Sunday, July 23, 2006


Sorry, gang. I have not been preparing exciting foods to blog about lately, as I am gearing up for the farmer's market next weekend. (The last of the double-dark chocolate buttermilk pound cakes have just come out of the oven, thank you.) But I made a snack to go with lunch today, and it falls into the same category as jam: why would anybody buy it? The snack? Hummus and pita chips. So easy, so good!

In my usual fashion, I offer general guidelines rather than a recipe. For the hummus, I drain a 15 ounce (?) can of garbanzo/chickpea/ceci beans and dump them into the food processor. I throw in maybe four big cloves of garlic ("never too much garlic!"), the juice of at least one lemon, probably two (I like it very lemony), a couple of good pinches of salt, a tablespoon of tahini (sesame paste), and then I swirl some olive oil around the bowl maybe four times (approximately four tablespoons) and process until smooth and creamy. Taste it to see if it needs more salt, and you may want to add more lemon juice or olive oil (or both!) to get it to the desired consistency. I like to sprinkle some parsley on the top for color and for freshness, and that's it!

As for the pita chips, I confess, I used to buy them, too. But then I took a Lebanese cooking class, and the teacher showed us a very easy method. You use a pizza wheel to cut pitas into triangles. Then you separate each piece into two (peel apart the two layers of the pita) and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the pita chips with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt. Bake them at 400 degrees for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. (Watch them! They will go from too pale to burnt if you look away for a second!) You won't believe how good these pita chips are. You better make a bunch, because they will disappear! Serve them with the hummus. DE-LISH!

I also like hummus on sandwiches and to dip raw veggies into, but my very favorite application is to bread and fry some fish fillets, and serve them on a bed of lentils and rice (try this incredible recipe for muhjadarrah), and top the fish with with some thinned-out hummus as a sauce. Soooooo yummy! When June and I co-hosted a Lebanese dinner at her house (we took the cooking class together and decided to create a practical final exam for ourselves, inviting our friends to come and evaluate our learning), we made this dish for the entree. Even people who are a bit "iffy" about fish enjoyed it!

Ok, I need to wrap this up and head back to the kitchen to make pie crusts. I am going to be ready for that farmer's market next week or kill myself trying! Seacrest out.


Anonymous said...

It is absolutely uncanny how great minds think alike. You followed up your blueberry lime jam blog with a hummus blog. Keith, as is his way, had the whole kitchen cleaned up as I was bringing in the last batch of blueberry/lime/ginger jam from the camp chef in the greenhouse (too hot to have flame and flamers in the kitchen at the same time...). Moreover, he was opening cans of garbanzo beans and smashing garlic (to quote you quoting me or is it you quoting me quoting you, I forget: "never too much garlic" - I love our history together) in preparation for making hummus himself. I believe your recipe is quite similar except that Keith drizzles in some sriracha sauce for a little extra kick. Truth to tell, he usually serves sriracha on the side as well. We've become heat whores in our advancing age. XOXOJ&K

Joy Bugaloo said...

Oh, yes! I often throw in a pinch or two of cayenne or a couple of dashes of hot sauce to my hummus. I should have thought to mention it. I have never used sriracha, but I think a dab of harissa would also add a good kick. I, too, have gone from mild to heat-seeking in my old age! (My taste buds must be getting elderly, too.)