Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cilantro-Jalapeno Hummus

Trader Joe's has some amazing food, and for the second time I was inspired to re-create one of their recipes that features chickpeas. Beans are incredibly easy to make and incredibly cheap, so I figure if I can get the seasoning right, I might as well do it myself. Unfortunately, my food processor does not whip the beans into the creaminess of store-bought hummus, and instead yields a slightly more watery, gritty texture. While I am still working out the kinks (more water? more oil?), this third batch of hummus has been my most successful yet. Adding the jalapeno and cilantro flavors makes this hummus more appropriate with corn chips than pita chips. I have a ripening avocado in my fridge so I have a feeling that I might make some guacamole to for a drinks 'n dip night.

Cilantro and Chickpea Hummus
1 and 1/2 cans chickpeas
1 and 1/2 limes + equal amount water to make the beans whirr in the food processor
1 jalapeno (I removed half the seeds - remove none or all to adjust the heat)
2 big handfuls cilantro
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 + cloves garlic
sea salt
pinch cumin (this is the secret ingredient. all hummus needs a little of this)

Mince the garlic in the food processor. Add the beans, lime juice, and enough water to thin it out, and whirr away. It also is fine to add a tbsp or so of oil at this point. I have a small food processor so this alone takes a couple batches, and involves me transferring ingredients into a bowl as soon as they are pureed.

Chop up the jalapeno and the cilantro in the food processor. I add some water and oil to make it whip up better. I also think it's good for these spices to have oil incorporated into them.

In a bowl, stir up all of the pureed ingredients and season to taste, adding a generous amount of sea salt and a few cranks of pepper (use pepper from a grinder. it's the only way). Add the dash of cumin and notice how it changes the flavor. At this point I usually go back and add more of something. This time I added that extra half can of garbanzos, more lime, and more cilantro, because it was a bit too spicy, then added salt/pepper/cumin on top of that. If the flavors taste a little off, or you're still not sure if it needs an extra something, it's great to just pop it in the fridge and let it rest for awhile. There has to be time for the flavors to meld. I made my hummus an hour ago and just ate some of it with some yellow corn chips. Perfection. I'm excited to make this dish again - I can't say I've ever seen anything like it before, and the green speckling throughout the off-white puree looks gorgeous and maybe a bit mysterious. What I wouldn't give for this dip with a mojito right now!

No comments: