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Rinji
August 19th, 2008, 08:54 PM
Here's a hummus recipe I use, along with some helpful information.

For those of your who don't know, Hummus is a chickpea or Garbanzo bean paste traditionally made with lemon, garlic, olive oil and tahini (toasted and ground sesame seeds in olive oil), usually eaten with pita bread or vegetables.

The origin of this food is still disputed, but it's definitely middle eastern. Jews and the Palestinians/Arabs still fight over bragging rights until this day.

Took me a while to make an presentable hummus. The commentary will be very helpful if you haven't made it before as it's built of my failures and successes. The information might be helpful for those who have tried can never get it 'right' (yes, I was one of those people!) It make look like a chore with all the extra writing, but it's actually pretty easy. The method I use it pretty low effort. No soaking or long cooking times.

The measurements don't have to be exact, as long as it tastes yummy. When it says a spoonful, I use a regular spoon. Not tablespoon or huge spoons! Unless you like the ingredient a whole lot that is...
* means optional

Ingredients:
1 15 oz. can of garbanzo beans/chick peas (info on how to get better beans below)
2 small/medium lemons, squeezed or 1 1/2 large lemons.
1 smashed/diced medium sized, strong garlic clove or 1 spoonful of preminced garlic from a jar and a little juice.
3 spoonfuls of tahini or 1 leveled spoonful of peanut butter (more on this below)
A good quality paprika to garnish (taste it by itself first. If it tastes good, use it.)
olive oil to add in and garnish (tips on this if you don't want to use all your extra virgin)
*1 or 2 stalks of chopped up green onion if you so desire

Equipment you'll need:
1.) A food processor. Sorry, it's near impossible without one.
The alternative,
2. ) A hand pureerer can fit the bill, but it won't be nearly as creamy, a baking spatula will be required with this method. Of course if you have one, you'll probably already figured this out. :aha
3. ) Microwavable bowl big enough to put 15 ounces of anything in it
some spoons
4. ) a large slotted spoon, dipping ladle or large spoon...
5.) a cup or something to put you lemon juice in
*6.) garlic press ( I wish I had one of these. I have some awesome garlic from the farmers' market that is in dire need of this tool!)
*7.) lemon reamer/ stainer (I wish I had this too. I guess I'll have to wait until Christmas I suppose)

Selecting your Ingredients:

1.) Get your beans.
I'll let you know right now, that not all beans are created equal. I've tried soaking them, and using the Bush's brand canned beans, and the store brands. Most of the time the beans end up being hard, and or very stinky/horrible tasting.
However, at my local Kroger managed to find 100% USDA organic garbanzo beans in a can. The brand is called Private Selection.
Once you open the can you'll notice they are much less stinky, and might actually smell edible. I followed the instructions on the can and microwaved them since I was lazy. They were actually soft, instead of hard like the others.
Curiously, they cost more than the Bush brand, and less than the Kroger brand, even though all 3 brand were in a 15 oz. can. I found that very odd, but I won't complain.
If you want to use the sauce pan route, I haven't tried it, but I assume the effect is just as good, if not better.
Some people, after cooking, peel off the bean casings, or put them in cold water to get the casings off. This is important if you want foodie style hummus. Yes, it will be lighter and creamier. I keep the skins on for added fiber.


2.) Tahini.
I will admit I have limited experience on Tahini. But somehow I managed to find a nice one at Kroger yet again, under the Krinos brand. Whatever you do, don't get Ziyad. It doesn't taste very good, and you'll wonder why you paid $7 for a bottle of it. I see it almost everywhere, so I'm pretty sure I can safely assume it's a cheap tahini. It's lighter colored than Krinos, and tastes reminiscent of a weak peanut butter. It might be the reason you see some many English recipes saying to use peanut butter instead. You also have to shake it EXTREMELY HARD to get the suspended olive oil in it to mix with the sesame when it has settled. So if you want an inferior hummus, and a work out, get Ziyad. (Then again, I could have had an old bottle.)

