Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic Hummus

You've seen them. At the grocery store , all those stacks and stacks of plastic tubs with different colours , and flavours gleaming at you from near the deli isle :)  I used to stop there every week, and drop $5 on a small tub of Hummus... usually it was a roasted garlic , or red pepper.  That was before I started making my own. My first attempt was almost identical to this posts version, Which I must say I enjoyed immensely. So  I thought Id try to recreate how it all happened for me and share.The best part is that after my second batch turned out as well as the first I swore myself off the store bought, and now enjoy a healthier, tastier and cheaper hummus made by me, with my tastes in mind.  Plus I get to control all the ingredients, which can be as few as three. I do try not to add more than eight or ten , as you tend to start losing some flavours. 

Okay, enough babbling.  Time to show you how easy this is. 

The most cost effective way to make this is to buy a bag of dried chick peas ( also called garbonzo beans ) , If you can find organic ones, grab them. Besides the lack of chemicals, I find them to have a better texture. .   

  Pour them into a bowl, and pick out any green or black ones. They always mention to look for stones too, but I have yet to find one. 

The dried peas do require an overnight soak.  If you don't have the time or the patience for this step ,  buy some good quality canned ones and skip the next two steps :)  If your in Canada the PC Organic Chick Peas are really good for canned ones
Dried chick peas NEED to soak overnight . Make sure the are well covered in water and simply soak for 24 hours.  I think the alternative is to boil them for 4 hours, but I have not tried this. 



Once they have soaked, or if you are using canned ones instead. You will need to give them a good rinse, and have a double check for any funny coloured ones.  Notice one on the right that slipped thru the initial inspection. 
Next up, add them to a large pot of boiling lightly salted water. You will want lots of water, about 4 cups for every cup of peas.  The packages always say to boil for 45 minutes, which is fine for using the  chick peas in dishes, for hummus I like to add more water at the 45 minute mark and boil for a further 30 minutes.
If, like me and using the whole bag. You will have way more garbonzos than you know what to do with. Give them all one more good rinse. Then I like to freeze the extra  in 3 cup portions.  That way the next hummus you make will eliminate all the above steps.

Now the fun begins, assemble all your flavours.  I'm using organic garlic, black sesame seeds ( for garnish ), Tahini Paste, L&P, Sea Salt, Black Pepper , Olive Oil, Of course chick peas ( I used 3 1/2 cups of boiled ones. ) and as in my first attempt a jar of fire roasted peppers these were water packed ones.   

Chuck everything into a food pro.  I only chop the garlic, the rest is whole.  I used 2/3rds of the jar of peppers,  you can use more or less. But I have a plan for the remaining 1/3.  (Future Post Hopefully)  plus I added a shake of my chili powder and a few pinches of basil at the last moment. 

I usually start it up on slow speed with a few good glugs of olive oil.. once it gets going I increase the speed and add oil until you like the consistency.

Don't forget to stop and have a good look and taste, It may seem like your adding a lot of salt,  but your making 4 cups of hummus .. that is quite a lot.  ( 4 grocery store tubs worth! )

Once you've reached the consistency you're looking for. ( I don't like it lumpy ,  but do stop before it gets creamy ) Pour it, with the help of a spatula into a resealable container.  I also like to sprinkle something on top.  This time its black sesame seeds and coarse sea salt.
That's it, you now have 4 cups of an amazing roasted red pepper and garlic hummus :) About 4 times what you'd get in a prepackaged one at the store , all for about the same price as one 1 tub.   PLUS you should have at least a few packages in the freezer.  Now all that's left to do is grab yourself some homemade bread and veggie sticks and you've got a great lunch , or even a light dinner.  Or like tonight, a great late night snack. 
Happy Cooking!
Enjoy :)
Rich