With time on my hands right now, I have been spending my time experimenting in the kitchen... discovering, testing and stealing recipes from mom's recipe scrap book... it's like opening a treasure box and finding so many charming, old-fashioned recipes. Many of which I remember eating as a kid. I can feel some of the cakes will make a comeback very soon... so watch this space :)
One of the recipes I discovered is for a home-made crisps that are flavoured with cheese and corn. It is very good and it's only right that I share it with all of you. The original recipe uses curly-leaf parsley (you can probably guess that this is in the '80s territory). I did try it with parsley first time round, but it just didn't do it for me. It does give a nice colour, but contribute very little in terms of flavour.
After some discussion, mom and I then opted for kaffir lime leaves... and I think we made a great decision here. It is intensely fragrant with a distinctive citrus scent. You will need to go to your local Asian store to get them, but it is definitely worth it.
Making the dough for the crisps is exactly the same as making a pasta dough. Mom has a pasta machine which makes it very easy. But making it in the traditional way isn't difficult. Therapeutic in fact... well, for me anyway. Or you can also make the dough in a food processor. Once the dough is made, you can shape the crisps any way you want. This time, they look like rigatoni pasta.
You may notice the beef bouillon in the recipe which you can replace with the vegetable kind to make these crisps vegetarian friendly. I wouldn't leave it out completely though, as you wouldn't get the savoury saltiness, which makes the crisps so addictive. These crisps didn't last very long in our house, that I can tell you :)
500 gr tapioca flour/starch
100 gr finely grated mild cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons beef bouillon, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
150 gr fresh corn kernels
1 egg + 1 yolk
2 tablespoons kaffir lime leaves, finely cut
Start by making a purée by blending the corn kernels, egg, yolk and salt in a blender.
Now, if you have a pasta machine, combine all the ingredients and simple mix until it becomes a dough. If you are using a food processor, again, combine all the ingredients and pulse until everything is combined. Then take it out from the processor to your work surface. At first, the mixture may seem wet, but as you work it with your hand, it will come together as one nice lump.
If you are making this the traditional way, combine the flour, cheese, crushed bouillon and kaffir lime leaves in a bowl or a work surface. Make a well in the centre and add the eggy corn purée. Using the tips of your fingers, mix the eggy mixture with the flour, incorporating a little at a time, until all is combined. Knead the dough until it is smooth.
Roll the dough as you would make fresh lasagne sheets and cut it in any shapes you want.... strips, triangles, stars, etc...
Heat some vegetable oil in a pan and fry the crisps for a few minutes until they are golden. Take them out and place on some kitchen towels to absorb the excess oil. Wait until they are completely cool before storing in an airtight container. They will keep for a few days, but I doubt they'll last that long...