Pita chips, deconstructed
I have a darling friend who is something of a glutton for punishment. If you say, that store is three miles away, she’ll say, Let’s walk. If you are sitting on a couch reading US Weekly, she will be reading Ulysses … for the third time… backwards. If you say that you want to be drugged to the point of unconsciousness during childbirth, she’ll say, I’m having a silent birth.
And a lot of the time, I disagree. I will take my short cuts, enjoy my medicines, and look at books with pictures.
But there is something inside of me that gets it. And that part of me BEGS me to make things that are more difficult and time consuming than necessary. It says, “Sure you could buy that loaf of bread… or… you could make it! How much better would that be!” (My inner self loves exclamation points.)
And then, like a sucker, I believe myself. Turns out I’m a glutton for punishment too…
So let’s take a simple snack: chips and dip. At the exclamatory urging of my inner self, I decided not to buy my pita chips and hummus…
I think you all know where I am going with this…
But, here’s the thing: homemade pita chips are simple as pie. (Not that I think pie is particularly simple, but that is neither here nor there.)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take your pita bread out of its bag. Ignore the price to avoid guilt about the unnecessary nature of this endeavor. Take the first pita. With a knife or a pizza cutter, slice the pita into two halves.
2. Then open it up like a pocket, and cut it so that you have 4 single layer pita halves. I guess they will then be pita quarters… hmmm….
3. Cut each quarter into itty bitty pita chip size. The size is really dependent on you, so there’s no wrong answer.
4. Take a kitchen brush, dip it in some olive oil, and very lightly oil each chip on both sides
5. Add flavor as you wish. I added ground black pepper, a little sea salt, and parmesan. Garlic, rosemary, thyme, etc. would all work wonderfully.
6. Bake on a cookie sheet for 12 to 15 minutes.
Now you think with that labor of love that I am done, don’t you? Oh no. If you make the chips, you have to make the dip too…
This feta spread is my favorite food. It is all tang and flavor and zest. You cannot do better. Having tried it a few times, I decided to take out the jalapeno and use ground black pepper instead. It keeps the heat without frightening the weak of heart.
1 brick of feta cheese, 8 ounces
Ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
the juice of one lemon
the zest of half a lemon
1. Crumble the feta bricks.
2. Add ground pepper (lots), lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil.
3. Mix it up. Taste and add pepper, lemon, salt as your taste dictates. The mixture should be more moist than traditional feta; the consistency of a spread.
4. Cover and let sit in the fridge for a little while. As much time as you have really. You want those flavors to hang out and become friends. Friendly foods are always better.
Then eat. With your chips.
Look about your apartment with the air of a king. Survey your snacks with pride. For today, you have conquered.