CILANTRO JALAPENO “HUMMUS”

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I haven’t yet met a “hummus” I did not like. This one is another example of a tahini-less version, with the garbanzo beans standing up to justify the name. ;-)  The recipe is from a wonderful blog I recently stumbled upon:  “Garnish with Lemon“.  It called for peeling the chickpeas, and after reading a lot about the benefits of this extra-step, I went for it. You’ll need a considerable amount of Zen for the job, but I now believe it is totally worth the trouble.  If I am making hummus just for the two of us, I might skip it. But, for special occasions you’ll find me standing by the sink, mindfully peeling pea by pea while wondering about the meaning of life, the origin of the universe, and the mechanism of iron uptake by Escherichia coli.

CILANTRO-JALAPENO HUMMUS
(adapted from Garnish with Lemon)

1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and peeled
1 cup cilantro
1/2 cup Italian parsley
1 jalapeño, seeded
3/4 tsp salt
Juice of 1+ ½ limes
1/8 cup olive oil
2 Tbs non-fat yogurt (more or less according to consistency)
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Place the beans, cilantro, parsley, jalapeño, salt and lime in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for at least two minutes, until well mixed and smooth, stopping to clean the sides of the bowl halfway through. Slowly add olive oil as the food processor is running.
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Stop the processor, add one or two tablespoons of yogurt, depending on how thick or runny your dip seems.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Place in a container and refrigerate overnight for best flavor.
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ENJOY!
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to print the recipe, click here
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Comments:
  The composite picture above should help me convince the hummus-makers out there that peeling the chickpeas is a good move.  See all those peels on the first photo? I had worked maybe half of the can at that point. The peels have a bit of a slimy texture. Getting rid of them can only improve your masterpiece.
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This creamy dip is great with pita chips, Ak-mak crackers, carrot sticks, but trust me: it works tremendously well over grilled salmon, and it would certainly be great topping other grilled concoctions like chicken breasts, thick tuna steaks, pork tenderloin.  Of course, being a lover of cilantro is mandatory to enjoy this versatile “hummus”.
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ONE YEAR AGO: A Moving Odyssey (has it been one year already?  ;-)

AVOCADO “HUMMUS”

IMG_2053Sometimes (quite often, I’m afraid) I have a recipe on my list of things to do ASAP and there it sits for a year or five. But every once in a while the exact opposite happens: I see a recipe, fall in love, and make it right away.  This avocado hummus showed up on my screen during the last Secret Recipe Reveal Day, which fell exactly on Memorial Day.  Maybe having the day off helped, but the truth is that I saw the recipe mid-morning, and made it at 3pm.  How about that for efficiency?

AVOCADO HUMMUS
(slightly modified from Chocolate and Chillies)

1 19 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 avocados, pitted and diced
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed (I omitted)
handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup water
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a food processor add all the ingredients and process.  Add more water if you would like it thinner.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

We love hummus!  It is one of the items we always have in the fridge, in fact. I know homemade is best, but we love it so much that we always have one or two of those little packages of Athenos plain hummus.  I often add a little bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a touch of smoked paprika, and we enjoy it with crackers or veggie sticks.   But this version with avocado instead of tahini is shockingly delicious…  BTW, do you know that blog, Shockingly Delicious?  Great site, check it out…

This hummus recipe makes quite a large amount, so I could save some for a later, happy day!

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ONE YEAR AGO: Moving is not for sissies!

TWO YEARS AGO: Awesome Broccolini

THREE YEARS AGO: Pizza! Pizza!

FOUR YEARS AGO:  From Backyard to Kitchen

FARRO SALAD WITH ROASTED LEEKS

I suppose this could go to my “work in progress” folder.  But, Phil liked it exactly this way, so I decided to share the recipe adding possible tweaks in the comments.  One important thing to mention: although this is a salad, it’s equally good served warm. Those of you still in sub-zero temperatures and avoiding even to glance at a salad plate don’t need to shy away from it. In fact, we enjoyed it hot on the first day piled up next to a  juicy flank steak, grilled medium-rare. Comme il faut..;-)

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FARRO SALAD WITH LEEKS, CHICKPEAS AND CURRANTS
(adapted from The New York Times

2 large leeks, halved lengthwise, cleaned and sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick
1 Tablespoon olive oil + 1/8 cup, divided
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 can of chickpeas, drained (15 oz)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1 cup dry farro
1/3 cup dried currants
2 celery stalks, diced

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Using a large rimmed baking sheet, toss leeks with 1 tablespoon of oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread leeks out in a single layer  and roast, tossing frequently, until golden brown and crisp at the edges, about 20 minutes.

