Thursday, September 17, 2009

Roasted Yellow Pepper Hummos

Little known fact: in addition to both having the best potatoes in the world AND Anne of Green Gables, PEI also probably the best Lebanese food in the world. Well, besides Lebanon, I guess. That goes without saying, eh?

Anyway, over the years, I've perfected (if I DO say so myself) my hummos recipe. Quick, easy, packed full of nutrition - two spoonfuls of hummos, some pita bread, and a glass of milk are a perfect post workout snack - and above, all TASTY! That's my biggest problem - I can't do healthy unless it's tasty. Fortunately, this is one of those foods that tick all the boxes.

All it takes to make hummos is chickpeas, onions, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and a few spices. Make sure you use dried chickpeas that you've soaked overnight; I promise you, the taste is miles better than the canned variety. I wouldn't urge you to use this extra step if the taste wasn't manifestly different from the canned; I'm pretty lazy, after all. Just trust me. Check out my post on falafel if you want soaking instructions. Once you've soaked the chickpeas, rinse well and cook for about 20 minutes or so, or until they will easily crush between your fingers. This step can be done well in advance, and you can even cook a bunch and freeze them if it's easier for you.

Now, for this batch, I wanted to throw some roasted peppers in the mix. Red ones have a strong, but not unpleasant taste, but I wanted something a little more subtle. Hence the yellow ones! Once everything is ready, place it in a food processor and pulse until well combined.Taste it, and add more seasonings if wished or thin it out a little if you'd like. Transfer the hummos to a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and add some chopped cilantro for garnish. It will keep in the fridge for at least a week.

Unless you keep going back for just a taste, that is...then it will last for a couple of days. Ah well, willpower may be weak, but at least it's nutritious!

Roasted Yellow Pepper Hummos

1 cup dried chickpeas
1 medium onion
3-5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup tahini
1 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
juice from one lemon
1 roasted yellow pepper

1. Soak chickpeas overnight. Rinse well, then cook in a large pot until soft, about 20-30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, quarter a yellow pepper and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Place directly under broiler, and broil until blackened, 5 minutes or so. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn. Place roasted pepper in a plastic or paper bag for a few minutes; it will make the skin easier to peel.

3. Add cooled, cooked beans, onions, garlic, roasted pepper, tahini, lemon juice, and seasonings to food processor. Blend until well combined. Taste, and add more lemon/salt/spices if you wish. If mixture is too thick or lumpy, gradually add a bit of water until it reaches desired consistency.

4. Garnish with fresh cilantro, a drizzle of olive oil, and paprika. Keeps well in fridge for days.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TWD - Flaky Peach Turnovers

First, let me apologize for the picture quality this week; it rained all day, except for 10 minutes after these were in my belly. Then, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, naturally. Welcome to the Maritimes, folks! I don't have the knowledge of light boxes and so forth, so this is what you get.

The pictures might not be the prettiest, but this week's Tuesdays With Dorie recipe tasted much better than it (well, mine) looked! Chosen by Julie of Someone's in the Kitchen, it originally called for apples, but I subbed peaches instead (I hate baked apples). They were really easy to make, for the most part; I think the hardest part most people had was making the dough, which can be pretty crumbly. The hardest part I had was forming the little turnovers, mainly because I am inept at making pies. Oh Mother, how ashamed you must be!

Anyway, here's some things I learned:

1) All the butter makes the dough hard to roll out, especially when it's fresh out of the fridge! Work those biceps, baby, but make sure you roll it out thin enough. I didn't, and mine ended up being a little doughy as a result.

2) The dough is very soft when it warms up, so form those turnovers quickly! Some of mine look pretty rustic. You see, "rustic" is the word food bloggers use for "raggedy-ass". Regardless, they still taste good.

3) I'd put more filling in next time; mine were a little thin.

All in all, it's an easy recipe to make, especially if you're proficient at pie making. Not sure if I'll make them again, but I'm definitely glad I tried it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TWD - Chocolate Souffle

This week's Tuesdays With Dorie project was a chocolate souffle. Man, I was looking forward to this - doesn't it just sound so elegant and rich and chic?

Those words are, generally, never uttered about my cooking, let me tell you. And perhaps that's why I didn't overly like it. I didn't find it hard to make - I think souffles are a lot easier than they're made out to be - but the taste didn't wow me. It was light and fluffy, but I wanted a super chocolate punch and I didn't get that. From now on, I think I'll stick to savoury souffles, because I don't think the recipe was a problem - just not what I was looking for, that's all.

Ah souffle, it was good to know you! Next post: food that is not a dessert. Really.