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DaveO

Hummus

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On 3/24/2014 at 5:00 PM, rssFood said:

Source: Grub Street New York

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Despite how trendy it is in New York right now, Sabra, the biggest producer of hummus in America, told Fast Company that 80 million Americans, or just over 25 percent of the population, have never even heard of hummus. The dip has "inherent marketing problems," according to Sabra's CEO: "It's tough to pronounce even "What is it? Chickpeas? Who wants to eat chickpeas?" Ruth Reichl does.

hm.  I eat tons of hummus.   Unfortunately I don't make too much...and when I do it hasn't been that great.  But I buy enough Sabra to make up for a healthy amt of those 80 million that never even heard about it...let alone the others that know what it is but don't buy it. ;)

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Of recent hummus efforts I can say that hummus with smoked paprika is not a favorite;   regular paprika fine.   

Have yet to use anything but canned chickpeas so far.   Also using store purchased tahini rather than making tahini myself though I do have sesame seeds.  

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Thanks for bumping this up.  You just solved my “need a good/easy snack post-dental work” problem!

When I make hummus from scratch (rarely), I’ve been pretty happy with the results from the first Silver Palate Cookbook.  I just cut back the olive oil and leave out the added salt.  I probably increase the lemon juice too.  Very fast/easy/cheap with canned beans and a Cuisinart.  I keep thinking I’ll upgrade with dried beans and artisanal tahini, but never get around to it.  The basic version beats grocery store hummus.  And maybe I don’t want to get hooked on restaurant-worthy hummus, given the convenience food niche hummus occupies in my diet.

That said, swapping out the WF or Joyva tahini for Soom would be effortless, so I should try that next time and see how much and what kind of a difference it makes.

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Cava hummus, regular and red pepper, seen in the Annandale Giant store this past Sunday.  Unfortunately, not the baba ghanoush.

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Our refrigerator is seldom without a tub of hommus from the Lebanese Taverna Market over in Lee Heights in Arlington.  Once we took a cooking class there with a group and made some ourselves.  Frankly, they make it better and it is not that much more expensive than a DIY effort.

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19 hours ago, smithhemb said:

That said, swapping out the WF or Joyva tahini for Soom would be effortless, so I should try that next time and see how much and what kind of a difference it makes.

I plan to do the same.  I'm pretty pleased with most home made efforts so far, am experimenting with different spicings, (excepting smoked paprika) need to go back and compare my efforts to Perfect Pita's regular (which became my commercial go to).  I see Soom is available on the web and at WF, and gets rave reviews, ...so I'll give it a shot. 

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I thought I posted something similar elsewhere on the site. Maybe Don can find it. Here is my hummus making advice after making a lot over many years and eating it in the Mideast and all over the place in the US.  The difference between store bought and home made is the freshness and creaminess and the ability to adjust it to your taste.

First tip - start with canned chickpeas except for special occasions. The difference in final product between canned and soaking dried chickpeas is minor.  I find you can get a more delicate, airier hummus with soaked chickpeas but it turns a 15 minute food processor recipe into a multi-day affair with soaking overnight and long cooking.  

Second tip - fancy tahini is hard to detect once you mix it together with everything else. I tend to use cheaper Israeli/mideast or even Greek brands I can find in my grocery store. (I don't use Joyva). I have also tried Soom and didn't notice much difference. If you were making a more straight tehini sauce or dressing, maybe you'd notice the difference more.  

Third tip - figure out how aggressive you want the added flavors to be (such as garlic, lemon juice, or other non-dried spices added for flavoring). If you want it strong, then simply toss those ingredients in the food processor along with chickpeas and tahini for quick and tasty hummus. If you want more subtle flavoring, then roast the garlic or infuse the flavors into the tahini before adding to the food processor with the chickpeas. Again, Zahav recipe has a neat trick to blend garlic with lemon juice and let it sit and then press the garlic through a sieve into the tahini and mix before adding to the chickpeas. This of course is much more time consuming but does have a nice effect. 

Fourth tip - figure out your preference for chickpea to tahini (or other ingredients) ratio. Some recipes are chickpea heavy which often leads to a thicker/denser more neutral tasting hummus vs. other recipes call for a lot more tahini which is a bit smoother and of course much stronger sesame flavor. 

Fifth tip - taste it before you remove from the food processor and adjust it to your taste. Most recipes call for using a certain number of lemons but each lemon has a different amount of juice or sometimes garlic is stronger, etc. 

