It’s raining a lot. Thunder, lightning, the works.
We are having a pretty hot summer. Humid hot. So storms are welcome at times. Can it be that we’re turning into a tropical climate kind of city? You know the raging storms that come out of nowhere and a few hours later you have a blue sky?
This used to be a very predictable seasonal place. Not anymore. It can get cold in the middle of the summer, and the winters can be very mild. I totally agree with this new city on that part.
Anyway, my friend and I had a plan to go out. But then came the storm. And we’re stuck here for a while. So the plan is to cook tonight. Not that I’m complaining.
I’m gonna make hummus the way my dear brother F. taught me. The traditional way.
What’s not traditional is that we are going to eat it with potato chips. And I used walnuts and almonds instead of pecans like the nut recipe intended. Well, there is a storm outside.
But they are gooood. Sweet and spicy; even spicier if you add more cayenne pepper. A greatingredient I must add. Can completely change a dish.
HUMMUS + SPICY NUTS
hummus from Pita the Great by Virginia Habeeb; nuts originally from Magnolia Grill via The Best American recipes 2001-2002
For the hummus:
¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 to ½ cup warm water
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained or ¾ cup dried, cooked and drained **
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Olive oil (garnish)
Smoked or regular paprika (garnish)
Chopped parsley (optional for garnish)
For the nuts:
2 large egg whites
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup sugar
2 Tbs. sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 ½ cups walnut halves
For the hummus:
Put tahini, lemon juice, water and garlic in blender or food processor fitted with the metalblade.
Cover and process until smooth.
With machine running, add chickpeas, salt and pepper and process until smooth. If necessary scrape down sides of bowl and add a bit more water. The mixture will thicken when it is refrigerated. Check seasoning.
Put the hummus into a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
To serve, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika and parsley if using. It keeps for a week in the refrigerator.
Makes 2 cups
** To cook dried garbanzo beans put ¾ cup dried chickpeas in a medium bowl, cover with water almost to the top of the bowl, and soak overnight. Drain, put in a saucepan and cover with fresh water. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook untilsoft, about 1 hour. Drain and cool. Makes 2 cups cooked chickpeas.
For the spicy nuts:
Preheat oven to 350º.
In a large stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy.
Whisk in the salt and gradually add the sugar, beating the egg whites to stiff peaks.
Add the paprika, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce and whisk to combine.
Using a spatula, fold in the pecans, making sure to coat them evenly with the egg-white mixture.Turn the nuts out onto a non-stick baking pan or Silpat-lined baking sheet, arranging them in single layer (I didn’t do this as you can see in the picture!)
Bake nuts for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and, using a metal spatula, turn them over, breaking up any large clumps. Return the nuts to the oven and bake for 5 minutes more. Repeat, turning and stirring the nuts every few minutes until they are dry and evenly brown, about 15 minutes total. (It took me about 20 minutes. The nuts will seem soggy but will harden as theycool)
Remove from the oven, separate into single pecan halves, and allow to cool. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days.
Makes about 4 1/2 cups.