Friday, April 3, 2015

Heavenly Hummus

The very first thing I bought with my first big-girl, real-job paycheck was a food processor for the express purpose of making hummus.  The food processor is an amazing machine that helps me make a lot of wonderful things like guacamole, pizza, pasta sauces, soups, shredded cheese, but I continue to make lots of hummus in it! 

I spent months researching various hummus recipes until I came up with a hybrid, taking a bit from here and a bit from there.  Turns out, it's pretty popular among my friends and coworkers. This recipe produces a very smooth and almost creamy hummus.

-1/3 C tahini
(it's much cheaper if you buy it from a Mediteranean store, like Dean's at Findley Market)
-3 TBSP +more to taste lemon juice
(I just use the stuff from the fridge.  At least one lemon will do the trick.)
-1-2 cloves garlic
-1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans)
-1-2 tsp kosher salt
-1-2 tsp fresh ground pepper  (it won't be as good if it isn't fresh-ground)
-.5-1 tsp ground cumin

1. Drain and rinse the chick peas.  I used to peel each bean individually, which took almost 10 minutes until one night I was super tired and just dumped 'em in, husks and all.  It turned out the same.
2. Stir up your tahini.  If you've never used tahini before it's a little funky to get used to.  The heavier stuff settles to the bottom.  I normally use a fork to help break up all the hard bits.  It's okay if some small chunks go in, they're break up and mix in just fine.  Don't spend more than 2-3 minutes doing this, otherwise you'll drive yourself nuts!!
3. Add the tahini and the juice of one lemon to the food processor with the garlic until it gets fluffy.  This probably takes about 30 seconds. This is where the magic happens and how the hummus gets creamy!
4. Scrape down the sides and have another go at it for 10 seconds or so. 

This is what you want it to look like with the lemon juice and tahini mixture.

5. With the food processor running, add the chick peas, a hand-full at a time. 
6. Add water a bit at a time until the chick peas start to break up and the hummus starts to form.  This should take about 1 minute. You can always add more water, but can't take it out.  I normally put in about 1/4-1/3 C each time.
7. Add the salt, pepper and cumin and mix for several minutes.

You can see that the hummus has become very smooth.
Add the olive oil at this point and call it a day!

8. Check the taste, you can add more lemon juice (I normally add 1-2 more TBSP), or any of the spices, according to your specific taste buds. Run the food processor for another minute or so.
9. Check the texture, is it too dry for your liking? Add more water. It will harden up a bit in the fridge.
10. With the food processor running, add a few glugs of EVOO and let it run for another few minutes. 


Hummus can be enjoyed right then, or refrigerated for later.  It'll stay good for a week in the fridge.  I like to serve mine with some EVOO drizzled on top with a few dashes of paprika for color.  Serve with whatever dippers you like!  I normally stick to pita chips, pretzels and carrots. 

**As you get proficient, you can add other flavors if you wish.  I prefer mine more traditional, but you can test it out with roasted red peppers, pesto, or any other ingredients that you might desire!