Sixth tip - start with a recipe that likely suits your personal preference. Zahav is heavy on tahini and subtle flavoring. I like it.  This recipe I've used for years from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs is more chickpea heavy and strong on the garlic: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/IsraelExperience/Lifestyle/Pages/HUMMUS -Chick-pea Dip-.aspx (when you only use the 3 TB of tahini.  Michael Solomonov's need cookbook as a quick recipe for hummus I haven't tried yet, but anything by him is worth trying. 

Seventh tip -process it longer than you think needed - it will help you get the smoothness you want. (or if you are cooking the chickpeas, follow the Zahav advice and overcook them).

Eighth tip - hummus is forgiving and if you plan to top it with dried spices like paprika, herbs like parsley, a swirl of olive oil, or strong vegetables like olives or even roasted meats - don't worry too much about having the perfect subtle, fancy hummus as these add-ons will likely overpower the base hummus. Save all of the above fancier ingredients and time consuming steps for when you plan to eat the hummus straight or with only a bit of an add on (I do like a swirl of extra olive oil).

Ninth tip - get some good pita bread (or make your own) to enjoy your hummus more. I haven't been able to find much great stuff in grocery stores - but I'll go with the Mideast bakery brand which is decent. I like Yafa Grille and Shouk's pita (which is the more pillowy type).  I'm less a fan of the thin lebanese pita you find at Lebanese Taverna and others place (note I like LT generally and the bread is good but not my preferred style). 

Tenth tip - I've seen some videos online and even a recipe or two that says to make hummus in a mortar and pestle or a bowl, but unless you like arm workouts and chunky hummus, stick to the food processor.  

For store bought hummus, I like sabra but there are a bunch of niche brands that I haven't tried and may be better.  there is a lot of funky, non-chickpea hummus available in stores. Like fake meats, know that it will not be the same, but if that is what you like, enjoy. 

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4 hours ago, KeithA said:

 Here is my hummus making advice after making a lot over many years and eating it in the Mideast and all over the place in the US.  The difference between store bought and home made is the freshness and creaminess and the ability to adjust it to your taste......

Thank you. Really appreciate the experience and advise above.

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This is a decidedly un-Thanksgiving dish.  Nevertheless I’m pretty pleased with the progression on my homemade hummus;  still needing to find our optimal mix of chickpeas to tahini and other elements for optimal creamyness etc.

The other day though we did a taste test against the standard Perfect Pita (PP) hummus.

Oh my goodness!  That PP hummus is delicious.  I believe there is some jalapeño and  Zataar mixed in that creates an amazing taste, one in which I have miles to go to approximate   There are some notable hummus(es?) in the States using jalapeño... and in time I’ll move to that level.

and now Happy Thanksgiving one and all.

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On 3/24/2014 at 5:00 PM, rssFood said:

Who wants to eat chickpeas?" Ruth Reichl does.

There are a host of YouTube videos about real, Middle-Eastern hummus that you might find interesting and helpful. It turns out that Ruth Reichl, in the link above, is well-meaning, but perhaps has a bit of tunnel vision when she says, "Great hummus is soft as velvet, with the seductive smoothness of whipped cream; the first time you meet it you experience an almost irresistible desire to slather it on your body." (I'm not sure about anyone else, but for me, personally, the last part of this just isn't true.)

Anyway, here's one of the YouTube videos, about an artisan hummus maker in Israel named Suhila. The host of this video is a somewhat gregarious disciple of Audrey Hepburn, but Suhila herself whips up three wicked bowls of hummus, none of which have the seductive smoothness of whipped cream (at least not while taken as a whole). This also visually emphasizes just how important high-quality pita is - another problem altogether - once your perfect serving of hummus is created:

People may also want to take note of the S'chug thread.

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I’ve been up and down recipes and some videos though haven’t seen that one.   I’m at a point of calibrating amts of ingredients and focused on the tahini to chickpea ratio at the moment.   Later I’ll do the same with the tahini Zahav suggests.

Pita is important.  While the LT or MeJana thin pita is nice when it is fresh it loses attractiveness over time.   I too like a fluffy pita as does @KeithA above (terrific advise).  If I don’t have a fluffier pita I’ll substitute a good fluffy bread from a good bakery vs thin pita.

