Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Full fat blogging

Here is a post from Norm that I thought I couldn't fault, until ... the link.

Hummus is indeed divine, but Waitrose 'reduced fat houmous' (sic)?  For a man of a certain shape with a profile to maintain, an inbuilt distrust of the words 'reduced fat' is to be expected. But when that fat is provided solely by olive oil and crushed sesame seeds, even the virtuous must side with the stout.

If you want really addictive, totally scrumptious hummus, make your own. It is incredibly easy and all the quantities can be varied according to taste. This is how I do it.

Use dried chick peas, rinse and soak overnight. Half a packet will make a huge bowl of the glorious stuff, enough for a family of addicts. Drain and rinse the chick peas and then you can either simmer them for a couple of hours in salted water, or do what I do and use a pressure cooker so that they only take twenty minutes to be nice and soft, but not mushy. I suppose you can cut corners with tinned chick peas, but they aren't as nice and I would sulk.

This is the important bit. Don't throw away the cooking liquid. You are going to use some for blending.

Use a blender (you can be authentic if you like and spend god knows how long beating them up in a pestle and mortar, but only if you are mad, precious or a columnist for a posh paper).

First, put two or three large peeled cloves of garlic in the blender (vary to taste but NEVER omit), add the juice of a lemon (again this can be half a lemon for a milder flavour or even two if you like that sharp lemony tang), pour in a good quantity of quality olive oil. Blend until the garlic has disintegrated. Spoon in some tahini - again vary according to taste - a dessert spoon or a tablespoon full, though don't overdo it. A good tip is to stir the tahini first so that any of the oil that has separated out is mixed back in with the sesame pulp. I then give it another whizz in the blender.

Now for the crucial bit. Add some of the chick peas with a little of the cooking water and blend with the oil, garlic and lemon, preferably on a low setting (I like mine coarse not smooth). This is the trick. If it is too sloppy add more chick peas to thicken it, if it is too solid add more cooking water. Continue until you have blended the lot, then you can throw the rest of the cooking water away. Beware, you can thin down hummus easily, but you can't thicken it up again if you have run out of chick peas. It doesn't take a lot of water to turn it into a thin, liquid mess. That is why you do it in stages.

Spoon it into a bowl and give it a good stir with a fork so that everything is evenly mixed, cover and set aside for a bit for the flavours to merge.

To serve, pour over more olive oil so that there is a layer of it on the surface, sprinkle on a little paprika and decorate with lemon wedges. Get yourself some pitta bread, plain flat bread or a nice, fresh baked white loaf and dig in (OK spoon some on your plate if you insist on being refined).

Continue until sated, in this case it means when you have had too much, lie back, close your eyes and think of Nigella Lawson. Bliss.

1 comment:

Jim M. said...

"Continue until sated, in this case it means when you have had too much, lie back, close your eyes and think of Nigella Lawson"

Bulimia, my friend, is not the answer!

And I was sooo with you til that moment