Saturday, February 7, 2009

Homemade Hummus

The recipes I've seen for hummus seem pretty easy, so I thought I'd give this a whirl to go alongside the homemade pita bread I posted earlier. My inspiration for this recipe comes from Ina Garten's Hummus recipe. It called for only one ingredient that I wasn't sure I could easily find - tahini - but thought I had seen this in the Asian section in the grocery. Well, after a trip to my well-stocked grocery, Tahini was nowhere to be found. So I now had a REALLY good reason to stop at this curious place I have been driving by ever since I moved to Madison last May - the The Garden Asian Market. First of all, it's a gas station. Walk in the store, and you'll see windshield wiper fluid, pine-scented air fresheners, and lottery tickets....right next to the live lobster, fresh produce, and Chinese style BBQ duck. It is also directly in front of what is supposedly a very good Chinese restaurant.

It took me a moment to get my bearings...and the problem was that a lot of what I was seeing in what appeared to be a condiment section of this little place had only Chinese characters on them. Of the jars of stuff with labels I could read, I didn't see anything called Tahini. I know Tahini is some sort of bean paste, and saw some bean 'things' in jars, but wasn't certain of what it was exactly. So I left empty handed.

So, Ina's recipe needed to be modified minus the Tahini, and I also halved it because...well I just didn't need almost 3 cups of hummus for two people. The key to this recipe is that it is really just a list of ingredients, and you should adjust the flavors of lemon, olive oil, hot sauce, salt, and garlic according to what you like. Mine ended up very garlicy and lemony, but still tasted pretty good. (FYI - It's going to be a little more grainy than what you'd get if you used tahini). Here's what I did:

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can of chickpeas, drained with liquid saved
3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1 fresh lemon (need about 3 T.)
Tablespoon of water, or the reserved chickpea liquid
Hot sauce
Olive oil

Put chickpeas, garlic, salt, lemon (to taste!), hot sauce and little of the chickpea liquid in a food processor and blend it up until it seems as smooth as you can get it.
Add in olive oil a little at a time to make it a bit smoother. I added a few tablespoons (I think). I completely eyeballed it.
When it tastes the way you want, you're done. :-)

Put it in a dish, drizzle a little olive oil over it and eat!
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