Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Recipe Rewind

I don't know if you've noticed, but I haven't posted any recipes lately.  There's a reason for that.  I prefer to see photos when I'm following a recipe.  I also don't like to post a recipe without photos.  It's prettier, and I figure that there are other people like me who won't try a recipe unless there's a photo.  Unfortunately, tragedy has visited the McDonald household [technologically speaking]. 
We have two computers: one laptop from college and one newer desktop.  The newer desktop was apparently damaged in a lightning storm, but aside from that the disc drive doesn't work and I can't upload any photo software.  The laptop, which I used to upload photos, suddenly stopped working about 2 weeks ago.  I kept hoping against hope that it would somehow start working again.  We could fix the disc drive in the desktop, but our tech guy told us that it wouldn't be worth it because it's probably going to crash some time soon.  Of course, he didn't think we could even get it to turn on and, Lord willing, it will continue to work fine just as it has for the past few days.  It's funny, the laptop crashing on the same day the alleged "fried" desktop starts to work.
 Purchasing a new computer is simply waaaaay beyond our family budget right now.  So, I am now forced to post sans photos.  I'm sorry.  I hope you'll still read the rest of this post and the ones to come this week as I catch you up on what's been going on in my kitchen.

We really enjoy hummus.  However, it's kind of expensive when you consider how little is in the package.  Also, we eat it so much that it doesn't warrant the cost.  Now I know that I could have just gotten out a can of garbanzos and whirled them around in my food processor with storebought tahini.  That's a perfectly acceptable and still more economical way to make this delicious snack.  However, I took it upon myself to do the whole soaking of the beans and all of that.  I did some research, compared several different recipes, and here's what I came up with. 

First, you need to make some tahini.
4 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp warm water

Toast the sesame seeds on low for about 5 minutes.  Once you can smell them, as with any seed or nut, they're done.  Then grind them in a clean coffee grinder.  Add in the oil and salt, and then grind again.  Scrape it out of the grinder, add in the water, and whisk until smooth.  There may be an easier way to do this, but this was all I could come up with. This made about 2 tablespoons, which was just enough for the hummus.  You may like more, I'm just not a huge fan of sesame oil.

For the hummus, you will need:
1 large bag of dried garbanzo beans
1 tsp finely minced garlic
2 Tbsp tahini
4-5 Tbsp lemon juice, depending on your preference
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil

I soaked the garbanzo beans for 24 hours.  Then I drained them and cooked them in the crock pot for 7 hours.  You only need half of the cooked beans for one batch of hummus.  I put the rest in the freezer so that this part is done when I run out of what I made this time!
Drain the beans after they've been cooked, and put them in your food processor.  I first tried to do this in my blender.  Suffice it to say, don't do it if you don't have to.  I have a love-hate relationship with my food processor: I love what it does but I hate to put it together and then take it apart to clean it.  Ugh.  In this case, it's totally worth it.
Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.  You can add more olive oil if you need it to be more smooth; it all depends on the texture and "doneness" of the beans.  You can add in roasted red pepper, olives, or whatever you prefer to enhance the flavor.
It's time consuming, but well worth it!  Try it some time. 
Note: if you don't want to go through the soaking and altogether 2-day process of cooking the beans, one can of garbanzo beans, drained, will work just fine!

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