This last week has been one of the most stressful weeks in my memory. I had two final projects due at the very beginning of the week (gah…30-page papers!), and I had to give quizzes to my students…then they had a meltdown about the quizzes, so I had to improvise my subsequent lessons so I could help them return to a calmer, more confident place. Anyone that knows me knows that I worship planning. Improvising freaks the crap out of me (yikes…maybe teaching is not my calling).
I also made many failed recipes recently: caramel sauce (I decided to refrigerate it so it would set faster…which caused it to bec0me extremely hard, more like toffee) followed by caramel candies (way stickier than I thought…ultimately a great, stretchy, sticky mess), golden gazpacho (is it supposed to taste like you are eating a grainy, raw tomato?), and last-minute microwave brownies (I know…that sounds like a horrible idea…and apparently when you halve the recipe, it actually IS a horrible idea). How frustrating! I keep trying to make great foods, but they are not coming out as intended!
However, I did have one minor success this week: Creamy Hummus!
I actually made a small gaffe on this recipe, as well (note to self: don’t start cooking 3 minutes after waking up). I made a double recipe of this hummus to serve to my students on quiz day…but in my sleepy stupor, I forgot to add the cumin! I actually didn’t notice this when I was sampling the hummus during school, though I thought the garlic was stronger than I remembered from the previous time I’d made it. Fortunately, none of my students (even those that grew up eating hummus regularly) noticed!
I’ve made this recipe a few times, with cumin and without, and honestly, both versions are great! But, if you accidentally leave the cumin out, just don’t solve the problem like I did: “Oh my gosh! I served this to my students without the cumin! I’d better add that in before my husband gets home…” (adds curry powder…which is almost the same color and starts with the same two letters…and tastes….) “What the!?…crap…that wasn’t cumin…”
Honestly, aside from my occasional illiteracy, hummus is one of the easiest things to make. So why buy it in the store?
First, gather together all of your ingredients, because the main step is combining everything in a food processor. (I recommend using real lemons, which is what the recipe calls for, but I didn’t have any at 6:00 a.m. when I was making the hummus, so I used RealLemon to no significant detriment.)
Drain the beans and save the liquid for later. Put everything else into a food processor.
After everything is blended together, it will look like this…somewhat chunky and not completely appetizing. But never fear! The garbanzo liquid will yet serve its purpose.
Add a healthy amount of the reserved garbanzo liquid (maybe ¼-⅓ a cup or so) and then run the food processor again until everything is well mixed. For me, it looked like the first liquid addition wasn’t quite enough, because my hummus still looked a bit chunky. I added a few tablespoons more of the garbanzo liquid (don’t be afraid that you are adding too much…it would take almost all of the liquid to actually make the hummus soupy. Just add slowly if you feel a bit concerned).
Et voilà! A very creamy hummus! Serve with toasted (or untoasted) pita slices and prepare to watch the whole batch disappear like magic.
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained with liquid reserved
- ½ cup tahini
- ¼ cup olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- salt and black pepper
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
- paprika, for garnish (optional)
- chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- Put everything except the garnishes in a food processor and pulse until everything becomes a fine, even mash.
- Add the chickpea liquid (or water) as needed to produce a smoother puree.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Continue to puree on high until the hummus becomes very smooth and creamy, about 5–10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with garnishes and serve with pita slices or vegetables for dipping.