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Hummus-Palooza!

March 26, 2012

I dislike store-bought hummus. Not because it doesn’t taste good, but because I don’t understand why people are willing to pay upwards of $6.00 (cash American money!) for something that is so drop-dead easy to make at home. All you need is a few inexpensive ingredients, five minutes, and maybe a blender.

I think hummus is probably my favorite food; I make some version of it just about every week, and not a drop of it goes to waste.

You know how to eat it, right? I don’t need to tell you, do I? You’ll be tempted to rub it on yourself, but frankly, what you do in your kitchen is your own business.

First, I’ll give you my most recent favorite hummus recipe, which is a Mexican take on the Mediterranean classic.

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Black Bean Hummus

  • ½ cup (or more) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sesame tahini
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (or chili powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1-2 garlic clove(s), peeled
  • ½ small jalapeño pepper, seeded

Place cilantro, tahini, and next 8 ingredients (through jalapeño) in a food processor; process until smooth.

Seriously, that’s it. 

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If you’re more of a traditionalist, you can try my other stupid-simple recipe for a more classic version:

Classic Hummus

  • 3 tablespoons sesame tahini
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1-2 garlic clove(s), peeled
Whizz all ingredients in a blender or food processor, adding more water or olive oil as necessary to make a thick, smooth paste. This will thicken in the fridge, so make it a little thinner than you ultimately like it.
This particular recipe is ready for any of a number of variations – add roasted red peppers, or cilantro, or chopped olives, or sundried tomatoes, or curry powder (holy crap that’s a good one), or any other add-in you like. Also, if you’re like me and don’t like chickpeas (actually, chickpeas don’t like ME), go ahead and substitute any sort of white beans for the chickpeas.
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Pro-Tip #1: Buy a 1-lb bag of dried white beans. Pick over and rinse 1/2 of the bag. Put in a crockpot, and cover with cold water until the water is about 2 inches above the beans. Cook on low overnight. In the morning you will have perfectly cooked beans! Drain, rinse, and make hummus! Cost: about 75 cents for the beans, plus maybe $1.00 worth of other ingredients. Plus, you still have beans left over for the next time.

Pro-Tip #2: For smoother hummus, use warm beans. A quick spin the microwave is all that you need to warm them up.

Pro-Tip #3: Sesame tahini can be found in either the ethnic food aisle, or near the peanut butter. My preferred brand is Sadaf, but Joyva makes a nice (and nuttier) version.

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Want to sample these recipes, served to you by yours truly? Then you need to get yourself over to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady’s “A Taste of the Capital Region” fundraiser on Monday, April 23 from 6-8pm at the Rotterdam Clubhouse on Curry Road. I’ll be there, along with dozens of other amateur and professional chefs, cooking up tasty dishes and helping one of the greatest organizations in the Capital Region.

I’ll be preparing “Black & White Hummus Duo”, which is a bit of each of the hummus recipes above, along with some pita chips and veggies (and maybe a surprise). Tickets are $50 per person, which includes unlimited food tastings, as well as beer, wine, and soft drinks. And proceeds benefit youth development programs for more than 9,000 school age children at twelve sites and extensions throughout Schenectady County.

From the Boys & Girls Clubs website:

A Taste of the Capital Region is a relaxed evening of great food and live musical entertainment. With a wide array of appetizers, entrees, desserts, delicious wines and specialty beers, the event will have something for everyone!

Can’t go wrong there. Click here to buy tickets!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2012 1:15 am

    I really have to make these. It really is criminal what they charge for hummus in grocery stores. I make white bean hummus in the summer a lot. I never knew that warm beans help make it smoother so thanks for that tip.

    Sounds like a great event. I’ll tweet it for you—for whatever that is worth. :)

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