Quite often, recipes on food blogs are accompanied with a nice story. The highlighted dish brings back childhood memories, travel experiences, cultural enlightments... That's great reads, as readers we travel time and space, we experience, we are part of a culinary journey.
I feel bad. My approach to food is only moved by my cravings and various experimentations. Most of the time recipes just "happen" to me. I love to eat and I find cooking quite exciting, even soothing in some occasions. Writing about food is a very new experience for me. My old approach to cooking used to be: "Me cook that because yum".
I need to go beyond my spontaneous approach, explain my techniques (if any), the reasons why I chose to cook this particular dish and tell about it... A very tricky exercise.
Let's take the above hummus, for instance. I felt like making my own. I quite liked the ones I buy from supermarkets but somehow felt there could be more to it. I found a recipe in a book I borrowed from the library: it seemed to be easy enough, just a few ingredients and no special iron chef type of skills were required.
I do not know where I went wrong but I definitely did something un-right at some stage. I could not stop olala-ing (screaming olala, as the French do when upset). The chickpeas soaked in water overnight, after that I intented to cook them but olala, it took HOURS. I stopped counting after 4. (I know it is just mad). I started to lose my temper, swearing I would NEVER cook hummus again, when you could buy decent one for NZ$5.
Eventually they tenderised and accepted to be mashed. Then came the tahini, home-made too and WOW I take back my promises of never making some again. Heaven! So much more flavoursome than the supermarket ones.
After hours of intense cooking I tasted hummus for the first time in my life and it was superb.
200g dry chickpeas - I also read it is possible to use
canned chickpeas and skip phase 1 and 2 (Soaking and cooking). I am convinced
the dry ones are better on the job because you need the actual chickpea taste
for hummus. Their flavour will not absorb others, like in couscous, for example)
Juice of a lemon
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with salt
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1 ½ tbsp Sesame oil
¼ cup tepid water
Cook the chickpea in the same water you used to soak the chickpea. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Drain the chickpeas, keeping aside the cooking liquid, and blend in a food processor with a little cooking liquid to help the chickpeas, add liquid if necessary. When smooth, add the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and tahini (see recipe below) blend and add some more liquid if necessary.
Blend sesame seeds in a blender and grind until smooth. Add sesame oil, salt, and then slowly add water while blending. Blend until completely smooth. Do not prepare in advance as its flavour decomposes pretty quickly.