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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Naked Hummus

Chickpeas are odd little beings.
The bumpy texture paired with the way they melt in your mouth makes eating them and preparing them a sensual experience.
Pair that with Tahini and this little gingerbread cookie starts to crumble!
Hummus usually is a guest at my happy hour festivities, but this is the first time I make it myself.  The store bought one I buy is very good, however I needed to feel the power within.
I got his recipe from a real Lebanese cookbook.  I stayed true to the recipe (for once) except for the baking soda.  I couldn't find any so I used levure chimique instead, which is similar.  I was very happy with the results and so were my tasters.
makes 4 servings
1 cup dried chickpeas
juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup tahini, well mixed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp baking soda (or levure chimique)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup reserved cooking water
some Za'tar
1.  After washing them thoroughly, soak the chickpeas in a large volume of water for at least 15 hours with most of the tbsp of baking soda.  They will double in size.  Drain and wash again very thoroughly.
2.  In a large pot, cook the chickpeas in double their volume of water and the pinch of baking soda that's left.  Once the water starts boiling, reduce heat and let simmer about 1 hour, skimming off the foam from time to time and adding water if needed.  Check to see if they are done by squeezing one between your fingers.  It should show little to no resistance.
3.  Reserve some of the cooking liquid before draining.  Rinse the chickpeas again and let cool.  You need to let cool to avoid burning your fingers, because now you are going to get intimate with each chickpea.  The skins need to come off.  (I wonder why it's so popular in Israel)
 The little fellows should easily slip out of their suits, you just need to take the time to get all those boys ready for the next step.
4.  Place the naked chickpeas in a food processor with the lemon juice, salt, cumin, garlic and tahini.  Blend and add some of the cooking water for texture.  You want it to be smooth and creamy.  Be careful not to make it too thick since it will harden as it cools.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve sprinkled with spices and a touch of EVOO alongside other happy hour fare and dippable items.
I have done this with raw beet as a dippable item and was very pleasantly surprised.  It's just that your fingers will be stained red and so will your morning output the next day.
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