Lebanese Feast of Feasty Goodness - Hommous
I actually am going to go completely out of my self imposed "order" (ie I post recipes in the vague order in which I have consumed the food) as a couple of the upcoming recipes are new ones which I have scrawled down on paper and can't find.
Instead, I will present the awesome feast of lebanese goodness and ginormous proportions wot I whipped up for (and with the excellent help of) TheBoss and ThePenguin (yes, I'm not very good with nicknames, but they know who they are ;-) ...)
So, this feast was way simple, a little time consuming, predominantly low GI and tasty as a tasty thing.
We had hommous, choisters (these were my very soft falafels, which have been renamed choisters by TheBoss and ThePenguin as they are made of chickpeas but have the consistency of oysters...), tabbouleh, broad beans in tomato sauce and lemon garlic potatoes (which is the not at all low GI section of the meal, but I tend to think that food combining is really important - make yourself a medium GI meal, and satisfy those insane potato cravings!!! At least, that's my excuse...)
So, this will be several posts. Yay!!
Let's get to it, eh? Dips first.
1 x 440g tin of chickpeas (you can use dried/soaked/cooked chickpeas for this, but if you want easy and fast, go with tinned)
garlic to taste (I like lots and lots - about 3 to 5 cloves)
lemon juice to taste (again, I like lots and lots - generally 1 to 2 lemon's worth of juice)
about 3/4 cup tahini - it depends upon how sesame seed-y you want your hommous to taste
ground cumin - about 1 and a half teaspoons
ground coriander - about 1 teaspoon
a little water
I don't know how the ancient peoples of the Mediteranean made this, but I think you absolutely need to have a good food processor for this recipe. You could use a mortar and pestle, but I can't recommend getting a food processor enough - it has changed my cooking life!! Quick - there's still some shopping days until Xmas!! Ask your loved ones to band together and purchase you a good quality food processor, and then cook amazing foods for them!!
Where was I? Sorry, caffeine rush.
So, roughly chop your garlic, and drop it into the food processor with the drained chickpeas. Grind until everything has starting breaking down. Add the tahini and process for a while longer, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the mixter - the tahini will actually cause the mixture to become quite stiff. Slowly add the spices and the lemon juice - this acid should help smooth out the mixture. If you're not happy with the consistency (I tend to make quite a thick hommous) add a little water and/or more lemon juice until you reach your desired consistency.
Alternative (additional!) - Baba Ganoush
Instead of the chickpeas, roast one large eggplant in the oven until it is soft and all wrinkly. Let cool, and then scrape the flesh into the food processor with the garlic - you can use the skin if you want, but it may make the dip a little bitter and gritty. Proceed with the rest of the steps as above - you shouldn't encounter the mixture becoming too stiff, though, as this appears to be a reaction between the chickpeas and the tahini.
Cover your hommous/baba ganoush and let cool for a while. To serve, smear thickly onto a flat plate, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over some red paprika. If you want to really go to town (as I was encouraged to do by TheBoss), decorate further with some hot pickled chillies (I use fefforoni) and kalamata olives.