Setting Up for Success {hummus}

With my job, I end up leaving town several times a month, generally not longer for 2-3 nights but long enough for my husband to develop hypertension through his consumption of Voila.  There was a time when he was self-sufficient and would even consider grilling himself a piece of meat and microwaving some vegetables but it seems like those days have come and gone–see ladies–your man can change!  Zing!

In an attempt to regulate the collective BMI in our household, I do a little something he likes to call “setting him up for success.”  Basically this means that I leave him some snacks that won’t kill him if eaten slowly and in reasonable quantities.  This doesn’t mean a freezer stocked with casseroles and sticky notes but more or less something to nibble on were he to suffer a total meltdown and forget how to feed himself.  This happens.  Last night, I had a work dinner and came home to find him eating chips standing up at the counter.  The rest of the dinner consisted of the remains of an open bottle of $5.98 pinot noir and an apple with peanut butter.  Mmmm… satisfying.

He could create his own weird blog of things he eats while I’m gone (remind me to tell you the story of the notepad he kept by his bed in college with his “recipes” on there – needless to say, they weren’t created by someone at the height of consciousness).  Asian risotto comes to mind.  He actually cooked that for me.  Go ahead, readers, reduce some soy sauce and YOU eat it.

I digress.  Before I skip town, I generally whip up either some pimento cheese or hummus.  This time it was hummus.  I think I gained 3-4 lbs. this summer on pimento cheese alone, so that’s out of the house for the time being for all of us (although it is SO delicious).  I had never measured what I put into my hummus until this time, so now we have some guidelines to work from.  Again, you can tip the balance wherever you like where flavors are concerned – adding roasted red peppers or jalapeños or more cayenne and sriracha if you like – but the basics for this recipe are chickpeas, tahini, olive oil and a bit of acid.

Above are my usual suspects and what I use in this recipe:

– 2 14-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained (with 1/8 cup of the liquid reserved)

– 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)

– 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

– 1/4 cup olive oil

– 2-3 cloves garlic, smooshed

– 1 tsp kosher salt

– 1 tsp cayenne (if you can handle it)

To make:

First things first, buy a food processor if you don’t have one.  Second, drain your chickpeas while reserving some of the stinky jus de chickpea for later.  Smash up a couple cloves of garlic and toss those in your Cuisinart fitted with the most dangerous blade along with all of the remaining ingredients except the olive oil and chickpea fluid.

Commence cuising (new verb alert: “to cuise” – (v.t.) to implement a food processor to chop, dice, pulverize or otherwise maim whole food into submission).

I generally let the thing go for about 4-5 minutes.  Early on in the cuising, drizzle in the olive oil and chickpea liquid and let all of it combine until super smooth and delicious.  You’ll know when.  Use your hummus instincts – you were born with them.  The hummus is good now, but even better after a few hours in the fridge and over the course of the next week.

Healthier people than us serve this with cucumbers, red peppers or other veggies for dipping.  We tend to turn to Stacy, creator of the finest pita chips money can buy (at Publix), for our hummus delivery devices.  Sometimes the Neanderthal husband just goes in with his fingers.  It’s upsetting.

Enjoy that mental image and your hummus!

Print me.