Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cheese, Smoked Paprika and Fennel Crackers (A Spicy #SundaySupper)

Who doesn't love spice? I'm not necessarily talking heat, found in such delicious (yet admittedly fire-starting) foods like chile peppers, but all those elements that bring flavour to everything and anything we eat. From the once exotic, now common cinnamon and nutmeg to the still rather outre asafoetida, mahleb and sumac, spice has been used for millenia to preserve, perfume and infuse foods that would otherwise become rancid or taste of nothing. Can you imagine a plain bowl of rice without soy sauce? A dish of lentils without ginger, curry or garlic? There's a reason pepper used to be worth its weight in gold - and why spices have caused wars, kidnappings, and world explorations.

While I love the sweet aroma of cinnamon on apple cider and cardamom in banana bread, I love my "hot" spices too! I've always been a sucker for anything hot and spicy - from mundane black pepper to almost any chile pepper I can find, fresh ginger and even raw garlic, they all have a well-deserved place in my kitchen. I use them judiciously though, since I've also been the victim of drowning my food in so much hot sauce that I couldn't taste anything at all. I try to balance the heat and flavour in order to make my meals memorable... in a good way!

This balance was what I tried to achieve in these crackers - smoky paprika, savoury garlic and onion and sweet basil and fennel all combine to temper the salty-sharp Cheddar. I used 12 grain flour for a hearty texture, almost like the gourmet ones you see on cheese trays - and in fact, we did serve these with a fruit, cheese and jelly platter, where sweet pepper jelly and blueberry butter were both a hit as toppers!


So, if you love spice like I do, you’ll love this week’s #SundaySupper! Our recipes run the gamut this week from mild to wild - everyone is bringing the flavour! This event is being hosted by Amy of Kimchi MOM - Thanks Amy!

Snappy Starters & Snacks

Hatch Chile, Grape & Grilled Onion Salsa from Shockingly Delicious
Spicy Tempeh Chips from The Urban Mrs
Sriracha Popcorn from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Cheese, Smoked Paprika and Fennel Crackers from What Smells So Good?
Baked Banana Pepper Poppers from Daily Dish Recipes
Spicy Black Bean and Corn Stew from Mama’s Blissful Bites
Caldo de Camaron y Pescado (Shrimp & Fish Soup) from girlichef
Bajia with Tomato and Chili Chutney from My cute bride
Shredded Buffalo Chicken Salad from Casa de Crews
Sriracha and Parmesan Fries from Mess Makes Food
Smoky Salmon Chowder from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Hummus with Spicy Turkish Ezme Salad from Neighborfood
Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppedew Peppers from Healthy. Delicious.
Tofu Hariyali Kebabs-(Tofu Kebabs in Cilantro Sauce) from Soni’s Food

Fiery Main Dishes

Spicy Stuffed Mexican Peppers from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Jalapeno Popper Fettuccine Alfredo from Chocolate Moosey
Baked Tilapia en Escabeche from La Cocina de Leslie
Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings with Two Dipping Sauces from Runner’s Tales
Chorizo and Scallop Skewers from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Buffalo Chicken Pizza from Cookin’ Mimi
Thai Cashew Chicken from Doggie at the Dinner Table
Skillet Jambalaya from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Firecracker Chicken from Juanita’s Cocina
Spiced Turkey Burger Patties from Cook the Story
Aubergine and Chickpea Curry from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Savory Tomato & Poblano Pie from An Appealing Plan
Venison Mole Rojo from Curious Cuisiniere
Za’atar Chicken with Fattoush from Food Lust People Love
Crispy Oven Fried Buffalo Chicken Tenders from In The Kitchen With KP
Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips from Webicurean
BBQ Chicken Pizza with Poblano Peppers and Pepitas from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Spicy Thai Beef Salad from Magnolia Days
Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Spicy Lemon Paprika Chicken Thighs from Family Foodie

Searing Sauces & Seasonings

Homemade Buffalo Sauce from Growing Up Gabel
Whole grain Mustard recipe – Moutarde à l’ancienne from Masala Herb
Homemade Sriracha Sauce from kimchi MOM

Zesty Sweets & Sips

Cinnamon Streusel Scones from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Fiery Pomelo from My Other City By The Bay
Cinnamon Monkey Bread from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Cinnamon Peanut Butter Skillet Blondies with Ice Cream from Vintage Kitchen Notes
Goldilocks and the 3 Asian-Fusion Bars from NinjaBaking.com

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Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EDT. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Cheese, Smoked Paprika and Fennel Crackers
Makes about 40
4.5 oz shredded Cheddar cheese
5 oz 12-grain flour (if you can only find 10 grain flour, it works too)
1 tbsp Cheddar cheese powder
½ tbsp fresh-grated Parmesan
1 tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp lightly crushed fennel seeds
¼ cup whole milk
2 tbsp canola oil
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined, kneading by hand until a stiff, slightly dry dough forms.
  2. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour, preferably overnight*.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  4. Roll dough out to 1/8" thickness and cut out into desired shapes.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes (for 2” crackers).
  6. Cool completely on the sheets.
  7. Transfer to an airtight container and eat within a week.
*You can also make and freeze blocks of dough for later baking - wrap in plastic, then foil and freeze up to 6 months. Thaw completely in the fridge before proceeding with the recipe.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 29.8
Total Fat: 2.0 g
Cholesterol: 3.6 mg
Sodium: 26.7 mg
Total Carbs: 2.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
Protein: 1.3 g