Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Oh Happy Day! I finally got my first official issue of Cook's Illustrated! My friend Amie introduced me to this magazine before I left on summer vacation(she'd been given a stack of old editions she let me look through), and I have to confess, I missed them while I was gone! They're a spin-off of PBS's show America's Test Kitchen, which I've never seen, but each issue is like a cooking class in itself. Ten recipes are perfected in each issue--literally! Each recipe gets it's own write-up of how the tester overcame problems associated with the recipe and was able to achieve the ultimate version. Also featured are product reviews(again, write-ups on their testing process), kitchen notes, and must-haves in kitchen equipment. To celebrate getting my own first issue, I tried one of their recipes I've been wanting to make(albeit from an older issue)--homemade Hummus. We've always like hummus at my house, although it seems like you have to be careful which kind you buy; there's a lot of bad hummus out there, but I've always been too intimidated to try making it on my own. NO MORE! In fact, I doubt I'll ever buy it again, for the simple fact that store-bought hummus doesn't even come close to how good this is. When I opened the can of tahini(purchased at a regular grocery store) I was blown away by how GOOD it smelled. As an admitted fried-food addict, I immediately recognized what it smelled like: the most intense, freshest, nuttiest smell that comes from a great bag of just-opened potato chips. It's a good thing this hummus only took about 5 minutes to whip up, because I was drooling from the get-go. The end result? A hummus that was rich and nutty, full of intense flavor, yet with a light and creamy texture that melted in my mouth. So do yourself a favor: when you're ready for some hummus, make up a batch of this instead of buying a tub. Your tastebuds AND your wallet will thank you, and you can't beat that!
3 Tbs lemon juice(I had limes)
1/4 cup water
6 Tbs tahini, stirred well(recommended: Joyva or Krinos)
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 14-oz can chickpeas(recommended: Pastene or Goya)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
fresh chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish
Combine lemon juice and water in bowl. In second bowl, whisk together tahini and olive oil. Process chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in food processor about 15 seconds(I used a blender and kept scraping down sides). Scrape down sides. With machine running, add lemon-water in steady stream. Scrape down and process for 1 minute. With machine running, add tahini mixture in steady stream and process until smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds. Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle with cilantro, cover and let sit so flavors can meld, at least 30 minutes(I couldn't wait). Drizzle with olive oil and serve with chopped vegetables and pita chips.