Friday, March 25, 2011

Wonton Crackers and Smoky Hummus

Mama Bird and I hosted a book club with some friends a few weeks ago. I say 'book club' loosely, as although we finally had an assigned book, I was the only one who read it. It's much more a collection of women who get together and drink wine and talk for the night. And play some games.

It's interesting for me, being the youngest member by far. The rest of the women have children, and more than one have grown children, so I guess I'm the generation gap-filler. But it's interesting to just sit and talk with them. The conversation flows fine, I don't feel intimidated, and it's just like talking with any other group of people. When did talking to 'adults' stop being scary? When did I start to count as an adult?

There weren't many of us last week, so we didn't go overboard. I made some crackers and hummus,
and tried to take an extra 20 seconds to plate it nicely. And for once I actually kind of like how it looked. Mind, I'm still a terrible photographer. But you can still probably see the improvement!

Everything was surprisingly easy to make, except the exploding tahini can. But I'll explain that once I get to talking about the hummus.

You start off by just cutting wonton wrappers. I used the new meat scissors Mama Bird bought. Was that bad? That didn't even occur to me until now. I guess they can be sharpened, so it can't be that big of a deal...

It's not terribly clear here, but the wrapper on the left has been brushed with a ton of the sweet and salty mixture of honey, soy sauce, and egg white. I ended up with a bit too much each time and so some crackers had a thicker layer on them. I don't think Boyfriend Bird was a fan of that, but I didn't mind.

I used poppy seeds for these. Why? We didn't have sesame and I was too lazy to go to the store. This does change the cost of the whole thing by a little, as I believe sesame is more expensive, and of course it changed the flavor. I was fine with them, but someday I'd love to try the sesame seeds instead.

I also didn't get a super even spread with the sugar/salt/seed mixture, as you might be able to tell. This makes part of it have a lot more of an intense flavor. Next time I may try to mix the dry mix in with the egg mixture and see if it spreads better. That was really my only complaint about these, honestly.

The first time I made these I followed Martha's directions and sprayed the wrappers so they wouldn't stick. The second, I didn't. The second time, they stuck to the paper. How shocking. Next time I will PAM the parchment paper, and hopefully that'll fix the problem.

Sigh. I miss them, now that I've eaten them all.

But now for the story of that hummus...

It doesn't look great that way, does it? Well, I sort of think it does. But the smell was what really impressed me right then. The mixing of cumin, curry powder, red pepper flakes, Sriracha, Frank's... it was wonderful.

I have no recipe for the hummus, because I just sort of played it by ear for part of it. I'll make it again and try to actually measure my ingredients, but I can tell you it was probably around a teaspoon of Sriracha or more, and a few teaspoons of Frank's Red Hot, with the spices, garbanzo beans, and tahini. The tahini was a nightmare to get out of the tin, an absolute nightmare. Unfortunately both grocery stores near me only carry one version, so I will have to find a better way to use it. The oil and paste completely separate, and I had a hell of a time trying to mix them together. If anyone has any ideas about that, I'd love to hear them.

The only problem I had with it? I think it's a little dry. If anyone recalls, I actually taste tested two hummus flavors: smoky and lemon. The lemon turned out far too watery, and I think I overcompensated. Sister Bird (and everyone else who's tried this hummus) enjoy it this way, but I think next time I'll had a teaspoons of oil to make it slightly less solid.

So there you have it. Easy hummus and chips you can make for a party. Or for yourself. These would make a great lunch for a healthy week. I should take my own advice here, I've been eating just apples and yogurt for lunch for weeks now. Maybe I'll make myself something more interesting.

Sesame Wonton Crackers from Martha Stewart
(Makes 5 servings, about $0.75 and 192 calories per 10 crackers)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 24 wonton wrappers, cut diagonally

    1. Preheat oven to 375.
    2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
    3. Beat together egg white, honey, and soy sauce.
    4. In separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, pepper, and sesame seeds.
    5. Cut wonton wrappers and arrange on parchment paper in single layer.
    6. Using a pastry brush and holding the wrappers down, generously cover wrappers with egg mixture and sprinkle with seed mixture.
    7. Bake until golden, rotating in the middle, for 7-9 minutes.
    Today's lessons learned:
    • Hummus really is as easy as everyone says.
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