Sunday, August 7, 2011

Creamy Restaurant-style Hummus

I love, love, love hummus.  And while I don't mind the supermarket brands, every time I buy one I can't help but think that I ought to be able to make it easily at home.  I've tried a few times and it just hasn't worked out well- it comes out way too thick, too garlicky, too's just never right.

Then I stumbled upon this wonderful little recipe in Cooks Illustrated.  Now, they have a zillion chefs testing out all of their recipes over and over again, so they're easy to trust.  The article promised smooth, creamy hummus that would rival any authentic restaurant's version.  And honestly (I didn't really have any doubts, but you never know), this is the best hummus I've ever had.  It's not much more than dumping the ingredients in a food processor and letting it whirl, but the order of additions makes all the difference.  So now I do make the hummus myself in several different variations, and I don't miss buying it at the supermarket at all.

Creamy Restaurant-style Hummus
From Cooks Illustrated
3 tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup water
6 tbs tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cumin
pinch of cayenne
1 15-oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice and water.  Set aside.  In another small bowl, stir together the tahini and olive oil.  Again, set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, place the garbanzo beans (minus a small handful for topping the hummus), the garlic, cumin, salt, and cayenne.  Pulse the mixture several times until almost fully ground together.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the food processor running, slowly pour in the lemon juice and water.  Continue to process for about 30 more seconds.  Scrape down the bowl again.  Begin running the food processor a third time and slowly pour in the tahini and olive oil.  Blend until smooth.

Place the hummus in a bowl and top with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of paprika, and the reserved garbanzo beans.  Serve with pita bread or chips and sliced carrots, cucumbers, or peppers.

Variations: Roasted garlic hummus- replace the raw garlic with several cloves of roasted garlic
Red pepper- Coarsely chop one roasted red pepper and add it to the food processor along with the garbanzo beans, garlic and spices
Or add in any combination of  herbs or spices you like

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