Previously we saw the “chunky style” Syrian slammer as coached by the Sephardi Canadian Ellen Gould Ventura pull a triple combination of complex desert loving flavors like parsley, garlic, pan toasted cumin and lemon. This contender then landed a round house of really formidable textures... with beany goodness in every bite. The addition of real “De la Vera” Pimentón from the appropriately named Extremadura region in Spain (you know the plains in Spain... this is where they are talking about... but chicos they are lying about the rain) nearly caused a TKO. But wait this suave and sophisticated city dweller is not down for the count... Off the mat he comes... he’s on his feet... he’s dancing now... he rears back and...
This is the smooth and creamy hummus we all know and love... this is a hummus that slicks it’s hair back like Antonio Bandera, this is a hummus that wears Old Spice...and we’re going to make it from scratch... no canned goods for us on this round.
What you’ll need:
- 500 grams or like 17.64 oz of dried garbanzos (I know... it was going to be one ridiculous sounding number or another... it’s OK... if you use a pound I won’t tell anybody).
Listen can we talk about weight vs. volume. Let us now take a moment and look at a standard garbanzo bean... it has a spherical but very irregular shape. Given it’s irregularity measuring by volume is not very accurate... granted in this case we are not exactly building a nose cone for NASA we are making something that resembles poop from a baby who is having a just OK day... but still try to use a scale. Don’t go buying a 9000 dollar Swiss one... those are for drug dealers and hedge fund managers... just get a digital one from your local big box... you know the places that sell wet suits and 20 lb boxes of frozen waffles. Digital scales are more or less like digital watches... they are all the same... the only real difference is buyer gullibility. Anything with a vaguely German name will get you there... even Blosch or Blaun... mine is a Blupukt... who would have thought that a car stereo manufacturer could make such a strudy and acuraph wait scalding platform. Sorry, I digress. Just start weighing things, OK? For today and today only... volume wise it’s like a cup... sorta kinda. Listen I will keep harping on this so please do us all a favor and just do it. OK?
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- Quarter to half a teaspoon of salt... sorta kinda
- And as in the former recipe, a couple of shakes of Pimentón... “Ole!”
- ⅓ cup of Tahini (again... They very well might know nothing about tahini in Lincoln, Nebraska... so get a jar of the stuff that has illegible swirly backward reading lettering someplace on the label. It’s ok, all it says is, “Death to the Infidels! 100% Ground Sesame Seeds! Does not contain pork!”) Like the previous recipe you can add more if you want but be careful... you might develop a strong desire to be circumcised.)
- That’s it? Five stinkin’ ingredients? Yep that’s it.
- Oh wait many of these recipes say to add a little bit of baking soda. They say it has something to do with gas reduction. Aren't we supposed to be looking for gas? Is this some sort of “pinko” reverse fracking operation or something? Whatever, I’ll tell you when to toss it it in.
So please for to take 500 grams of quality garbanzos and soak them overnight (look this overnight thing is always a little silly... you can do it in broad daylight as far as I’m concerned, just pull the drapes... 8 to 12 hours will do) in at least three times their volume in water. Now go to bed or to work or walk 48 miles (the average human takes 10 minutes to walk 1 mile unless they are Spanish... therefore 48 miles can be covered in 8 hours... not counting pee pee breaks and various roadside attraction like “Jasper the Alligator man” and “The Stumps of Mystery”). Might I suggest doing a loop? 8 hours there and 8 hours back will cause the dreaded over bean soak and/or the “Hummus-a-dor” to forget all about the project and go directly to bed.
Welcome back... now get in there and drain those beans... some swank recipes call for sauteing the garbonzos in a little olive oil before you simmer them... since we just walked to Seattle and back... or in my case Burgos why not go to the trouble of this easy extra step... excess and sophistication is what this upscale recipe is all about.
