Sunday, September 8, 2013
Joe's "Italian" hummus
My friends and I talk about food a lot. Probably too much, okay, you're right, but who are we hurting?
Just yesterday Joe and I were having a not altogether satisfying email exchange about the New York Metropolitans. (All exchanges regarding the lowly Mets are unsatisfying, by the way, and in no way reflect the conversational skills of those persons involved, in this case the always entertaining Joe B.) Anyhow, right after correcting my spelling of Cal Koonce (don't ask), my food-loving friend inserted the following line:
"Meanwhile, I have perfected a hummus recipe. You want? Only "Italian" angle I could find would be that I use Progresso ceci because they come in 19-ounce cans instead of normal 15-ounce cans..."
I should mention that Joe disapproves of my editorial position on this blog, i.e., focusing almost exclusively on Italian-inspired foods. "You don't only eat Italian," he barks at about every opening I allow him. "And you cook all kinds of food too, so why limit yourself? What sense does this make?"
Oddly, it is always in the middle of these conversations with Joe that I am called away on important matters; during yesterday's rant (sorry, conversation) I remembered that I had neglected to clean out the lint trap in the dryer after running a pair of wet socks through it that morning.
I briefly considered informing Joe that, though the Progresso brand has some Italian roots, it is in fact a subsidiary of General Mills and operates out of Vineland, New Jersey. But here is where my friend and I part ways in the social skills department: I kept my mouth shut and simply said that I would be happy to share his recipe with all of you, if only he would be so kind as to forward it to me.
Actually, I may have made a crack about throwing some Red Sauce on his precious hummus, and how that might get it to belong on this "Italo-centric" blog.
Okay, so I did.
But he started it!
Joe's "Italian" Hummus
1 can chickpeas (I prefer the 19-ounce Progresso version)
3 tablespoons of drained chickpea juices
1/4 cup tahini (I prefer the Roland brand in the white container)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic run through a garlic press or minced
2 tables EV olive oil
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1) Drain the chickpeas, retaining at least three tablespoons of the juice in which they are packed. Then rinse the chickpeas well.
2) In the bowl of a food processor, add the lemon juice and tahini. Process for about a minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl and add one tablespoon of the reserved chickpea juices. Process for another minute. This step will ensure that your hummus will be smooth and that the tahini will be evenly distributed.
3) Add olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne. Process for about 30 seconds. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add another tablespoon of the reserved chickpea juices and process for 30 seconds.
4) Add about half the drained and rinsed chickpeas. Process for a minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Add the other half of the chickpeas. Process for another 1-2 minutes.
5) Add another tablespoon of the reserved chickpea juices. Process until smooth and mixture is at your desired consistency.
I've tried dried and cooked chickpeas and canned chickpeas. Really can't tell the difference. I've also skinned the chickpeas, an annoying and time-consuming act. Can't tell the difference from when I haven't shelled them.