Saturday, November 12, 2011

What's Cookin?: Creamy Hummus

My absolute favorite store-bought hummus is Trader Joe's Mediterranean Hummus.  It's extra creamy, tangy and has olive oil, pine nuts and dried parsley floated on top of the hummus.  If you haven't tried it, you should!!  I've turned a few friends onto this brand and they (and I) never buy anything else!  It really is that good!!

I've tried a few hummus recipes to recreate this taste at home but haven't been very successful.  Most recipes fall flat.  Although this recipe is pretty close (and pretty dang tasty!), it's just not quite there.  If you can figure out what it's missing, I'm all ears!  I like my hummus garlicky and tangy.  If you're unsure, try using only 2 cloves of garlic and the juice of 2 lemons to start.  You can always adjusts flavors later.  If you add more garlic (after throwing in all the other ingredients), you'll have to hand mince them finely before adding them to the blender.

Some tips I've picked up to make the hummus fluffy and creamy is to use a blender.  People have noted that they don't get quite the same results with a food processor.  The other thing is to mix your ingredients first, then add the garbanzo beans to make the dip creamy.

I've always used canned garbanzo beans for my hummus (just because I never plan ahead to make it).  I always have a craving for it at a moments notice.  A Lebanese friend of mine says her mom swears hummus (or any other garbanzo recipe) tastes a hundred times better if you start with dried beans.  Soak them overnight first.  Next time I'll try dried gabanzo beans!

I usually serve hummus with flatbread or pitas, pita chips, or with sliced vegetables.  I also love it as a spread in turkey sandwiches.  Be creative!

Creamy Hummus
Yield: 4 cups

3 cloves garlic
6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. tahini
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 lemons juiced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 cans (3 cups) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1/2 c. hot water
zest of 1 large lemon

1) Place the garlic cloves in a blender and pulse a few times to chop.  Add the extra virgin olive oil, tahini, salt, lemon juice and cumin to the blender and blend for 3-4 minutes or until it makes a smooth paste.

2) Add the garbanzo beans a little at a time (about 1/2 c. at a time).  Run blender and add some of the hot water as needed to thin out the mixture.  Continue to blend about 1/2 c. of garbanzo beans at a time until you are done.  I found the 1/2 c. hot water was perfect but you may need more.  You may also need to stop the blender to mix the hummus up.  **Note: The hummus may seem on the thin (runny) side.  It will stiffen up a lot in the refrigerator.**  

3) Taste your hummus and adjust seasonings as needed.  I found I needed a pinch more salt and the juice of about 2 1/2 large lemons.

4) Pour the hummus into a container and chill for a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to mix.  Before serving, drizzle with your favorites.  Trader Joe's hummus is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, dried parsley flakes, pine nuts and dehydrated red bell peppers.  Other options are crushed red pepper flakes, fresh parsley or a dusting of smoked paprika.  YUM!!


Robin said...

I haven't made hummus in years and I just love it. "The Italian" is allergic to chick, I avoid them.

This sounds like a great recipe. I guess I should make some and keep it for myself!

the red headed traveler said...

I love hummus although it's tough when having to choose between that and baba ghanoush! Love them both. I'm bookmarking the recipe for the next time I have company over1

genkitummy said...

I'll have to try your recipe! I tried making it a couple of times and mine was flat tasting and not creamy at all. I thought it was because I had started with dry beans that I may have undercooked.