Friday, December 28, 2007

Hummina-hummina hummus

About a month ago or so, I came across a hummus recipe on one of the food blogs I subscribe to that called for olives. I'd never had hummus before, and I like olives, so I thought I'd try it out at some point. Then, a couple weeks ago, we had a complaint at work about our hummus. They said it was bland and tasteless, which I found a bit humorous considering Minnesotans are famous for loving bland food. (My sis-in-law calls Minnesota "the state where ketchup is considered a hot sauce.") So I tried it. Yeah, it was kind of bland, but come on, it's basically just chick-pea-and-sesame paste; what do you expect? I decided this would be a good time to try out the olive-hummus. But when I went back to get the recipe, I couldn't find it anywhere. Not a big deal since I don't need a recipe anyway, but I just don't know who to credit for the idea. (Sorry, whoever you are that came up with it.) Anyway, as far as regular hummus goes, I'm indifferent about it; I might eat it if it's there, but I won't bother to make it. As for this hummus, it's something that I will eat almost daily. It is truly worthy of its title, Hummina-hummina. So hold on to your tastebuds, kids 'cause here we go...

First, a list:

Garbanzo beans, canned or cooked
Fresh garlic
Fresh lemon juice
Crushed red pepper
Kalamata olives
Olive oil

Now, if you have a hard time making stuff without an actual recipe to follow, or if you just want to get a sense of how I do things, read on. I actually wrote down all of the steps I took to make this hummus today, as I made it. What follows is not a recipe, but is representative of how I make stuff. Whether it's the very first time I try something, or the firsteenth time I've made it, this is the exact process I use. And yes, I know that "firsteenth" is not a word. But y'know what? Neither was "blogosphere" until some asshole thought he'd be funny and make it up and start using it like it actually meant something, and now look at it; it's everywhere.
Stupid non-word, I hate it.

Anyway, let's make some Hummus! (remember, these are my exact steps)

Open #10 can of garbanzos (6+ lbs.) Dump a bunch into the food processor bowl. That's what, 2 cups? 3? Eh, whatever, the bowl's about half-full. (Normally I'd say half-empty, but this stuff brings out the optimist in me.) Spoon in some tahini. I can't be bothered to measure this stuff out, but judging by how much was left in the jar, I'd say I used about 12 oz. Lick spoon. Mm, not very tasty, is it? Fortunately, it gets better. A lot better. Spoon in some fresh minced garlic. What's that, about 1/2 cup? Sure! Sprinkle in some crushed reds. Looks to be about a Tablespoon or so. I hope it's not too much. Let's see, what's next? How about juice of 1 lemon and (because we keep it in those plastic squeeze bottles) a hard, 3 second squeeze of olive oil. (Go for the good stuff, not the cheap 80/20 blend we use.) I'm guessing that was about 1/2 cup. Again, I can't be bothered to measure this stuff out. And now, the not-so-secret weapon: Kalamatas! I highly recommend chopping them up before adding to the food processor. Not only because the food processor never really seems to chop them up fine enough, but also because you'll catch any stray pits. I found 6 (!) in about a cup's worth of olives for this batch alone. I don't know what brand we're using, but I'm thinking they need to upgrade their equipment.

Blend it all up.

Tasting results: Maybe a little too much tahini. Maybe. Definitely needs more olives and garlic. In go another 2 or 3 T garlic, and 1 C or so (pre-chop) olives. Crap, I forgot the cumin! Toast up about 1/4 C or so in a fry pan on the stove and dump in. Getting a little thick now, and also needs some salt, so in goes a little of the kalamata juice. Damn, the food processor is almost overflowing. (I strongly believe in the idea that less is more. So when am I going to learn to start practicing what I preach?) Re-taste. Well, turns out the tahini was right on after all (maybe even not enough. Maybe.) but needs still more olives. In go about 1/4 C, plus more juice. Blend. Taste.
Oh hell yeah!
Good thing, too. I don't think I can fit anything else in.
(Well, maybe just a dash of cumin, but that's it.)

And that's it. Goes great on just about anything, but I prefer mine on tortilla chips. We make our own, which I recommend doing, but if you're going to go with store-bought, get some good ones. I personally like those Tostito's Gold ones. Nice and thick and crunchy.

So, how's it taste?

Mmmm, hummina-hummina!

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