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Reply #: That is odd. I don't have a subscription anymore. I once did, though. [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-23-13 10:15 AM
Original message
That is odd. I don't have a subscription anymore. I once did, though.
Edited on Sun Jun-23-13 10:53 AM by No Elephants
They let me sign up for a bunch of free newsletters. I chose (1) health and safety; and (2) environmental.

I don't know if I can still access that newsletter, but I can tell you how to make hummus. You can copy this!

I rarely measure when I fix anything, but I can give you a list of ingredients and some instructions for hummus.


NOTE: Inasmuch as this is a dish for which you only combine ingredients (no cooking), you can always add more or any of the ingredients) later, so you may want to be stingy at first.

I throw all ingredients right into a food processor that I have already armed with a blade. You can also use a blender. Either way, scrape down the sides as you go. By far the best hummus I ever had was made by a woman who had neither blender nor processor, but I don't know how she made it. Wish I had asked!

Chick peas, dried or canned. A perfectionist Middle Eastern woman I know says dried chick peas make better hummus. I've tried both ways and did not notice any difference. Maybe my palate is not trained. But, dried chick peas are cheaper than canned.

NOTE: Whether using canned chick peas or dried chick peas that you've cooked, capture some of the liquid when you drain the chick peas and set it aside. You may or may not need it later. Also, set aside about 5 or 7 cooked or canned chick peas to use later for garnish.

If usig dried chick peas, you have to soak them overnight (or more, if that works better for your schedule) in the fridge, then bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour. Of course, chick peas swell a lot when they take in water, so I would use only about a third of a pound the first time. I boil in the microwave for an hour, only because I'd rather clean a bowl than a pot.

If you'd rather save those steps and go with canned, start with the 15.5 oz (or thereabouts) size. I recommend either organic canned chick peas or the Pastene brand (non-organic). All other canned varieties whose labels I have checked add at least one unpronounceable ingredient. As best I can tell, the organic and the Pastene canned chick may be very, very slightly paler in color than the one with the additive. (Big deal.)

Tahini, if you have it--one or two tablespoons

Made without tahini, hummus can be very enjoyable if you get everything else about the dish right, but it will not be authentic or taste like what you are served in a restaurant or, if you are luckier, in a MIddle Eastern home.

If you can get tahini from a Middle Eastern store or online, great. Tahini keeps in the fridge almost forever. In the fridge, the oil does rise to the top and the bottom part gets hard, so you have to work around that if you let the product get old in the fridge. But the taste seems to stay the same if you manage to scoop up some of both parts.

Garlic, if you like it. I like garlic, but, even for me, a little goes a long way in hummus. Start with half a regular-sized clove (meaning, not the elephant garlic) might be enough.If you don't like garlic, try doing without any at all.

Lemon juice, freshly squeezed: One or two tablespoons.

Salt. For the sake of your health, start with very little. I have to restrict salt, but it really needs at least a few particles.

Now, blend or process, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides. Getting a smooth mixture may take longer than you think.

Taste. If it seems like you need more salt, lemon, etc. add and process again. If it is smooth, but seems too thick, add a little of the reserved liquid and blend or process some more. You really want no lumps at all and a pleasant consistency.

To serve: Preferably, use a shallow bowl. Smooth out the top. It doesn't need to be perfect. Some sprinkle a little paprika on the top for color contrast, but it's not a must. Pour a little bit of olive oil over the top. (I recommend Trader Joe, if it says "Product of Italy.") In the middle, make a tiny mound out of the chick peas that you reserved.

Serve with pita bread or pita chips.

I also like raw onion with it, but this is not authentic and would therefore probably make a Middle Easterner's jaw drop. Besides, between the garlic and raw onion, you'd have to keep your distance from everyone.

I also serve with it tabbouleh. I use supermarket bought. It's nowhere near as good or as cheap as homemade, but it is easier!

I also serve plain yogurt with it, as part of the main course, not as a dessert. I use full fat Stoneyfield because I think full fat is healthier than no fat or low fat. Full fat has less sugar and no additives.

Some people don't like Middle Eastern food at all. If this is your kind of thing, though, the above makes a perfect summer meal, Easy, quick, very nutritious and no cooking whatever, even stove top, no no extra heat in the home. And leftovers keep nicely in the fridge. If you have leftovers, try to remember to bring the hummus and tabbouleh to room temperature before serving. They'll be tastier. But, if you don't remember, it's no big deal.

If you are a brave soul, you can do something similar to hummus with white beans and serve with Italian or French bread and some Italian accompaniments.
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