Thursday, July 28, 2011

Queso Fresco with Cranberry Sauce

Snack time!

I know this doesn't count as something I cooked, but it was such a tasty invention and so photogenic that I couldn't help myself.

And, as the name suggests, it was incredibly simple.

As vacation time has started creeping closer, the contents of the fridge are slowly being consumed and not replenished. Which leads to more creative snacking, and to this particular combination: queso fresco with cranberry sauce.

Queso fresco is a mild, unaged, white cheese that originated in Spain and has since then taken on many other forms (according to wikipedia, it has migrated to Mexico and other American countries and can be compared to a very mild feta or an Indian paneer cheese). In this case, it comes in a handy little yogurt-like container. When plopped upside down, it leaves its plastic home to rest on the plate in a small etched dome.

Alone, it's delicious, but often it's paired with membrillo (a quince paste). Our fridge did not have membrillo. But it did, courtesy of Ikea foods, have cranberry sauce.

A spoonful of cranberry sauce on top and I was in snack heaven.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vegan Gluten-Free Sesame Crackers

I've learned how to successfully manage my sweet-tooth cravings with gluten free creations, but lately I've been missing the other half of my snacking repertoire - the world of salty and savory.

So when everyone else was at the pool and I finally had some time in the kitchen alone, I decided to try out making my own crackers. I scanned over some recipes online to get a general idea of proportions, and then stalked the pantry to see what ingredients I could find.

First I mixed together all the dry ingredients:

1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup sesame seeds
Garlic powder
Sweet dry red pepper
Herbs de Provence

Then I added 1/2 cup olive oil, stirring until the mixture became crumbly. Finally, I mixed in water, a spoonful at a time, folding the dough until it became a relatively cohesive mass.

Into the oven! I formed the dough into small balls, flattening them with my palm, and baked them for 10 minutes or so at 170 C. (Note: the flatter, the better. I did a second round with the kids and they came out fatter and not as crunchy.)

Simple, crunchy, and satisfying.

The fun part about this recipe is that the only constant is the ratio of water to olive oil to flour. From there you can add different seeds, spices, herbs, cheese, etc to your heart's delight. Each time, something new.