Lavosh (Armenian Crackers) & Edamame Hummus
‘OK, I’M AN IDIOT!”
There, I said it. This weekend I decided to do some ‘programming work’ on the blog. Not the smartest move. As everyone knows, before you attempt revising any electronic file, you should always back up your work. Well, yours truly was way too cocky to take such precautions. Result? I erased a chunk (about 160) of the email subscribers to this blog. Yikes! (On that note, thanks to all of you who have signed up. If you received an automatic update on this post, I was able to find and resubmit your address from an older list.)
As punishment, I will make myself wear a dunce cap and write, “I will never tinker with my blog without backing up the data,” 101 times on a chalkboard.
So, before I move on to the food, I have a small favor to ask….please please please re-subscribe to receive your Ceramic Canvas updates. And if you haven’t signed up yet, ‘What are you waiting for?’ We are a very zany and cool bunch at the Ceramic Canvas subscription group. We’re kind of like the cool kid’s table at the high school cafeteria. Not that I would know what that’s like. I sat with the band geeks. (You can subscribe by entering your email in the top right corner of this page.)
Now, that I’ve publicly acknowledged my bone-headedness, on to the food.
My good friends Rasha & Ehab recently got me the coolest cookbook for my birthday. The book, Saha: A Chef’s journey trough Lebanon and Syria, is absolutely stunning. It’s filled with vivid photography and stories about Middle Eastern food. Reading the book, you really feel like you are walking with the author as she conveys her appreciation of the local cuisine and its history.
I was so inspired by the book that the very next day I ordered the companion book, Turquoise: A chef’s travels in Turkey. I was equally blown away. Between the two books, I have tabbed over 50 recipes that I’m committed to trying and sharing in this blog.
First up is a recipe for lavosh – Armenian crackers. I have wanted to make my own crackers for some time. It just seems like a cool thing to do. So, when I came across this recipe for lavosh I thought, “No time better than today.”
From the start I envisioned these crackers being served with hummus. But I didn’t want just any old hummus. I wanted something a little different. Inspired by a comment left on this blog about fava bean hummus, I decided to try my hand at an edamame version.
So, I rolled up my sleeves and got down to cooking.
When I finished, I tested the crackers and hummus out on some Guinea Pigs…I mean, friends… and they were a hit. The crackers were crisp and the hummus had a beautiful earthy flavor.
Although the crackers and hummus were pretty good, there are definitely some things that I will do differently the next time. First, the original recipe called for putting dill seeds inside of the dough. I don’t recommend this. For maximum crispiness, the crackers should be rolled paper-thin, which is difficult to do with whole dill seeds inside the dough. Next time I will sprinkle the dill seeds on top of the dough just before baking.
Secondly, I will dial up the edamame flavor in the hummus by decreasing the tahini (which has a pretty bold flavor) and increasing the amount of edamame. Both of these tweaks are reflected in the recipes below.
Enjoy the dish!
Oh yeah, don’t forget to re-sign up for the Ceramic Canvas subscription (top right corner of page).
LAVOSH CRACKERS (adapted from Turquoise by Greg & Lucy Malouf)
1 cup flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
2.5 tbl unsalted butter
½ cup milk, plus 1 tbl
1 large egg
Mix of dill, sesame and poppy seeds (about ¼ cup)
Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and blend in the butter with a pastry cutter. Use your hands to mix in the milk until the mixture becomes a rough ball of dough. Knead for 5 minutes then cover with plastic wrap and let res for one hour.
Preheat oven to 300˚ and line cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Cut dough into quarters and work with one piece at a time (keeping the remaining dough covered until time to use). On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until paper-thin, or use a pasta machine, working through the settings (until setting ‘5’ on KitchenAid pasta press attachment).
Transfer the sheet of dough to your work surface, then cut it into long strips about 2 ¼ inches wide and carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat egg with the extra milk, and then brush each strip or dough with this. Sprinkle the dough with seed mixture and allow air-drying for 3 minutes.
Cut each strip into long triangles, rectangles or squares and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden and crisp, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
Once crackers have cooled, store in an airtight container.
Makes about 20 crackers.
EDAMAME HUMMUS (adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman)
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
1 ¼ cup of blanched edamame beans
2 tbl tahini
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Sesame and poppy seeds, to garnish
Put the chickpeas, edamame, tahini, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice in a blender and process until smooth – add water to achieve desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with sesame and poppy seeds and a drizzle of olive oil.
Makes about 2 cups of hummus.