/3rds of what I did: I'm not buying any store-bought snack foods during Lent this year, so I'm hauling out various cracker and snack recipes to make in the meantime.

The whole wheat cumin seed crackers are part of a larger Charlie Trotter recipe for a seared tuna something-or-other... I thought the cracker part looked good (fish allergy, blah blah). The cumin seed flavor is actually a bit much in the crackers. I say that as someone who LOVES Indian food and is a fan of cumin seed in general. But, in these crackers, it's kind of overpowering. They're not BAD (half of them are gone already)... just not quite what I was expecting. Happily, I got a chance to test out a substitute "egg" wash that I thought would work nicely for these. Instead of using an egg + water, I mixed equal parts of honey and water, and brushed it on the crackers to adhere the sesame seeds and kosher salt. It worked very well. The honey gives a nice little touch of sweetness that works well with the whole wheat flour in these.

I've made the breadsticks before, and have talked about them here before... they're a nice snacking option, and I figured that I might as well make additional snack stuff while I had the time. :)

The apricot chicken and rice... let's just say that, when it snows around here, other people's driving gets incredibly scary. I decided to stay home and make dinner with what I had on hand. I don't normally make up recipes from scratch; I'll take an existing recipe and change half the ingredients around, but I don't usually just plop down a bunch of ingredients and say, "What can I make with this?" The fact that I came up with something that I actually want to make again... yay! I'll play around with it, and once I get a recipe for it, I'll pass it along.

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