To saute (AKA fry) the garbanzos you will need a pan. I’m sorry but I don’t know cooking skill level of my audience... many of you come from that country that has to have labels that say things like “Caution, spilling boiling hot coffee on your crotch can often cause you to yell,“Feck! Feck! Feck!” OK take the pan and put it on the stove and add a scant tablespoon or 6 of extra virgin olive oil... oh jeez, just give it a squirt. Now adjusting your OSHA approved bicycle helmet and lowering your welding visor into place and turn on or... IGNITE... the burner... folks it’s not caused “burner” for nothing... actual flames come out of these things. Flame = Hot. Hot. Hotty. Hot.
OK now toss in the anti-fracking powder (see 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda) and with your OSHA approved bean oscillating device... see “wooden spoon”....move the garbanzos around in the pan until you are either bored or they look a little bit brown. You know you really could forget this step... but what the hey... continue on... Standing a safe distance away from the stove add enough water to cover the garbanzos and then some... let’s just say those guys are well under water... like me and my mortage. Hey garbanzos reminds me of Bonobos... what's the story with those guys? I mean when I was a kid we only had Chimpanzees and now there are both Chimpanzees and Bonobos... Apparently the big difference between them is that Chimpanzees are meaner and Bonobos are happier and nicer... and you’d be happier and nicer too if you were having sex a minimum 14 times a day... go ahead and google it... we’ll wait.
Wow... pretty amazing huh? Let us now address the issue of garbanzo peeling. In researching recipes for this I came across one from the most excellent Deb Perelman at Smitten Kitchen. In Deb’s most recent version she recommends peeling the garbanzos. Listen I respect her point of view but there are 2 things that stop me from buying into this line of thinking.
1. When you saute the beans the skins more or less are uni-welded to the undercarriage of the garbanzo... I tried peeling the skins away but ended up yanking off (sorry) pulling off a little bit of the edible part of the aforementioned legume. Cursing ensued. I would classify this as a "big pain in the patootie” or "BPITP."
2. It seems to me that a little more time in food slammer will more than make up for the tiny wisps of ethereal imaginary garbanzo skins that might offend a delicate diners palate.
Still lots of great cooks recommend this step including one Suzi Conklin who just happens to be the blog guardian angel/Judge/Confessor/Cheerleader/Watch dog/Vice Principal in Charge of Discipline who last night upon receiving this last tome suggest I substitute the word “Feck” but had no problem with circumcision when used to describe the potential side effects of over consumption of tahini. Go figger... I shall just say this if you would like to try the peeled garbanzo version consider not uni-welding the skins on with the frying process. Just soak ‘em, peel ‘em and obliterate them. How to skin 'em? Take one and again using your thumb and index finger squeeze lightly like you are shooting a cherry pit directly at your little brother's eye. The naked bean goes where ever... preferably a bowl and the skin stays behind. Like I alluded to... the sauteing technique more or less negates the effect... just give up on it and live with the atom sized bits of bean wrapper.
Bring the water to a boil (that’s where it gets all bubbly... sort of like Sprite or 7 Up) and then reduce it to a simmer and let it coast for like 20 to 40 minutes. Look, go for 40 and go back to watching the Bonobos do the wild thing in the wild, you want those suckers to be really done. Ok while you are watching the Bonobos dice up the garlic... errrr.. on second thought dice up the garlic after you are done watching the Bonobos. Should I include a link for this? Nah...
Welcome back again... you know that part where the big female takes her foot and... anyway... test a garbanzo for doneness by picking it up... Feck! They’re hot! Ok having let the garbanzos cool to a point where you can pick one up squeeze it between your thumb and your index finger... that’s the one next to the thumb... you know the same ones you identified before... Does it feel sort of soft and groovy? Does it resonate with you, the Bay Area and the Dalai Lama? No? Well too bad because it’s time to move on. OK, drain the legumes and but save the scary brown water... we will use it later.
This part is going to require a food processor or a baseball bat because we are going to mess up these mofos something terrible for longer than you could imagine.
