Friday, October 27, 2006
Pass the chic peas, please.
Last night I enjoyed another cooking frenzy. Sometimes you just find yourself with too much food in the fridge and too little time, so when a little time falls into your lap, you gotta get busy. And last night, it was all about the chic peas.
First, there was hummus with roasted garlic and chipotle peppers. Just this very moment I toasted some pita chips to go with it, and it's a perfect afternoon snack. If only there were beer to go with it...
I also made an Indian influenced chic pea stew with lots of veggies and greens - got the recipe for that one from a great cookbook that Judith recently lent me - it's the Cafe Flora Cookbook, featuring 250 vegetarian & vegan recipes.
I'm not a vegetarian - God knows I love all things pork! But I do love vegetables, and more often than not, I tend to cook vegetarian. The nice thing about this cookbook is that it has lots and lots of recipes with really bold flavors, combining influences from many different cultures. And of course it's perfect timing for a book like this to come into my life, considering my culinary path as of late.
And speaking of combining the cuisines of different cultures, the addition of chipotle peppers to the hummus has turned out to be a big hit (so say my co-workers who are gobbling it up as I write this!).
Here's the recipe - and I must add that this is sort of a first, in that I didn't just create it intuitively (or haphazardly as is sometimes the case). I actually kept track of my proportions and created my own bona-fide recipe (although I'm sure I'm not the first to come up with this variation on hummus)!
And it goes like this:
First, roast a whole head of garlic, even though you will only need about half a head. It's good stuff to keep around and you can spread it on bread or mash it into potatoes or rice or soup. For a tutorial on how to roast garlic, go here.
Once the garlic is cool, throw about half of the peeled cloves into your food processor, along with 2 cups of cooked chic peas (I cooked mine from scratch but you can use canned if you must), 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup tahini, and 3 - 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I like this brand which doesn't contain anything artificial or nasty. It's a nice thing to keep around the house, and it keeps a long long time in the fridge. And also, a little goes a long way, so you might even want to start with just a couple peppers and work your way up depending on how spicy you like it. Now add about a half teaspoon salt and puree till it's nice & smooth. You may need to add just a bit of water to get the consistency super smooth.
There - now you're done and you're the hit of the party once again. Time to reward yourself with a nice refreshing beverage... unless you just happened to drink a glass or 3 of wine while you were slaving away in the kitchen, in which case, don't forget to drink lots of water!
It's going to be a great and busy weekend complete with Dracula, a wedding, and the Murder Ballads Bash. Stay tuned for details...