Crisps and crackers. Humous and cheese. All your mates at the barbecue or dinner party are tucking into the appetizers, but not you, Paleo friend. You’re gluten free, grain free, and refined vegetable oil free. So what are you going to do? You’re going to take along these Oregano Crackers with an Avocado and Mint Dip, and place them right within reaching distance on the buffet. Grab yourself a big glass of sparkling spring water – or a spritz! – and munch away!
Oregano Crackers with Avocado and Mint Dip
This is becoming my standard pre-dinner offering when friends come over for dinner or up to Monte for a barbecue. The crackers are a little fiddly, but not time consuming – I manage to whip them together on the same day that I’m preparing all the other dishes, though you could make them in advance. They last for ages as they’re dry, super crunchy, snapable, and perfect for dipping. The Avocado and Mint Dip, on the other hand, you’ll want to make as fresh as possible. It’s lovely, and everyone loves the fresh, minty twist on a standard guacamole.
The trick with the Crackers is to roll them thin. The thinner the better. You’ll need to do this between two layers of baking paper. Incredibly thin. Wafer thin, one millimeter thin. Thinner than the ones in the photos here. If they’re not super thin they’ll be hard on the teeth, but if they’re perfectly thin they’ll snap like a potato crisp. Slide the rolled out dough onto your baking tray and peel away the top layer of parchment paper. Using your fingers, press the dough into the corners and edges of the tray. Incise the crackers into rectangles using a pizza cutter. You could cut them into rounds using a cookie cutter, but it will double the time as you’ll need to continually re-mould the dough. Pop them into the hot oven.
When the time is up, turn the oven down to 150°C/300°F. Take out the crackers and gently peel the crackers away from the paper, separate them, and turn them over. They’ll be a little rubbery, but don’t worry about it. Discard the paper and pop them back into the oven for another 15 minutes. Then turn the oven off but leave the crackers in until they’ve cooled down completely. Store them in an airtight container.
The Avocado and Mint Dip really needs no explanation. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and blend them together with your kitchen gadget of choice. I use an immersion blender, but you could do it in a food processor.
Serve them together. Enjoy the intrigue as to how you’ve made them, and the compliments.
Looking for appetizers and savory snacks? You might like these Garlic, Fennel and Rosemary Beef Burgers, and my toastable loaf of Paleo Bread.
What appetizer do you prepare for a party? And what’s your favorite dip or tasty savoury snack? Do share! If you happen to make this recipe, be sure to give it a rating, take a snap and tag me on Instagram @paleomantic.
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- For the Oregano Crackers:
- 2 cups cassava flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 4 tablespoons soft (or melted) coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup water
- For the Avocado and Mint Dip:
- ½ large, perfectly ripe avocado
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ firmly packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- For the Oregano Crackers, preheat the oven to 230°C / 450°F.
- Put the flour, salt, bicarb soda and oregano into the food processor fitted with the 'S' blade. Pulse to combine.
- Add the coconut oil and work through to achieve a crumbly consistency.
- Add the vinegar to the water, and, with the motor running as slowly as possible, slowly pour the water down the hatch. Keep processing until you have a soft ball of dough. You may need to add a little more water: if so, add just a tablespoon at a time.
- Press the dough into a large, flat pancake and place between two sheets of parchment paper. Depending on the size of your baking trays, you may want to divide the dough into two balls.
- Roll out the dough between the parchment paper, getting it as thin as you can. Wafer thin. Tissue paper thin. As thin as a crisp.
- Slide the dough onto the baking sheet and remove the top layer of parchment paper. Use your fingers to press the dough into the corners and right up to the sides of the tray. Using a pizza cutter, incise rectangles 2½ x 5 centimeters ( 1 x 2 inches).
- Put the tray on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the crackers start to change colour.
- Take the crackers out of the oven, and turn the oven temperature down to 150°C / 300°F. Separate the crackers and turn them over. They'll be rubbery, but don't worry about it. Place them back into the oven, and set the timer for another 15 minutes.
- When the time is up, turn the oven off, but leave the crackers in and allow them to cool down completely in the oven.
- The crackers are done when they are crisp, dry, and snap when broken.
- To make the Avocado and Mint Dip, simply place all ingredients into a bowl and blend with an immersion blender until creamy. Double the ingredients if you want more.
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