Not quite a Comfort Food post but we do eat a ton of hummus in my house. Last year, while on a trip to New York, we discovered the absolute best store bought brand of hummus. It's an Israeli hummus made in Queens called Sabra. So creamy and yummy! It's like manna from heaven. But out here in the middle of nowhere it costs $6 bucks for a smallish tub that Stephen and I can polish off in one mid-day snacking frenzy.
As part of our tighten-our-belts-so-I-can-be-a-stay-at-home-mom scheme I'm on a quest for a recipe that rivals the mighty Sabra. And my lucky friends, I think I have found it.
See, the problem with homemade hummus is getting that wonderful creamy consistency. SOme people call it "restaurant style." You can burn up a blender motor trying to achieve that. But after exhaustive internet research throughout the weekend and a creative combination of recipes and techniques, I have found the secret.
Not unlike the creation of weapons grade plutonium, it's all about the order of the ingredients. So without further ado, here's my new magic secret recipe for....
Jonah Lisa's Creamy Hummus
1 15 oz can of organic chickpeas
1/4 cup organic tahini (I might up it to 1/3 cup next time)
Juice from 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and set aside. You can spend the time taking the little skins off each chickpea but it's pretty time consuming and not so much creamier that I think it's worth it. This recipe gets pretty creamy even without that step.
Combine the tahini and the lemon juice and blend until smooth and frothy. This is the key to getting it creamy, by the way. You have to combine these 2 ingredients first, essentially cream the tahini, or it just won't blend perfectly with the chickpeas.
*Note: I use a blender because I have a rockin' good one and only a little mini prep food processor. The down side is there's always a little of the good stuff down at the bottom that's impossible to get out. You should use whichever appliance you have that you feel is best suited for this.
Add the garlic and salt and blend again.
Now add in the chickpeas about 1/3 of the can at a time and blend until smooth. Try to get as few skins as possible, this will also help with the texture. Scrap down the sides of the blender and push the chickpeas down to the bottom as needed. Once you've got all the chickpeas blended in, add the olive oil and turn on the blender and just leave it for a few minutes. I like to add in a little water too, to get the consistency just how I like it.
That's it. I'm sure that using dried chickpeas (soaked overnight then simmered until tender) would make this even better, but I am still after some level of convenience. Knowing that I can keep canned chickpeas in the cabinet means I'll usually have all the ingredients on hand and can whip this up with no advance notice. That's perfect for us.
For a fancy plate you can garnish with extra chopped garlic, olive oil, cumin, even pine nuts or slivers of roasted red peppers. Or you can take a page from my book and just eat it with pita chips straight out the damn blender. We like ours with pita bread, pita chips, blue chips, wheat crackers, our fingers, or even spread on toasted whole wheat English muffins.
My official hummus taster said, "Mmmmm, hummy!"
And just in case you want to play around a little with some hummus variations or other interesting things to serve with your perfect creamy hummus (and also because I doubt you knew such a thing existed) pop on over to The Hummus Blog and have a look around.
It's a big, hummus-eating world out there.
And if you liked this post, you'll probably really dig my Honey Baked Lentil recipe. Check it out then...