Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I am not very good at using computers. If the scarcity of my recipe photos didn't give it away I guess I shouldn't point it out. But, it isn't always my fault. The 10 year old PC I sent to the scrap yard after disabling the video driver was pretty innocent I'll admit. Although, if you could see the laptop I'm typing on right now you know might take my side. "Out-dated" doesn't even begin to describe it. I would be inclined to think I'm just being greedy asking for lightning fast Internet, limitless space for photos, recipes and pages of links if all of that wasn't standard on models these days. Luckily, not everything has to be brand new to exceed expectations. Take my Mom's food processor for example.
Oscar (the food processor in question) has been pureeing bananas and chopping nuts for at least two decades. I distinctly remember being afraid of the loud whizzing sound as a child and the way pureed bananas tasted and smelled. And while I still have to climb on a chair to pull it down from the cabinet Oscar is the same zippy, well-loved food processor I knew growing up. What a relief! My favorite job for my powerhouse of pureeing: hummus. It could have something to do with the fact that it combines two of my favorite things... ie garbanzo beans (chick peas) and lemon. It might be because I always ordered it at a favorite campus haunt with a pot of Golden Monkey tea and a platter of pita and cucumber. Regardless, it costs even less to make at home and is a fail proof appetizer or snack!
The catch is most good hummus recipes call for tahini. Depending on how extensive your local grocery's International section is you can find tahini in many local markets. The price tag varies as much as the size of the jar or the price. Both are usually excessive. So, I had to ask myself if there was a less expensive replacement. I immediately thought of the 2 pound jar of peanut butter that used to reside in our apartment pantry. Unsurprisingly, Alton Brown beat me to it. Below is a variation on Alton's recipe that is a little spicier than the original. Using peanut butter instead of tahini imparts a friendly, toasty aroma. And while you won't find a noticeable difference in the PB version your wallet certainly will!
If you like the freshness of olive oil drizzle some generously on the top of the hummus just before serving. Go the extra mile and get a bunch of fresh parsley. Store in paper towels in a zip lock and use generously in salads or as a garnish for savory dishes.
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained (4-5 tablespoons liquid reserved)
3 cloves garlic
2-3 peanut butter, smooth is best
1/2 - 1 lemon, juice and zest
1 handful parsley
1/3 cup olive oil, scant
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or hot sauce)
1/4 teaspoon cumin, optional
1. Drain the garbanzo beans into a small bowl.
2. Smash the garlic cloves on the counter and remove the skins. Put in the food processor with a little salt and chop.
3. Add the beans and 3 tablespoons of reserved liquid. Add the juice and zest of half a lemon. Puree.
4. Taste for seasonings. If the texture is too grainy add the remaining liquid and the rest of the juice (taste frequently if you don't like hummus too sour or too spicy) until you find the desired consistency. Add the peanut butter, parsley, cayenne and cumin if using it. Puree again.
5. Add the olive oil slowly and puree until the hummus is smooth and roughly the consistency of mayonnaise. Top with remaining zest and a drizzle olive oil. Serve with veggies and/or pita chips.