Thanksgiving dinner is sans hummus but this morning—that was a different story

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17 hours ago, DaveO said:

Pita is important.  While the LT or MeJana thin pita is nice when it is fresh it loses attractiveness over time.   I too like a fluffy pita as does @KeithA above (terrific advise).  If I don’t have a fluffier pita I’ll substitute a good fluffy bread from a good bakery vs thin pita.

Try the pita at Cava; it's the fluffy style.  I'm sure they would be happy to sell you a stack of them.

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On 11/18/2018 at 11:33 AM, KeithA said:

Here is my hummus making advice after making a lot over many years and eating it in the Mideast and all over the place in the US.  

—————————————————————-

Made my favorite version so far:

went with 1 can of chickpeas and 1/2 cup of tahini.   Is that a 3-2 ratio?   Not sure what the volume of drained chickpeas in a can is.  Cut back on lemon juice a bit.  Added 1/2 tsp of cumin and smoked paprika each.   Processed far longer than suggested. Processed lemon and tahini first, then other ingredients.  Followed your advise on taste as one goes.   

Still have yet to soak chickpeas w/ baking soda and yet to try other adjustments.   Was wondering if besides pita challah would go well

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Soaking the chickpeas with baking soda simply makes a creamier hummus and a bit lighter but if you add a lot of tahini and process longer you are a good chunk of the way there with canned chickpeas. As for the bread or other dipper - use whatever you like. Challah is good but already a richer bread with eggs so you can get away with a more mild hummus. The big pita - challah difference is the texture. It is easy to spread on hummus on challah like a sandwich spread but you can’t rip off and piece and dip it into the hummus as with pita. Naan or other flatbread work great too and pita is essentially pretty plain and so the hummus can shine on its own. But white bread with good hummus is better than nothing. Although I’ve been known to simply hummus with a spoon too. If you want to really see all the ways to eat hummus check out the family dinner scene from Don’t Mess with Zohan. Hilarious, ridiculous and very hummus-centric.  

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On 11/22/2018 at 12:12 PM, DonRocks said:

There are a host of YouTube videos about real, Middle-Eastern hummus that you might find interesting and helpful. It turns out that Ruth Reichl, in the link above, is well-meaning, but perhaps has a bit of tunnel vision when she says, "Great hummus is soft as velvet, with the seductive smoothness of whipped cream; the first time you meet it you experience an almost irresistible desire to slather it on your body." (I'm not sure about anyone else, but for me, personally, the last part of this just isn't true.)

 

People may also want to take note of the S'chug thread.

The hummus is Israeli is slather worthy.  Perhaps more of a facial mask. 

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On 11/18/2018 at 11:33 AM, KeithA said:

I thought I posted something similar elsewhere on the site. Maybe Don can find it. Here is my hummus making advice after making a lot over many years and eating it in the Mideast and all over the place in the US.  The difference between store bought and home made is the freshness and creaminess and the ability to adjust it to your taste.

First tip - start with canned chickpeas except for special occasions. The difference in final product between canned and soaking dried chickpeas is minor.  I find you can get a more delicate, airier hummus with soaked chickpeas but it turns a 15 minute food processor recipe into a multi-day affair with soaking overnight and long cooking.  

Second tip - fancy tahini is hard to detect once you mix it together with everything else. I tend to use cheaper Israeli/mideast or even Greek brands I can find in my grocery store. (I don't use Joyva). I have also tried Soom and didn't notice much difference. If you were making a more straight tehini sauce or dressing, maybe you'd notice the difference more.  

Third tip - figure out how aggressive you want the added flavors to be (such as garlic, lemon juice, or other non-dried spices added for flavoring). If you want it strong, then simply toss those ingredients in the food processor along with chickpeas and tahini for quick and tasty hummus. If you want more subtle flavoring, then roast the garlic or infuse the flavors into the tahini before adding to the food processor with the chickpeas. Again, Zahav recipe has a neat trick to blend garlic with lemon juice and let it sit and then press the garlic through a sieve into the tahini and mix before adding to the chickpeas. This of course is much more time consuming but does have a nice effect. 

Fourth tip - figure out your preference for chickpea to tahini (or other ingredients) ratio. Some recipes are chickpea heavy which often leads to a thicker/denser more neutral tasting hummus vs. other recipes call for a lot more tahini which is a bit smoother and of course much stronger sesame flavor. 

