September 04, 2002
Crackers and Black Bean Dip
posted by Carl

I was blown away by how easy it is to make your own crackers. The recipe is rediculously easy and even without flavoring, the crackers taste quite good. I tried have them come out with sesame seeds on top, but when I got them out of the oven every single seed fell right off. I'll have to try harder next time.

I got the idea for the dip from Alma de Cuba. They served it with the bread and I thought it was delicious and worth stealing for home use. The essential ingredients are just black beans, roasted garlic and olive oil but I think I figured out the trick that gives it that restaurant finesse. When I first tried it, I just put all the ingredients in the food processor to blend them together. The result was good but tasted raw and didn't look as dark as I had remembered in the restaurant. The trick, as I discovered, was to cook the dip in a non-stick pan to develop the color and flavor.

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs butter
1/4 cup water

Preheat the oven to 400°.
Blend the flour, salt and butter in a food processor until combined. With the food processor running, slowly add the water until the dough forms a ball. You want the dough to adhere to itself but not to be wet or sticky so you may end up adding more or less water as needed. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a thin sheet (1/8"-1/4"). Transfer to a baking sheet and score with a knife to make it easier to break them apart later on. Bake for 10-20 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool.

Black Bean Dip:
1 can (16-19 oz.) black beans
2 heads roasted garlic
1-2 gloves raw garlic
olive oil

Blend the beans and both garlics in the food processor until smooth. Slowly add oil to the mix until turns a bit shiny. Put the mixture into a non-stick skillet and cook over medium low heat, stirring continuously, until it turns a shade or three darker. It's helpful to use a silicone spatula to scrape the dip off the bottom and sides of the pan while it's cooking so that it doesn't burn. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Off the heat, add a tablespoon or two more olive oil to introduce some raw olive flavor to the dip.