Recipe: Cheese Crackers

  • Updated: April 25, 2012 - 2:38 PM

Also: Italian Dressing and Potato Chips

Alana Chernila wrote "The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making."

CHEESE CRACKERS

Makes 40 to 45 crackers.

Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. From "The Homemade Pantry," by Alana Chernila.

•3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-in. cubes, plus extra for baking sheets

•11/2 c. (7.5 oz.) flour, plus additional for rolling out dough

•1 tsp. dry mustard powder

•1 tsp. salt

•1 1/4 c. (6 oz.) grated Cheddar cheese

•2 tsp. distilled white vinegar

•1 ice cube

Directions

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, flour, dry mustard and salt. Mix on low speed until mixture is crumbly and butter starts to integrate into mixture, about 30 seconds. Add cheese and mix again, on low speed, for a few seconds.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine 3/4 cup water, white vinegar and ice cube and let it sit for a moment to get cold. Add 6 tablespoons of vinegar mixture to dough and mix on medium speed for 20 seconds.

Continue to add liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough clings in a ball to the beater, then mix for an additional 30 seconds. Mound dough into a ball, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, and up to 3 days. (Dough can be frozen at this point.)

Remove dough from refrigerator 15 minutes before you are ready to roll it out. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease 2 baking sheets (or line with parchment paper). Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and press into a flat disc. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough until it is 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. For square crackers, use a pizza wheel or sharp knife and cut dough into 2-inch squares. For round crackers, use a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Any leftover dough can be rerolled and recut for more crackers.

Using a spatula, transfer crackers to prepared baking sheets, allowing 1 inch between crackers. Bake until crackers are slightly golden, about 30 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Turn off oven and leave baking sheets in oven as it cools, for at least 1 hour. Store crackers at room temperature in a covered container for 5 to 7 days. To bake frozen dough, thaw in refrigerator before rolling out. Baked crackers can be stored in a freezer bag for up to 4 months; re-crisp in a 375-degree oven for 5 minutes.

Nutrition information per cracker:

Calories 37 Fat 2 g Sodium 76 mg

Carbohydrates 3 g Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 21 mg

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 6 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Diabetic exchanges per 2 crackers: 1/2 bread/starch, 1 fat.

 

ITALIAN DRESSING

Makes 11/2 cups.

Note: Refrigerate in a covered container for up to 4 days; whisk before serving. From "The Homemade Pantry."

• 3/4 c. olive oil

• 1/4 c. white wine vinegar

• 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1 to 2 lemons

• 4 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley

• 4 garlic cloves, finely minced

• 2 tbsp. freshly chopped basil

• 1 tsp. red pepper flakes

• 1 tsp. dried oregano

• 1 tsp. salt

• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

In a medium bowl or a 2-cup jar with a wide mouth, combine olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and black pepper. Whisk until smooth and adjust lemon, salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons:

Calories 125 Fat 14 g Sodium 200 mg

Carbohydrates 1 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 7 mg

Protein 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 fat.

 

POTATO CHIPS

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: From "The Homemade Pantry."

•3 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for baking sheets

•1 tsp. salt, divided, plus additional for sprinkling

•11/2 lbs. potatoes (any variety), scrubbled, peels on

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and lightly grease 2 baking sheets with olive oil (or line with parchment paper). Fill a large mixing bowl with water and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to dissolve.

Using a mandoline, cut potatoes into 1/16-inch slices (with a knife you can go a little thicker, and chips will have a little less crunch). As you slice potatoes, submerge them in salted water and let sit for 5 minutes.

Remove potatoes from water and press them into a dish towel to dry. Pour water out of the bowl, dry it, return potatoes to bowl and toss them with olive oil and remaining1/2 teaspooon salt.

Spread potatoes on prepared baking sheets in as close to a single layer as you can achieve. Bake potatoes for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 degrees. Rotate baking sheets and bake an additional 15 minutes. Switch baking sheets and bake an additional 15 minutes, for a total of 45 minutes. The chips are done when they are golden and dry and start to peel off baking sheet.

Remove potatoes from oven and take off any chips that are already finished. Return unfinished chips to oven and continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes. When all chips are ready, spread them on paper towels and sprinkle with salt to taste, if desired. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks; re-crisp in a 425 degree oven for 5 minutes. Freeze in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 4 months; re-crisp using same directions.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:

Calories 145 Fat 7 g Sodium 255 mg

Carbohydrates 19 g Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 14 mg

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch,1 1/2 fat.

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