Vegetables

By Gwen Ashley Walters | JUNE 09, 2012 | BOOK & PRODUCT REVIEWS

This is a love letter to the whisper-thin Canadian crackers called crisps. Made by Lesley Stowe, they’re not cheap at $8 a box, but I think they’re worth it.

I’ve been buying Raincoast Crisps for a few years now, and they’ve come in handy on more than one occasion. I’ve found them at Whole Foods, A. J.’s Fine Foods, and other gourmet specialty markets.

The crisps come in lots of flavors, including my favorite, cranberry hazelnut. I’m also partial to salty date and almond, and fig and olive. Even the original flavor is winsome.

For DIY’ers, here’s a post from Dinner with Julie for making them yourself. I haven’t tried the recipe because for me, it’s easier to buy a box. Besides, cutting them as thin as Stowe does is tricky, and the thinness of this cracker is really the beauty of it. That, plus the taste.

I keep a box on hand at all times. You never know when you might need to whip up an elegant bite. Besides using them as an instant crostini base, I crumble them in salads for a crunchy element, and smash them to smithereens for a crumb coating for pork chops and chicken breasts.

My Les Dames d’Escoffier group holds tastings at Community Kitchen, a culinary skills program for low-income adults, and I use these crackers as a base for goat cheese. Many of the students have never tasted goat cheese, and when they taste it by itself, most don’t care for the tang. But when the goat cheese is spread on one of these crackers, everyone loves it. These crisps are transformative.

There are 1,000+ ways to top these nutty crisps, and one of my favorite ways is simply with crumbled herbed goat cheese and sliced grapes. It takes all of 2 minutes to whip up a plateful for a delicious, dapper snack.

Details:
Raincoast Crisps by Lesley Stowe
$8/box
Available at Whole Foods, A. J.’s Fine Foods & other gourmet food shops

*This is not a sponsored post. I wrote about these crisps because I love them. I think you will, too.

By Gwen Ashley Walters | NOVEMBER 15, 2007 | APPETIZERS

My sister-in-law, Tish, turned me on to these sweet, savory bites.

In fig season, she also tops the crostini with a wedge of a fresh fig instead of grapes.

It’s hard to beat. A little slice of prosciutto wouldn’t hurt either.

If you can find both a local soft goat cheese and a local honey, all the better.

Look for goat cheese that comes in a round log, about 2 inches or so in diameter.

Honey & Goat Cheese Crostini

Serves 10-12

Ingredients
1 skinny baguette
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces goat cheese (in log form)
1/2 tablespoons honey
Handful of red, seedless grapes, sliced in half

Method
1. Heat the oven to 400°F.

2. Cut baguette into 1/2 inch thick slices, crosswise. Brush with olive oil and toast until lightly brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the log of goat cheese into 1/4 inch rounds.

3. Remove from oven and top with a goat cheese round. Place a grape half on top and drizzle each piece with about 1 teaspoon of honey.

4. Return crostini to oven and bake until hot, about 5 to 7 minutes. If bread starts to get too crispy, remove from oven. Drizzle with a little more honey and serve.

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