Okay this is REALLY Betty Crocker of me...but....
...JP and I love hummus, and I think I've found the best recipe I've ever tasted. It comes from a guy I work with named Mark Butcher. He made it for a work party thing and it was to die for! So here it is for your tasting enjoyment...oh, and per Mark: "...give a plug for the Holy Land Deli in NE Minneapolis, they have baked-daily pita bread that is excellent. They are an anchor tenant in the remodeled Midtown Building (old Sears building) on Lake St. And they also have a huge variety of olives, feta cheese, etc. to complete one’s Mediterranean food experience."
You can find them on the web at http://www.holylandbrand.com
Without further ado, I give you...HUMMUS!!!
Here’s how to make perfect hummus:
First, you’ve got to have a food processor and it helps if is has a very sharp blade. If you’ve had one for a while and the blade is dull, you may want to consider buying a replacement blade.
Here are the ingredients:
Tahini: Buy this at a food coop from their bulk aisle or in a jar. The tahini in a jar will usually be located near the peanut butter, etc. Also, most larger food stores, i.e. Cub or Rainbow, will carry tahini in jars now. I like the bulk tahini because it’s fresher and thus tastes better. It’s cheaper too.
Garlic: The amount is up to you; add anywhere between one and four cloves. Over time you’ll figure out how much you like and/or can tolerate. Three cloves of garlic makes a pretty strong hummus and four cloves is downright spicy. Start with one clove and move up from there if you wish. Garlic is GOOD for you. It’s a blood thinner and it has strong anti-bacterial properties. Next time you’re at Mayslacks Restaurant/Bar in NE Minneapolis, read the garlic diatribe on their menu.
Garbanzo beans, chick peas: Same bean, different names. I recommend buying canned garbanzo beans as opposed to boiling your own. They’re cheap anyway, like 79-cent per can or so. For this recipe you’ll need two 15 oz. cans. You’ll find them in the Mexican foods section at Cub/Rainbow.
Ice cold water
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Now, get your food processor put together. First add the juice from the two lemons (and some pulp is OK, too) to the food processor bowl. Next add 2/3 cup tahini, maybe a little more, and the amount of garlic you want.
Process the lemon juice, tahini, and garlic for about 20-30 seconds. You’ll notice that it may be a little thick and sticking to the sides of the food processor. Slowly add ½ cup of very cold water to the tahini mixture while the blade is running. You’ll probably need to scrape down the sides of the food processor to get the thicker tahini to release from the sides of the bowl. It will probably take about 45 seconds to 1 ½ minutes of processing to whip it into a slightly thin, mayonnaise-like consistency. You’re better off having this tahini mixture too thin than too thick so don’t worry about adding too much water.
Next, add two 15 oz. cans of garbanzo beans that have been drained. Process this for about 2 to 3 minutes. It will take a while for all of the beans to get pureed so be patient. Once the mixture begins to turn over in the bowl and become more of the same consistency, slowly add 3 tablespoons olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Then add more cold water 2 tablespoons at a time until it becomes smooth and turns over in the bowl.
You may need to process this mixture for as long as 4 minutes so be careful that you don’t get the motor on your food processor too hot. If it starts to feel or smell hot, let it cool down for several minutes.
Lastly, add about 2-3 teaspoons of salt and the cayenne pepper in the last 30 seconds of processing.
Go ahead and taste your hummus. If it feels a little grainy, continue processing it until it’s nice and smooth and alternate adding a little more oil and a little more water until you like it.
Turn the hummus out in to a bowl and drizzle a little oil on top and sprinkle just a pinch of paprika on for a little color.