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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beyond Ultimate Hummus

I'm editing this recipe because if you use canned garbanzo beans you can't control the sodium level and you don't know how much salt is in the can.  Therefore, I can only recommend making hummus from dry garbanzo beans that you soak and cook yourself.

Hummus decorated with kalamata olives and homemade oven-dried tomatoes.
I know I've posted about hummus a couple of times already. I'm kinda addicted to it. I've been trying to perfect the recipe and get a really smooth and creamy result. Well, my hubby watches some funny/interesting youtube videos made by this crazy, foul-mouthed Canadian cooking guy. We saw his videos about making hummus and I learned the secret for making the best, creamiest hummus. The secret is removing the skins from the garbanzo beans/chickpeas.

If you want to check out the youtube videos, here are the links. Warning, these videos are definitely NSFW (not safe for work) and not for anyone offended by adult language. Part 1: Part 2

If you're going to the trouble of making the perfect hummus recipe, why not do it all the way, and use dry garbanzo beans. It's super affordable and it's not at all difficult to start with dried beans. You just have to plan ahead.

This recipe will make about 3 cups of hummus:

1 1/2 cups dry garbanzo beans/chickpeas
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes
6 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons garlic, pressed through a garlic press or finely minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoonn ground cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil (use more or less to achieve the texture you like)

Two days before you plan to serve the hummus, rinse and sort the garbanzo beans. Cover them with plenty of water (they'll swell to almost twice their size) and soak for 12-24 hours.

The next day drain off the soaking water. Put garbanzos in a heavy-bottomed pot with 2-3 quarts of water and the baking soda. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a very low boil and cook until you see a lot of the skins starting to come off of the beans. Be sure to check and stir the beans at least every 30 minutes while they cook, adding water if necessary. The cooking time varies greatly depending on how fresh your garbanzos are.

When you see lots of garbanzo skins floating in the cooking water, but while the garbanzos are still intact, remove from heat, drain beans and add cold water. Continue to drain and add cold water until the beans are cool enough to handle in the water. With your hands, swish the beans around in the water and rub the beans to get the skins to come off. Remove the skins from the water. The more skins you remove, the smoother and creamier your hummus will be. This step takes a little time, but it's so worth it for the smooth-as-silk finished product.

Return the beans to the stove with a small amount of water, just enough to cover the beans, and add the chicken bouillon cubes. Gently stir and simmer until almost all of the water has evaporated and the beans are falling apart. Remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature, then pour the garbanzos and any remaining cooking water into a food processor.  Add the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, and cayenne. Process until very smooth. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the hummus reaches the consistency you want.  As you drizzle the olive oil, the mixture will sort of emulsify, similar to making mayonnaise, and the consistency will change and become creamier.

Transfer the hummus to a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and/or cumin or paprika if desired.  Serve with kalamata olives and pita chips, veggie sticks, or crackers.

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