#lahvosh

Homemade FIRE Crackers

My friends can’t keep their hands off of my Fire Cracker - a delicious spicy, crispy cracker bread reminiscent of Armenian Lahvosh, wonderful base for just about any dip, spread, or pate in your repertoire. I’ve know several superstar chefs through the years that have made delicious lahvosh, including Elaine Robinette in the late nineties at Ozark Baking and Catering, and even more recently, chef Sarah Chase formerly of Crystal Bridges, but currently working, thriving in Tulsa. Like most chefs, cooks, and gourmets, I’ve stolen bits and pieces from a number of different sources devise a stylized cracker that I can claim as my own, indeed the name references an abundance of crushed red pepper that give the end product a POP, along with the Snap and Crackle - at it’s core, the dough is actually my Homemade Baguette recipe, baked in my home kitchen at least every other week - simple, delicious, impressive - I’m all about quick, easy and immediate gratification, and if you echo that desire in your cooking (and perhaps even in life), this is the recipe for you.

I hope you like it - it’s great with the Pimento Cheese Recipe from yesterday - but also delicious as an accompaniment to saucy curries, one pot dishes, soups, and stew - and I love it just as a snack that stays on a small uncovered tray in my kitchen - I’ve never known it to get stale, even after a few days…partly because it’s hearty, but also because it’s consumed within a day or so. It’s impressive to present on a table as well - either broken into small, fragmented pieces, or in large, round sheets; and so delicious with cold beer and white wine Even the dog loves it….

Lahvosh in Cheese.jpg

Homemade Fire Crackers

2 1/2 cups bread flour

3/4 cup warm water

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp honey

2 tsp yeast

1 tsp minced garlic

Topping:

1 whole egg, beaten

3 tbsp crushed red pepper

3 tbsp eden shake blend

3 tbsp fresh garlic, minced

3 tbsp black sesame seeds

3 tbsp white sesame seeds

3 tbsp coarse salt

3 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced

Technique -

Combine first six ingredients in food processor or kitchen aide with paddle attachment - mix, combine until pliable dough forms - use additional flour or water of necessary. Knead for two minutes - place in greased mixing bowl, allow to rest and rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 360 degrees.

Divide dough into three balls - one at a time, roll each ball onto floured surface into very thin, under 1/4” thick circles - place on greased pizza pan or sheet pan - brush egg wash, then distribute 1/3 of each of the topping ingredients evenly across the surface of the dough. Bake until golden brown -approximately 15 minutes.

"Picked-On" Peppered Cheese

I hated pimento cheese when I was a kid - it seemed wet, soggy, slightly sweet and overtly rich. A horrible sandwich option found in gas stations, supermarkets, and vending machines, to be avoided at all costs - my God, I thought, who the fuck wants to eat a sandwich with a filling that is softer than the bread? And the kids in school that packed pimento cheese sandwiches for lunch weren’t to be trusted.- not at all different from the “dirty kids” down the street that mother instructed, ordered me to stay away from. A kid that eats pimento cheese, after all, probably had bad hygiene and orange teeth - gross.

Outside of sack lunches at school, the only other time I was forced to deal with pimento cheese was during the holidays when it was smeared inside the green valley of fresh celery and carefully nestled on a glass tray, between canned black olives (that were wonderful when eaten from finger tips), sweet baby pickles, and more celery stuffed with creamy peanut butter. Nobody but my grandfather ate the pimento cheese - and let’s face it, he liked scotch and whiskey….two things equally as off putting as slimy orange cheese spread.

As I got older, I mysteriously developed a deep affinity for scotch, whiskey…and yes, even pimento cheese. It’s become quite expected in the south for chefs, restaurants to serve this simple cheese spread that is delicious on white bread alone, as accouterments to burgers and sandwiches, and even as a means for simple snacking, entertaining. Please enjoy my recipe here - I like it with baked lahvosh (recipe to come soon) and pickled cucumbers and red onions (also to come soon) - I hope you enjoy it. Oh, and to all the pimento eating, dirty kids I shunned or shamed in elementary school - I humbly ask for your forgiveness - I was wrong….

Pick a Pepper Cheese

Roasted Pepper Cheese.jpg
  • 1 lb. of sharp cheddar

  • Splash of Pickapeppa brown hot sauce

  • Splash of cider vinegar

  • 1 cup grilled sweet peppers, rough chopped 

  • 2 Tsp. onion powder

  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder

  • 1 Tbsp. samball hot sauce

    21 Tsp. Dijon mustard

  • 1 Cup mayonnaise (Start with ½ cup and add as needed)

  • Pinch of smoked paprika

    Technique -

    Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Allow to rest in fridge for an hour or so.Serve with home made lahvosh and pickled cucumbers and red onions.