Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Looking forward to the next installment of FEAST

A great name that was devised after some very uninspired suggestions - well done to the creative forces behind FEAST! Very much looking forward to the next installment and learning about pasta making.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

{Nibbles} Olive oil crackers

This is the recipe we cooked together at our first meeting. We had fun rolling out the dough together using a pasta machine, this is definitely a job that is easier with more hands! These crackers are like those expensive long thin crispbreads that they sell in gourmet food shops and the seedy version reminds me of lavosh. They are great with dips or cheese.
Olive Oil Crackers
makes 6 long crackers
300 g plain flour (you can substitute half fine semolina flour for a more rustic texture)
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
3 tbsp olive oil
120 ml (1/2 C) water
Olive oil and salt flakes+
Seed version
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp poppy seeds
Rosemary version
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chopped rosemary needles
Combine all ingredients, except extra olive oil and salt flakes, in a large bowl and mix to combine with a spoon or using the dough hook on your mixer. Knead the dough with the dough hook or on a clean work surface by hand until it becomes a smooth ball. Add a touch more water if the dough feels too dry to come together, but the consistency you are shooting for is smooth, not at all sticky or tacky. Too wet a dough will make the biscuits too brittle.
Divide the dough into 6 pieces of (roughly) equal size, and cover with a kitchen towel.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and prepare two large baking trays lined with baking paper .
Take one piece of dough (keep the others covered to prevent them from drying out) and flatten it into an oval disk between the palms of your hands. Set a pasta roller on the widest setting, and slip the disk of dough in the roller to thin it out. Fold the strip of dough in half so the two short sides meet, and slip the dough into the roller again, fold in first. Repeat 3 or 4 times until the dough feels supple; you are essentially kneading the dough in the process. If it gets sticky at any point, dust it with a little flour. Switch the pasta roller to the narrower setting and roll the dough through once to thin it out. Repeat with the subsequent settings until you reach the thinnest setting, and get a thin, long rectangularish sheet of dough. Place it on one of the prepared baking trays. If you don’t have a pasta maker, use your rolling pin to roll as thin as possible.
Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt flakes.
Bake for 7 to 10 minutes until golden. Transfer to a cooling rack, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
The crackers will keep for a few weeks in an airtight container.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Our first meeting - Nibbles Night

Our first meeting of orangeFEAST, which was then unnamed, was lots of fun.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but I suppose that when a group of people get together who like doing the same thing, the conversation will just flow!  And that it certainly did!  Shara organised for us to cook olive oil crackers.  These are shown in front of the green pea and lime dip in the photo above.  The crackers were rolled through a pasta machine to make them lovely and thin.  In short, we did lots of eating, drinking and chatting.  And hopefully we will do the same each month.

A quote I came across recently sums it up: 

"One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.”

Laurie Colwin 'Home Cooking'