Monday, May 13, 2013

Melissa Clark's "Stupendous" Hummus

I don't know what I did wrong with other hummus attempts but they all tasted like plaster, or as how I imagine plaster would taste.

Enter, Melissa Clark.  She made a good case against using canned chickpeas and gave directions for cooking the dried variety in heavily salted water with several garlic cloves.  Then she goes on to gently suggest that peeling each individual pea might bring the hummus to yet another level of "stupendous".  Really, Melissa?  Each individual pea?  A tedious undertaking for sure but then I realized that this is a great way to busy the hands while, say, quizzing your 7 year old on his spelling words.  Surely more economical than going to websites that just make me want to spend money I do not have.  

I made a lot more chickpeas in this manner than the recipe called for but the salty/garlic flavor makes those peas good for many things; for me, mainly salads and snacking.  I can't imagine what I was thinking buying canned chickpeas but that will definitely not happen again.

Stupendous Hummus
From "Cook This Now", by Melissa Clark
Yield: 3 1/2 Cups
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 fat garlic clove or 2 smaller cloves, finely chopped (Do not chop this in the food processor, it's the equivalent of using a garlic press.*)
Pinch cayenne
1/3 cup tahini
3 cups cooked chickpeas** 
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Combine the lemon juice, salt, cumin, black pepper, garlic*, and cayenne in a food processor.  Pulse the mixture a few times until the liquid whirls around just enough to blend together.  Add the tahini and 1/2 cup water.  Pulse until smooth.  Add the chickpeas and puree until smooth and creamy.  This might take several minutes.  With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture is combined.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired.  If you do use salt, dissolve it first in a few drops of lemon juice or warm water.

To serve: Drizzle olive oil over the hummus to serve.  Keeps sealed in a tight container for one week in the fridge.

*Anthony Bourdain's thoughts on the garlic press, "Treat your garlic with respect.  Sliver it for pasta, like you saw in Goodfellas, don't burn it.  Smash it, with the flat of your knife blade if you like, but don't put it through a press.  I don't know what that junk is that squeezes out the end of those things, but it ain't garlic."
**To cook the chickpeas;  soak a bag of them overnight in a large bowl with enough cold water to generously cover them.  The next morning, simmer them in a pot of heavily salted water with 7 or 8 peeled garlic cloves.  Melissa's recipe calls for an hour of cooking time but the flavor seemed much deeper when I did it for 1 1/2 hour to 2 hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment