Friday, October 15, 2010

I've Cracked the Code!!!

So. I love hummus. Like, LOVE it. Like, if it was a choice between my fiance and never eating hummus again, it'd be a tough one... well, maybe that's a bit extreme but you see what I mean. I really like hummus.
Thing is, I'm really picky about it. The only kind I've ever really gone gaga over is Sabra. And that totally goes against my thrifty nature, to insist on spending $3 for a tiny container of the stuff premade.

So. A few months ago, I set out to figure out how to make the stuff. Disaster ensued. I tried so many different recipes that ranged in flavor and texture from inedible to eh... So I started researching and basically combined ideas from about a dozen different recipes and even more tips and finally got it. Seriously, a fully homemade, fully delicious, fully addicting hummus recipe.

Now, here's the thing... I used dried chickpeas. It's not essential, but in this case, I highly recommend it. And, really, considering how well both hummus and cooked chickpeas freeze, it's not so much work because you can make a bunch of extra and freeze it. Anyway, here goes.

3 cups cooked chickpeas (that'll be about 1 1/2 cups dried)
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup tahini
2 T. Canola oil
pinch salt

Start by soaking your chickpeas over night. Drain then and cook them in enough water to cover by about two inches. Normally, you'd cook chickpeas for about two hours, but in this case, I'm going to tell you 2 1/2 hours because you want them to be really creamy once you put them through the food processor.
When the chickpeas are finished cooking, reserve 2/3 of a cup of the cooking water and drain off the rest. It's VERY important to process all this while the chickpeas are warm so if you've cooked them ahead, you'll need to rewarm them in the microwave or on the stove.
In the bowl of your food processor, combine garlic, lemon juice, reserved cooking water, and chickpeas and puree for about 3 or 4 minutes, or until smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed.
Add tahini and puree for about 2 minutes, adding the canola oil as it goes. Season with salt to taste.
There's a couple tricks at play here. First, grinding up the chickpeas while they're warm helps to mellow out the garlic a bit. And overcooking them gives them a smoother consistency once you grind em up. Plus, the starchiness of the cooking liquid helps with the creamy texture too.
Yeah, it's that easy. And you're welcome.

And of course, hummus is a dip... so you need something to dip it in... and for that, I made my first ever non-breadmaker bread... actually, it was skillet pita bread and I'm really proud of myself because it came out amazing.
Granted, it doesn't look like the pita bread you buy in the store (it actually looked a little more like naan) but anyway, yum.
I can't take credit for this one. It's this recipe that I got out of the September issue of Vegetarian Times and seriously. It's worth all the effort. I mean, take a look... yum. (and yes, I realize it's not round. Seriously, it's so good, I'm not even concerned.)

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