Listen, I sort of hate my food processor. I bought it because it was on sale and had this big ruby red metal panel on the front and a big shiny silvery knob and the box said it had a big motor and it looked “formidable”... for-meee-daubluh... you see eetz Franch... and I know France is the country where the Robot d’ Cuisine was invented (“L’Robot Coup”) and if you consider Airbus French engineering can be righteously amazing and they do on occasion make some pretty tasty vittles... but in general, “en-jeanurahl-ah”, French kitchen machinery absolutely sucks. It’s like Playmobil and the smurfs got together with Paul Bocuse and made a baby with neon green accents and semi-detachable mud flaps. Tres, tres mignon! But completely worthless. I cannot respect a mixer that looks like a bunny. Undt to be honest Ich haf zer leiberstraumstasse fur der produkanish der Deutschland. Ich vill go into zat a leetle lahtur... but for now I we will have to get by with this Französisch Scheiße.
OK take the drained garbanzos and put them in the food processor, having previously installed the completely ineffective whirling blade of death, pulse those babies into a powdery oblivion. You know that scene with the chain saw and the Colombian drug guys in “Scarface”... sort of like that. Channel a bigger chunkier couscous.
You will probably have to open the thing and jab at the ingredients with a blunt instrument to get them to “move along” and all be of a uniform dimension (sort of like grade school). Remember we already did the “hand hewn” style in a previous post, now we are shooting an Oreo cookie filling, not known in nature, a fully processed food product. OK once this has occurred, and we really can’t move forward until it has, we add the Tahini, the juice of one lemon... I refuse to tell you how to juice a lemon and no you cannot substitute Lemon Fanta, the garlic... the salt... the anchovies... caught you! No anchovies... absolutely no anchovies.
Ok... onward. Now shift your Robot d’Cuisine into whirling dervish mode... and pulverize it into a super smooth paste. You undoubtedly will have to stop the the machine and place the garbanzo gore spattered lid on a different section of the counter every 3 to 4 seconds to use your blunt instrument to move the stubborn bits into the oncoming maw of doom. Hey, your mileage may vary but that’s what my ruby red fashion statement needs.
More Suzi Conklin input here... She asks "Why are you doing the final mutation in two steps? Why not just dump it all into the food processor?" Well my answer would be that by breaking down the beans to to small particles one allows them to become one better with the other ingredients. Also in my crap food processor a good quarter inch of stuff always passes underneath the blades... by embracing the “dry side”/”wet side” technique of my old darkroom days one can overcome the limitations of one’s cosmetically attractive/mechanically ineffective piece of Französisch Scheiße.OK with the blades flying at their maximum velocity “drizzle”... there’s a word for you... sort of like “toothsome”... do these words exist outside the food world? “Damn it! The dog just drizzled on the carpet!” “Boy... honey... you are looking soooooo toothsome tonight.” No they don’t. Still a drizzle is a drizzle so drizzle the scary brown liquid you reserved from the bean boil down the feed tube until you have something that looks like you would buy in a supermarket... not in an old school health food store... where particle board is considered as a vegetable... something that comes in a tub from the dips and salsa section of Ralph’s or Safeway... something that perhaps looks like it could be from the paint and spackle department of the aforementioned big box, right next to the wet suits and frozen waffles. Use the blunt instrument technique where and when required. Also... if you have to use a little water to get where you need to go then all means do so.
Like in the version 1 you want to take your best plate... something with some character, something with some old school elegance but perhaps something with a few chips, a little rough around the edges... slightly past it’s “best by” date... Omar Sharif comes to mind as an aesthetic model. Scoop the spackle... sorry hummus... onto the plate and then, perhaps using your blunt device, create a lovely swirly cow flop like affair. Sprinkle the pimentón .. with your right hand... “Ole!” a little olive oil... Burn some Arabic flat bread like we showed you last time... et viola! Ya esta... Yella Habibi... time to eat.