We play this game in my family, when we cook something that is pretty, or yummy, or special. We say, "How much do you think this would cost at a restaurant?" And then we speculate about how much it might cost. Sometimes we actually look up menus online to see what a similar meal out would cost. And then we discuss how much it probably cost to make it at home, which is usually a fraction of the price of buying it out.
Or when we are at a restaurant eating something that we think we could make at home fairly easily, we then play the game in the opposite way. "I wonder how much it would cost to make this meal at home?", we might say. And then we try to remember the details of the plate, meal, cookie, (fill in the blank)…so that we can go home and try to recreate it.
I saw this sticker on a light post when I was in Washington D.C. last spring.
It inspires me on those days that I don't want to cook.
I have always had an internal conflict with the Tahini aspect of Hummus because it is the most expensive and only fatty part of the recipe. I have made it without it at times. However, I do think the Tahini is important- for texture and depth of flavor, but in my recipe I reduced the tahini drastically from the Cook's Illustrated proportions.
The garlic/lemon/spices/salt proportions are purely a matter of personal taste. So, you will want to make it and then tweak it, taking notes as you do it, so that you find the right amounts for your liking. (I wrote here about notating recipes.)
|my motley taste testers|
|the varieties they came up with :smoky paprika party; moving cumin; |
and spicy red (with cayenne pepper)
adapted from The Science of Good Cooking
(Makes about 2 cups)
½ cup dried chick peas, picked over and rinsed
(¼ cup chick pea cooking water reserved from cooking them)
½ tsp. baking soda
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. tahini
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 small garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cumin
(optional- 1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro, basil, parsley or roasted red pepper)
1. Place beans in a large bowl, cover with 1 quart water, and soak overnight. Drain. Bring 1 quart water, beans, and baking soda to a boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain, reserving ¼ cup bean cooking water, and cool.
2. Combine water & lemon juice in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk together tahini & 2 Tbsp. oil in a second small bowl or measuring cup.
3. Process chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. With processor running, add lemon juice mixture in a steady stream. Scape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With processor running, add tahini mixture in steady stream; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
4.Taste and add more ingredients to your liking- lemon, garlic, tahini, salt, oil, or spices
5. Transfer hummus to serving bowl, top with a sprinkle of paprika, cayenne, herbs and/or a drizzle of olive oil. Serve.
(Hummus can be refrigerated for up to a week. When ready to serve, stir in 1 Tbsp. warm water if texture is too thick).
If you are making from canned chick peas:
1 can chick peas- drained and rinsed for the ½ cup of dried peas
¼ cup tap water to replace the “cooking water”
and 1 ½ tsp. baking soda for the ½ tsp.
And exchange step #1 with this step #1
1. Drain can of beans. Rinse and drain. Place in a bowl. Mix 1 ½ tsp. baking soda with beans and heat in microwave or in a pot on the stove until hot. Pour into a bowl of water and rub chickpeas vigorously between your hands to get rid of most of the skins. (They will easily come off and float to the top of the bowl of water – it’s pretty great. )
Change the water 3-4 times to remove all of the baking soda (or it will give a soapy taste).