Another note on Tahini. Hummus experts will turn their nose up at using peanut butter, saying it's not real hummus. Well, once you have tasted a good quality tahini, you'll soon understand why. It will have a nutty flavor that will remind you of peanut butter, but really won't taste like peanut butter. Peanut butter is also much stronger, that's why I put the substitution down to 1/3 the amount of the tahini.
If you are wondering why buy all this Tahini to use on hummus once. You might be interested to know you can use it in other things. Tahini and honey on bread for breakfast is very good. Thai recipes with satay sauce it would be good in. There are also a couple of cookie recipes that it can be used in.

If you can't find tahini, you can just use peanut butter. I won't tell anyone :)

3.) Olive Oil
If you are afraid that you'll use all your precious extra virgin olive oil in your hummus (sometimes it does take a lot of olive oil to get the right consistency, that's why I add the lemon first), you can use a lower grade olive oil while mixing it, and just top it with your better quality. You maybe tempted to use canola oil. I haven't used it, but after having good hummus, please don't. It probably will taste like a pureed french fries emulsified with fryer grease. Can you imagine it sticking to roof of your mouth? Ew...


Finally... the instructions!

1.) microwave/cook your beans in their own juices until warm all the way through and soft. Put them in your food processor, minus the liquid and reserve the liquid for later (you may need it, you may not).

2.) Roll your lemons on a counter to release some of the juices. Wash and cut in half. Ream or squeeze all the juice out, and make sure to catch all the seeds. (I use a glass drinking cup so I can see the bottom.) If you want some added fiber, you can tear out the non-bitter fiberous parts of your lemons and add to your collection vessel (no zest).

3.) Process your beans until most of them are broken up. Add approximately 1/2 of your lemon juice. Process for a minute of so.
It should still look very thick, It should stick and glom on to things a little.
If it gloms like toothpaste to a sink, then it needs more moisture. Stop the processor, and taste it before adding more lemon. If it has a too strong a lemon flavor, don't add more lemon. Use a few spoonfuls of your bean liquid you reserved earlier. You do want your lemon a little strong, just not too strong, it will be toned down by the tahini added later and olive oil.
repeat the adding liquid process until it gloms .
Opps! I added more liquid than what the recipe describes! You can, A) add more beans, or B.) use less olive oil later (if it isn't too bad).

4.) Stop your processor, Add your tahini. Process. until well combined. Stop processor and taste. You want a nice balance of nutty flavor and lemon. If you can clearly taste the nut, you might have too much tahini. Add more lemon to counter act this. If you can't taste the nut, and it's too lemony, add more tahini.

5.) Once it tastes pretty good. Taste your garlic by itself, and add at your own discretion. Add your garlic in small quantities. You don't need much, it's more of a 'note' flavoring.
Stop processor and taste. There seems to be a lot of tasting. I don't expect everyone to have the same quality ingredients I have. Tahini, peanut butter, garlic and lemon vary in strength depending on where you buy and the season. So tasting is very important, unless you want vampire/spouse repellent hummus like I made last night. Now is a good time to add any other stuff, like onion. Some other suggestions are at the bottom of this post.

6.) Now that your hummus is well flavored, Time to add the olive oil. Process and add a little at a time. You want to eventually reach almost runny dip, yet it sticks to bread or pita. A good test is to put some on a small flat plate. Put a good glom on there. If you can shake the plate and make it smooth out some, and afterward you can take a butter knife, and make a wave on it's surface, and it holds it for a little while. You've got just about prefect hummus consistency.
You'll also know you did it right because the color will lighten up several shades. Think light and creamy!

7.) Let your food processor run for a while. Your goal, not seeing specs of the beans on the side of the processor bowl. Find something to do while you wait (even though it will be VERY LOUD, might as well vaccuum :P)

8.) To serve
Put on plate, top with extra virgin olive oil (or just regular olive oil. Though it's much better with extra virgin.) and top with paprika. Letting the paprika absorb the oil makes it especially good. Serve with roasted veggies, pita bread, or just plain old regular bread. I actually smash regular bread, and toast it to get pita like bread since I can't afford it. :aha

My favorite decorative way to serve is to take a large flat plate, scoop it on and flatten it out as stated in #6. Use a large butter knife, or something flat like one. Have the point stick in the center and the rest of the knife horizontal on the surface of the hummus, with the handle side near the rim of the plate (think compass).
Rotate the plate and make waves with the knife on the hummus surface. Finish with olive oil and paprika, careful to not destroy your waves when pouring the oil.

