Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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Blogger at: http://offthecuffhome.blogspot.com and http://offthecuffcooking.blogspot.com -- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually studied design and photography. I also was a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines from 1998-2005, and had an in-house PR company for a while. Cooking is in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and their father was a pastry chef, my mom's mother was a caterer, who published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries when she was 92. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, and we're not afraid to experiment. I have a yen for interior design and remodeling.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hummus

Hummus is something that I generally make myself, although past experiments have never yielded such a creamy result as a store-bought one. So tonight I decided to whip some up, and while I lacked one CRITICAL ingredient (tahini -- which I subbed with sesame oil, for a very similar outcome), I also determined to try a trick I once heard about; the idea is to blanch the garbanzo beans first to remove the hulls (which float to the top, so you can skim them off with a slotted spoon.) That proved to be a tedious time-suck, but it did really make the hummus smoother.

I also inadvertently put a tad too much lemon juice in, (because I really only use measuring cups when I'm baking, and my eyeballing it didn't quite work out) but it wasn't detrimental -- just tangier than it usually is.

INGREDIENTS:

1 can garbanzo beans (i.e., chick peas)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini (here I used sesame oil, since tahini is just sesame seed paste and the flavor is very similar)
1-2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 - 1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp parsley (fresh or dried)
1/2 tsp cumin

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth & creamy. Blanching the hulls off the beans is optional, but it doesn't disappoint! Also, it's very useful to keep some pita chips or crackers handy for "sampling" your hummus as you go along, making sure the seasoning mix is "just so."

Serve with crudites like cucumber slices or carrot sticks for a healthy snack, or slather it in a pita pocket with some grilled chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, and feta cheese... top with some tzatziki if you have it.

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