Rye crackers with red pepper chakchouka, aubergine caviar and guacamole dips

I am posting this for my friend Katie who bought rye flour from the Shipton Mill to be able to make these rye crackers that I told her so much about. Crisps and pita bread might sound like a good idea for aperitif but they are bad for you, so why not trying something different that doesn’t involve oil or white flour. These crackers accompanied with 3 home-made dips were a hit with our friends and my parents-in-law and also ideal for vegetarians.

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Rye crackers

Ingredients:

  • 300g rye flour
  • half a tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of granulated sugar
  • half a tsp of baking powder

I have never worked with a 100% rye dough before, it feels very dry and very tough but it is supposed to be that way so don’t worry about it.

Heat the oven at 200C. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and add about 200ml of water, knead it all together to form a ball. Split that ball into 10 smaller bits and flatten them with a rolling pin on a floured surface as thin as you can stretch the dough. I wanted to keep my crackers rustic so I didn’t try to create any regular shapes, but you can cut out any form you want now as they will keep their shape very well during cooking. Transfer the flattened dough onto a tray covered with baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes, turn around and cook for an extra 2 minutes on the other side. Let the cracker cool down and enjoy with dips or cheese.

Red pepper chakchouka

Ingredients

  • 2 big and sweet romano peppers, washed and cut in half
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 220C and roast your peppers after carefully removing the seeds for 15 minutes until their skin is black and the flesh is softened. Peel the skin off and cut the flesh in strips, then add all the ingredients to a pan and let it simmer for 30 minutes until you have a thick red mush with visible pepper strips. Don’t forget to stir now and then so it doesn’t burn. When I had chakchouka, it was always too greasy so I tried to reduce the amount of oil as much as possible, and cut the olive oil so it doesn’t overpower the taste of the pepper and upset sensitive stomachs.

Caviar d’aubergine

Ingredients

  • 2 washed aubergines
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • salt to taste
  • little olive oil

Cut the aubergine in half and remove the stalk. Criss cross the flesh with a knife and drizzle some olive oil on the slashes. Add some salt, just a little bit as it is better o season at the end, and insert grossly sliced garlic clove in the slashes. Cook for 30 minutes at 190C or until the flesh is soft and can be scooped. Remove the garlic and scoop the flesh in a mixer and mix it to a pulp. Taste and add some salt if necessary. Again here, this caviar should be saturated with olive oil, but I try to make it healthy and also to enjoy fully the taste of the aubergines. I love aubergines!

Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados (ripe avocado is the most important ingredient!)
  • half a red onion cut in small cubes
  • a small handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • juice of 1 lemon (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp of sweet paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make your guacamole at the last minute for best results! Mash grossly the flesh of the avocados with a fork and place in a bowl, add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Keep a few nice coriander leaves to decorate and chop the rest. Add all the ingredients to your avocados and mix well. I love avocado so much that I don’t like adding too much red onion. Taste your guacamole constantly and add anything you like, I like adding a tsp of paprika for the colour and slightly sweet taste.

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