You don’t have to be a weed-head in a full haze of happiness to get the munchies, though I am reliably told that that particular activity can exacerbate any natural leanings you have toward being peckish. Me, I’ve never craved a smoke of anything other than the sweet and occasional lungful from a good barbecue, but I certainly do know how to get hungry often, and at least half of that oft-had status is devoted to being snackish as much as anything: a desire for something, whether sweet or savory, that is merely a between-meals treat, even if it ends up (as can happen, I admit) turning into something closer to a whole meal in and of itself. To suggest that this is not a frequent transmutation of the event would be both disingenuous and ridiculous.
What should I do when I become Snackish, then? Why, ignore my base impulses and go off to do something heroic and selfless, of course.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Oh, dear, I almost hurt myself there when I fell off my perch in a paroxysm of delirious guffawing. You know perfectly well that what I will do is hunt for the nearest stash of munch-able items that appeal to my moment of salivary salaciousness and eat them, forthwith. The only conceivable defense in this instance is to provide for myself a few less horrifically harmful snacks that can still stave off the munchies and leave me to fight another day. Rather than stock up on additive-crammed delights that I would happily scarf down just as readily if they were within reach, I sometimes am smart enough to make a bit of homemade nice-vice stuff that might have a hope of keeping me from dashing out to the nearest convenience store and succumbing to the succubus of tantalizing trans-fats and copious drafts of processed sweeteners and weirdly Sci-Fi flavor enhancers and their many hideously alluring cousins.
Today, then, as I was already overheating the house a bit with several loads of laundry, I turned on the oven and made some crackers. The first is a work in progress: I decided that the recipe needs much further study and experimentation to suit my tastes, as it came out a little too fragile and thin in the end to ever act as a vehicle for cheese, egg or tuna salad, herbed labneh, or any such thing, which to me is the primary purpose of a cracker unless it happens to be unusually tasty on its own. I might be able to solve the latter issue of blandness in this recipe (a very simple combination of almond flour, seasoning, oil and egg) by merely changing and/or increasing the spice content, but for now it will definitely have to be considered a first run at Garam Masala crisps with orange oil.
The recipe for the other batch of crackers will definitely get made again. It’s a bit too soft and chewy for toppings as I made it today, though the original recipe assures me that additional baking time at a lower temperature will fix that problem. But it’s quite tasty all on its own, so there’s no harm in having incongruously bendy crackers this time around, especially as the flexibility comes mainly from some added cheese right in the cracker itself. The recipe is wonderfully simple, too, so I will make it again–but as I do have this propensity for overdoing on the quantity of the aforementioned snack-ables, I had probably best not make them frequently. [Insert sheepish grin here.]
The original recipe comes from the good William Davis, MD, at wheatbellyblog.com, and I revised it a little to suit the household tastes.
Chili Sesame Cheese Crackers
This makes a thin enough batter to self-level and fill an 11×17 baking pan, a mighty handy way to create a full sheet of these treats, which are easy to cut as they cool.They’re shown above stacked on their edges, so you can see that they’re only about a pencil’s thickness.
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
1-½ cups raw sesame seeds + reserve a half cup more
1 scant cup shredded Parmesan cheese + a handful of sharp white cheddar bits
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
Pop all of this into a food processor and whiz it together until it’s a nice, slightly coarse flour texture. Add the reserved half cup of sesame seeds and mix again. Then stir in the liquids (below) and pour it all into that nonstick baking sheet pan of yours and pop it in the oven.
1 teaspoon Tabasco/hot sauce + 2 tablespoons good olive oil + 1¼ cups water
It will likely take 30 minutes or, as in my oven’s case, less, to lightly brown these beauties. Dr. Davis tells us that 10-15 minutes of additional baking at 250 F will crisp them further, but if you’re like me you won’t be much bothered with a chewy cracker–after all, slower chewing means slightly less shameless high-speed munching.
Maybe. They are tasty.