Variations, adding pureed roasted veggies like bell peppers, spinach, just about anythign else you can think of! Topping with chopped green onion, chili oil or chili powder is good too.

I've also heard of people using white beans instead. It won't be authentic hummus, but it can't hurt if you want to try something new.

TomSki
August 19th, 2008, 09:37 PM
If you can't find tahini, you can just use peanut butter. I won't tell anyone :)

Not if I'm eating it - go out and find some tahini, you lazy.

Rinji
August 19th, 2008, 11:01 PM
The only reason I say that, is because where I'm from, tahini is not readily available, even in ethinic stores.
It doesn't matter how hard you search, you won't find it unless you spend 2 hours driving to get it.
You could of course buy online, and incur all the shipping charges.
But for someone who doesn't want to invest that much into something they have never tried, that's their only option. A lot of people where I'm from don't even know what hummus is, or how to use chickpeas. They look at chickpeas like most Asians look at our pork rinds.

TomSki
August 19th, 2008, 11:24 PM
The only reason I say that, is because where I'm from, tahini is not readily available, even in ethinic stores.
It doesn't matter how hard you search, you won't find it unless you spend 2 hours driving to get it.

I know...I'm sure the advice works fine...but, isn't peanut butter an awfully strong flavor for something with a flavor as delicate as hummus?

By the way, I was just making a joke in my previous post...I suppose without a :heh, no one can tell (no guarantee you can tell even with one). (I'll eat anyone's peanut infused hummus at anytime :)).

TomSki
August 19th, 2008, 11:28 PM
How about this (found by google)?

Tahini Ingredients:

* 5 cups sesame seeds
* 1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350. Toast sesame seeds for 5-10 minutes, shaking the seeds frequently with a spatula. Do not allow to brown. Cool for 20 minutes.

Pour sesame seeds into food processor and add oil. Blend for 2 minutes. Check for consistency. The goal is a thick, yet pourable texture. Add more oil and blend until desired consistency.

Yield: 4 cups

Rinji
August 20th, 2008, 01:36 AM
Looks good! Though I don't see many sesame seeds where I used to live either (if you find them they are probably low quality for hamburger buns.)

I know peanut butter is strong, but I wonder if there's another common ingredient you can mix in it to tone it down?
I'm gonna have to sit and ponder this for a while, lol.

I might consider starting a Jewish food thread... I wanna learn how to make Matzo ball soup.

amissa
August 20th, 2008, 01:44 AM
It would probably be best to skip the peanut butter, even if you don;t have tahini. I have made it without, and it still tastes good, better I think than if you put peanut butter in it.:thinking

His Bride
August 20th, 2008, 02:04 PM
I adore hummus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!With or without peanut butter. It doesn't matter. Love it. Love it. Love it.

Seemomgonuts
August 20th, 2008, 04:42 PM
Here is how we do hummus around the nut house:


1. Drive to Costco
2. Spend a ridiculous amount of time looking for a parking space.
3. Once inside, walk to the back of Costco where they give out the good samples.
4. Eat all the samples.
5. Walk over to chilled section and pick up a container of Sabra Hummus, place in cart.
6. Walk over to chips section and grab a bag big enough to feed 300 people for a week of Stacy's Pita Chips.
7. Get in line, pay for your items.
8. Walk out of Costco and try to find the car.
9. Load up car and drive home.
10. Immediately upon arrival at home, open bag of Pita Chips and container of Hummus, and feel proud of yourself for all you accomplished today as you scarf it all down.


:humble

jadeeyes
August 20th, 2008, 05:52 PM
Here is how we do hummus around the nut house:


1. Drive to Costco
2. Spend a ridiculous amount of time looking for a parking space.
3. Once inside, walk to the back of Costco where they give out the good samples.
4. Eat all the samples.
5. Walk over to chilled section and pick up a container of Sabra Hummus, place in cart.
6. Walk over to chips section and grab a bag big enough to feed 300 people for a week of Stacy's Pita Chips.
7. Get in line, pay for your items.
8. Walk out of Costco and try to find the car.
9. Load up car and drive home.
10. Immediately upon arrival at home, open bag of Pita Chips and container of Hummus, and feel proud of yourself for all you accomplished today as you scarf it all down.


:humble

We must be twins. :lol2