Monday, May 2, 2011

Hummus Shorcut

Hummus isn't complicated to begin with, but I've discovered a shortcut that serves my purposes so well that I almost never make it from scratch. I don't usually buy it from grocery store deli sections because it can be so expensive, and I'm almost always disappointed with how it's seasoned (too much tahini, not enough lemon, fake garlic). I also don't own a food processor (something I'll remedy, one day), so making it from scratch is actually more expensive and labor-intensive than using my shortcut. That said, I have made some really good, lumpy hummus using a potato masher.

There exists a canned hummus that you can season to your liking. It contains chick peas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), tahini and salt. You get to add lemon, garlic, olive oil, salt, paprika. As much or as little as you want. There is more than one brand, and it usually costs about $1- $1.50 for a 12 oz. can. It's perfect. The work has been done, and all you have to do is season it.

Where do you find it? I first found it at a great little grocery store in South St. Louis. If you have a Greek or Middle Eastern market near you, you can almost surely find it there. I've also begun seeing it in major grocery stores, in aisles marked "ethnic" or "international."

I like a lot of lemon in my hummus, so I add juice from a whole, good lemon, 2 cloves raw garlic, crushed, and salt and pepper to taste. Then I drizzle olive oil and shake a little paprika over the top. The whole thing costs under $2.    

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