Fifth tip - taste it before you remove from the food processor and adjust it to your taste. Most recipes call for using a certain number of lemons but each lemon has a different amount of juice or sometimes garlic is stronger, etc. 

Sixth tip - start with a recipe that likely suits your personal preference. Zahav is heavy on tahini and subtle flavoring. I like it.  This recipe I've used for years from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs is more chickpea heavy and strong on the garlic: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/IsraelExperience/Lifestyle/Pages/HUMMUS -Chick-pea Dip-.aspx (when you only use the 3 TB of tahini.  Michael Solomonov's need cookbook as a quick recipe for hummus I haven't tried yet, but anything by him is worth trying. 

Seventh tip -process it longer than you think needed - it will help you get the smoothness you want. (or if you are cooking the chickpeas, follow the Zahav advice and overcook them).

Eighth tip - hummus is forgiving and if you plan to top it with dried spices like paprika, herbs like parsley, a swirl of olive oil, or strong vegetables like olives or even roasted meats - don't worry too much about having the perfect subtle, fancy hummus as these add-ons will likely overpower the base hummus. Save all of the above fancier ingredients and time consuming steps for when you plan to eat the hummus straight or with only a bit of an add on (I do like a swirl of extra olive oil).

Ninth tip - get some good pita bread (or make your own) to enjoy your hummus more. I haven't been able to find much great stuff in grocery stores - but I'll go with the Mideast bakery brand which is decent. I like Yafa Grille and Shouk's pita (which is the more pillowy type).  I'm less a fan of the thin lebanese pita you find at Lebanese Taverna and others place (note I like LT generally and the bread is good but not my preferred style). 

Tenth tip - I've seen some videos online and even a recipe or two that says to make hummus in a mortar and pestle or a bowl, but unless you like arm workouts and chunky hummus, stick to the food processor.  

For store bought hummus, I like sabra but there are a bunch of niche brands that I haven't tried and may be better.  there is a lot of funky, non-chickpea hummus available in stores. Like fake meats, know that it will not be the same, but if that is what you like, enjoy. 

If I may add an 11th tip... If your hummus is too thick, or if you leave it in the fridge and it get a little thicker than you want, if you add a little water, it may thin it to a more pleasant consistency.  I really like the LT hummus, and I like how smooth and thin it is, sometimes I have to add a little water to mine to get it to that level.

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On 11/28/2018 at 4:12 PM, ktmoomau said:

If I may add an 11th tip... If your hummus is too thick, or if you leave it in the fridge and it get a little thicker than you want, if you add a little water, it may thin it to a more pleasant consistency.  I really like the LT hummus, and I like how smooth and thin it is, sometimes I have to add a little water to mine to get it to that level.

I like #11 and I forgot tip #12, do NOT peel the skins from the chickpeas. Normally with over cooked fresh chickpeas it is impossible and it is not too tough with canned but completely unnecessary. Some recipes say removal of the skins results in a silkier hummus but it is barely noticeable, if at all and gets very time consuming. 

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On 11/23/2018 at 6:37 AM, weezy said:

Try the pita at Cava; it's the fluffy style.  I'm sure they would be happy to sell you a stack of them.

....and they do sell pita on its own

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On 11/18/2018 at 11:33 AM, KeithA said:

...Sixth tip - start with a recipe that likely suits your personal preference. Zahav is heavy on tahini and subtle flavoring. I like it.  This recipe I've used for years from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs is more chickpea heavy and strong on the garlic: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/IsraelExperience/Lifestyle/Pages/HUMMUS -Chick-pea Dip-.aspx (when you only use the 3 TB of tahini.  Michael Solomonov's need cookbook as a quick recipe for hummus I haven't tried yet, but anything by him is worth trying. 

After making it a couple of times, I can now attest that Solomonov's 5 minute hummus is great (still not as light and creamy as his 3+ hour hummus in his first Zahav cookbook but the time trade off is only worth it for people with too much time). Here is the recipe: https://forward.com/food/410601/michael-solomonovs-5-minute-hummus-with-quick-tehina-sauce/ Note that you basically make a quick tehina sauce and then add canned chickpeas, which means this is also a 4 minute quick tehina sauce recipe.  His new cookbook, Israeli Soul, also has a whole bunch of great ideas for hummus toppings - similar to places like Little Sesame. I adapted the one for roasted carrots with dukkah spice using butternut squash instead of carrots and it turned out excellent. 

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