Drain the chickpeas and add them to a pot with boiling water for a couple of seconds. Drain again, dry well.  In a large bowl, toss leeks with chickpeas, lemon juice and zest,  chile flakes and salt to taste. Stir in 1/8 cup olive oil.  Let marinate while you prepare the farro.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook farro until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well. Toss with chickpeas mixture. Stir in currants and diced celery. Taste and add more salt or lemon if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

marinating

Comments: The original recipe was written for 2 cups of farro, definitely too much for the two of us.  I halved the recipe, keeping all ingredients in the same proportion, but considerably reducing the olive oil. I was shocked to see the amount called for in the recipe. For two cups of dried farro, they used 2/3 cup of olive oil in the dressing.  Keep in mind that 1/4 cup had already been poured just to roast the leeks. It amounts to 1,700 calories (> 800 for half the recipe) just in the oil component!   Thanks, but no thanks.  I used a tiny amount of oil to roast the leeks, and only 1/8 cup for the whole dressing.   If you like your salad heavier on the oil, I suggest drizzling some more at the very end, before serving.

Now my possible modifications for a future version.  I think raisins would have been better than currants.  And, for my personal taste, the roasted leeks overpowered the dish.  When I make it again, I will use raisins, increase the amount of celery, and reduce the amount of leeks.  That will be a real winner for me.

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ONE YEAR AGO: Watercress Salad

TWO YEARS AGO: Carrot and Sweet Potato Puree’

THREE YEARS AGO: Croissants: Paris at home on a special day

HEART-HEALTHY RECIPE FOR A CAUSE

Through The Secret Recipe Club, I got to know Jey, from “The Jey of Cooking“.  A year ago, her Mom received a new heart in a transplant, and Jey decided to post a heart-healthy recipe in her blog, inviting also other bloggers to do the same.  For every recipe posted, she made a donation for The American Heart Association .  Now, to mark the first anniversary of her mother’s surgery, she is launching the same campaign, and this is my contribution.  By the way, if you have a food blog, or even if you don’t, you can join too: simply cook a heart-healthy recipe, blog or take photos from it, and send an email to Jey, you can find more details jumping here.  The deadline is March 25th.

CHICKPEA AND FIRE-ROASTED TOMATO SOUP
(adapted from Fine Cooking; issue 116, March 2012)

1 Tbs. olive oil
Fine sea salt
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (15 oz)
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
2 rosemary sprigs
3 cups water (or vegetable broth)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup low fat yogurt
squeeze of lemon juice

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.Add the onion, celery, carrot, and a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes with their juice, stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute. Add the rosemary, water, 1 tsp salt, and freshly ground black pepper.  Partially cover the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes.  Remove the sprigs of rosemary, leaving behind any leaves that fell off the stem.  Purée the soup with a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender or food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, mix the yogurt with lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Divide the soup among 4 bowls, add a nice dollop of yogurt in the center of the bowl, and swirl it around with chopsticks.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

The original recipe, in the latest issue of Fine Cooking,  used regular tomatoes and had a higher proportion of chickpeas.  I confess to having a mild addiction to the heat and flavor of Muir fire-roasted tomatoes, so I try to sneak them in my cooking at every opportunity.   Their heat was quite obvious, so the yogurt swirl was a nice addition to tame the fire.

We are pretty much saying goodbye to soup weather, but this version would be great even on a warm Summer evening.  Chickpeas and tomatoes are  awesome together. I have paired them in stews and salads, but this was my first time enjoying them in a soup.  Tasty!

Jey, I hope you’ll get a lot of contributions to celebrate the first anniversary of your Mom’s surgery!

ONE YEAR AGO: Almond Butter Cake

TWO YEARS AGO:  Taillevent (a meal to remember…)

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