Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rosie Makes Hummus.

Two of my Hawthornelets have stopped eating meat.  I know.  I know.  I keep asking myself where did I go wrong.  Maybe it's just a phase.  One can only hope.

First, I produced General Rosie's Tofu.

I must say, this was really good.
I was quite happily surprised.
So good, in fact that I've already made it three times and look forward to eating this again.

Today, I'm making hummus for The Boy.
Usually, when I make hummus, I follow a tip I found from Smitten Kitchen blogdom.  After cooking the chickpeas, I get Mr. Hawthorne to painstakingly peel each chickpea. Just squish the skin off between thumb and forefinger and pop the little garbanzo bean into the bowl.  

Well, now I've found a new technique from Zahav's Chef Michael Solomonov's process. And it involves baking soda.  
Bottom line, this was the creamiest hummus I've ever made.

The chickpeas are first soaked overnight in water with baking soda and they're cooked in water with baking soda.  This raises the pH and softens the skins.  The chickpeas are overcooked until they're just shy of total mush.

Now here's one more step in the technique.  You process the garlic with the peels on along with lemon juice and kosher salt.  This mixture steeps for 10 minutes, then it is strained through a fine sieve.   What you're doing is adding garlic-infused lemon juice to the hummus, so it's a more gentle garlic flavor.  Also, mashed garlic is perishable.  In other words, with pressed garlic, your hummus won't get any better sittin' around, only less fresh. 

Usually I don't bother to soak beans overnight.
But this is hummus we're talking about.
You want creamy-creamy.

Here's the finished product topped off with paprika, parsley, and my new favorite olive oil - porto campo.
And I didn't have pita bread on hand and didn't have time to make it, so I stuck in some blue tortilla chips.

Makes about 4 cups.
1 cup dried chickpeas
2 tsps baking soda, divided
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
1/2 cup tahini (recipe follows)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
olive oil, parsley, paprika, for serving

Place chickpeas in large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the baking soda.  Cover with plenty of water since the chickpeas will double in volume.  Let soak overnight, then drain and rinse well with cold water.

Place chickpeas in large pot with remaining teaspoon of baking soda.  Add cold water to cover by several inches.  Bring chickpeas to a boil, skimming any scum off the surface.  Lower heat and simmer for about an hour, until they're more than tender.  You want mushy, overcooked, falling-apart chickpeas.

Process the unpeeled garlic along with the lemon juice and salt until coarsely puréed.  Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the garlic to chill and mellow.  Strain mixture through a fine-mesh screen, pressing to release as much liquid as possible.  Discard solids and add remaining liquid mixture to food processor.  Add tahini and pulse to combine.  Add 1/4 cup ice water by tablespoons with the motor running.  Process until mixture is very smooth and pale.  Add chickpeas and cumin and purée for a few minutes until hummus is completely smooth and super-creamy.  Then process it some more.

Taste test and adjust seasoning with cumin, salt, and lemon juice, if necessary.

To serve, pour hummus into small bowl.  Sprinkle with parsley, dust with paprika, and drizzle generously with your favorite olive oil.

Makes 1/2 cup.
2/3 cup sesame seeds
3 TB Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil
kosher salt, to taste

In a dry skillet, toast the sesame seeds, shaking or stirring, until lightly browned and aromatic.  Let cool.  Process the seeds for 1 minute.  Add olive oil and process 3 minutes.  Add salt to taste.

Now for the step-by-steps:
Lightly toast the sesame seeds.  Keep that pan a-shakin'.

Purée the toasted and cooled seeds.

Add the oil and process until creamy and pourable.
You now have tahini.
Set aside.

Place unpeeled garlic, lemon juice, and salt in the processor.

Give it a go and have at it.

Let garlic mixture drain through a fine mesh sieve.

On the left - discarded garlic solids.
In the middle - garlic-infused lemon juice
On the right - tahini.

Process lemon/garlic mixture and tahini.

Mr. Hawthorne was happy he didn't have to peel any chickpeas this time, but he wished I hadn't shown him the picture of the mushy peas. 

Then process the hummus forever.
Until ethereally smooth.

Serve in a blue bowl with blue corn chips.

This totally met with Youngest Hawthorne's approval.

Oh, what can I say?
I ended up making the damn naan.

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