Monday, May 2, 2011

Roasted Jalapeño Hummus -- My New Obsession

If you've been around me lately, you know that I'm obsessed with making my own hummus. What could have spurred such a craze? In a word, Costco. One fine spring day (that's a lie, it was probably rainy and cold given the spring we've had), Costco had a sample table set up with Fountain of Health brand "Humm!" hummus. They had four or five flavors to sample including carmelized onion, Greek olive and--my fave--roasted jalapeño hummus.And they're all natural! So you can freeze them!

I'm telling you, this hummus changed my life.

I immediately bought the two-pack, and continued to enjoy it throughout the week on whole grain crackers, toasted whole grain pita and cucumbers. I couldn't get enough of it! So you can imagine my disappointment when I returned to Costco and they carried only ONE of the flavors--Greek olive--and I hate olives! Grrrrr.

Desperately, I turned to the Interwebs, fervently googling "Fountain of Health." I mean, this day in age, can't you get pretty much EVERYTHING you want at least mailed to you? The answer is no. No, you can't. Fountain of Health is "Fontaine Santé" and is headquartered in Canada. CANADA. That's a long drive, my friends. Some stores in California reportedly carry it, but there is no way, no how to get it shipped to me. Believe me, I tried. And yes, I did email the company directly--and surprise, they didn't respond. Sigh. I've always wanted to visit Montreal, mostly for the shopping. I never thought it'd be on a hunt for hummus!

I had no choice but to start making my own hummus and found it to be surprisingly simple! I also discovered that the chopping attachment for my immersion blender is big enough to make the perfect amount of hummus for the week. So I started experimenting with various recipes, trying to find those with ingredients that match those in the "Humm!" hummus (I kept the container--of course). And finally--FINALLY--I've achieved the taste I was looking for.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the other obsession inspired by Costco's Humm! sample day: "Food Should Taste Good" brand Multigrain chips:

They are amazing. They are the best tortilla chip I've ever had. And they're made with whole grains. Go. Buy them. You can even order online!

Anyhow, on to the recipe. Enjoy!

Roasted Jalapeño Hummus

1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans
3 jalapeño peppers (de-seeded if you don't like it hot)
Sliced jalapeño peppers for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Cayenne pepper

  1. Remove stem from jalapeños, slice horizontally into quarters and place in a small, oven-safe dish. Drizzle with two tablespoons olive oil. If you don't want as much heat, remove the pith and seeds. Place dish in broiler or toaster oven set on "broil" and bake until skin is blistered and softened, rotating peppers once. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Reserve olive oil from dish to drizzle over hummus later for more heat, if desired.
  2. Combine lemon juice and water together in a small bowl.
  3. Process chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne in a food processor until well ground (I use the chopper attachment on my immersion blender). Add lemon and water mixture, a bit at a time, periodically scraping down the sides of the processor. Repeat with remaining olive oil.
  4. Chop cooled jalapeños into small chunks and add to mix, processing for about 30-40 seconds.
  5. Transfer to bowl, sprinkle with cayenne and top with sliced jalapeños and reserved oil, if desired. Store airtight for at least an hour to allow flavors to blend.

Enjoy with toasted whole grain pita, cucumbers, whole grain chips--or in a wrap as a replacement for mayo. Makes a tasty addition to sandwiches, too! Here are my lame attempts at capturing this process--I promise to get better at taking pictures!

Although many other recipes use it, I chose to omit tahini. In trial runs it didn't really add any flavor--but it did add fat (tahini is a sesame seed/olive oil paste).

Best kitchen gadget. Ever. Thanks, Aunt Lulu!

Errr...the family got to the hummus before I got to my camera. Whoops! And yes, I confess, I couldn't resist making some stuffed jalapenos on the side :). Double yum!

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