Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hummus Anyone???

A few weeks ago I attempted to make homemade hummus. It was quite an adventure for several reasons. I got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman-she makes really really good food. She teased that one would never go buy store bought hummus after trying her recipe. It was good, I'll admit. But have you ever noticed how cooking shows, blogs, etc., make things look so easy. Nothing is ever that easy-well, maybe pouring a bowl of cereal or buttering some toast, but nothing I have found is a cinch. Not with the Smarts.

First of all, the garbanzo beans, which is what hummus is primarily made from if you aren't familiar with hummus, were a bit tricky to find at the grocery store. I could not find any other brand except these organic ones. Organic is good, but I wanted some cheaper ones for my first attempt, but I'll take organic. Hummus is also very healthy. Lots of protein. The tricky thing was the jar of Tahini. #1 - who ever has heard of Tahini in west Texas anyways? But The Pioneer Woman thought this was a very important ingredient. After many strange looks by the high school kids that work at my neighborhood United, I was sent to the Market Street United. Why was I asking high school kids anyways? "Tahini" should be a tricky word on their SAT test! Evidently, the Market Street store has more "worldly" goods. One guy knew it was made from sesame seeds and guided me towards some in a large jar. I didn't know what I was looking for and it was expensive, so I decided to try my luck elsewhere. I found an Asian store in the phone book(hoping that Asian people use Tahini in their dishes, wild guess) and drove all the way down to 34th street and almost the interstate. I was kinda scared to go inside, but to my secret relief-it was closed on Tuesdays. Hhmmmm, I guess I would try a health food store and drove to the closest one. There I found the above jar of Tahini and it was almost identical in appearance and cost to the Market Street Tahini. If I would have bought it there, I would have saved myself lots of driving and gas mileage. Hind sight is 20/20, right!

FYI-The Wikipedia definition of Tahini........Tahini (طحينة), zhimajiang (芝麻醤), nerigoma(ねりごま), or sesame paste is a paste of ground sesame seeds used in cooking. Middle Eastern tahini is made of hulled, lightly roasted seeds. East Asian sesame paste is made of unhulled seeds.
Tahini is a major component of hummus bi tahini and other Middle Eastern foods. It is sold fresh or dehydrated.
Sesame paste is an ingredient in some Chinese, Korean, and Japanese dishes; it is a key ingredient of the Szechuan dish Dan dan noodles. Because East Asian sesame paste is made from unhulled seeds, it is more bitter than tahini, and higher in some nutrients.[citation

You learn something new every day.

After adding my tahini, garbanzo beans, oil, and garlic(in which I stumped my toe on), I placed it all in the blender. Fifteen minutes later I realized that I just need to buy a new blender. I mean the thing can't even grind up garbanzo beans. It's time to let go of the blender, Chey-Anne! You should have realized this at the baby shower in March when it took an hour to grind up berries for the punch. The people that bought it for you for your wedding got their money's worth. Throw it away. Now!
Enough of talking to myself.......The hummus was good except for the damn blender, the endless tahini hunt, and extra garlic pods I decided to just "throw in". Note to self: Only put the listed amount of garlic in hummus as the recipe calls for. No vampires would have come within two miles of me after this hummus. But if you've read Twilight, you'd know that garlic is just a myth and it doesn't deter vampires, so Edward can come to my rescue anytime he pleases.

These are good chips. Pita chips. It's what Pioneer Woman recommends to go with the hummus. They are good, but it really defeats the purpose of hummus. We are trying to be healthy. You should be dipping the hummus up with celery or carrot sticks to reap the health benefits.
So you ask, would I make homemade hummus again? Maybe. Maybe if I had a new blender. Maybe since I have lots of leftover Tahini. Maybe since I would not put in too much garlic next time and it wouldn't offend Edward. Hummus lovers of the world, UNITE!!!


Jerilynn said...

I have never had hummus and quite frankly - it doesn't sound good. Speaking of eating did your sugar cookies turn out the other day. ÜÜÜ

Jon said...

Hey girl....since I've lived in Houston the past 15 years.....I am very familiar with hummus. Try looking for chick peas. They are the same thing as garbanzo beans and I can find them in all of my grocery stores (including good ole super walmart) in the canned bean isle. I have a good reciepe that calls for 2 cans chick peas 1/4 cup plus 1 tab. of tahini, lime juice of 1-2 limes, cilantro, and sprinkle in some cumim. I use a food processor to mix it all togeter and then add the broth from the can of chick peas to get the consistancy I like. No oil...healthier and I don't miss the oil.

Sorry you had such a time finding the tahini. I can actually find it in most of my grocery stores in the international isle....good old diverse culture Houston!!! I think that is politically correct!?

Better hunting next time

Jon said...

Opps used My husbands account...Jon said is really from Julie Chance!