11 Dec 2009

No1 Hummus

Over the past 2 weeks Andy has kindly taken charge in the kitchen and cooked up a storm, making the most healthy and yummiest of meals. His need to cook gave me time to work on my stock for the crafts fair in Akaoka town, Kochi last Saturday. I was so lucky to be apart of this fair. It only takes place once a year in the first week of December. The atmosphere was dream like, with smells of fresh multicultural inspired cooking and stalls packed with handmade beautiful crafts. Street performances were ongoing throughout the day with live music and authentically dressed locals. Homes and stores were opened up to sell vintage goods and home cooking. kotatsu (small tables with built in heaters and covered with a quilt for you to snuggle into) were set up with hand made traditional Japanese board games for passers by to play whilst absorbing the atmosphere and enjoy the festival food.
As things were drawing to a close and sellers were beginning to pack up their goods, the local Kabuki theatre opened for the annual Kochi film festival. This film festival is a competition for film makers, amateurs and skilled alike, to submit their works on the theme of Kochi. Unfortunately though we couldn't make it. Hopefully next year if we are still here.
Saturday was a big one, crafts fair from 7.30am to 5pm then potluck birthday party at ours (thanks for all the amazing food guys, especially the left over soup Jenya :) maaaan that stuff is to die for) for Chisako until...well... ??:?? o'clock. That part was erased by the sake. All for a good cause though.
Monday came too quickly followed by a nasty cold...sniff sniff...:(. This didn't stop me from experimenting in the kitchen though. The 2 day hangover gave me huge cravings for hummus. I hadn't eaten it since leaving Scotland almost 2 years ago. Something I've never tried to make, but had all the ingredients for it. I also never had high hopes for this one as I've never been fond of home made hummus. However, my mind has been changed for good now...I found a super simple recipe on www.jamieoliver.com and...OMG...this stuff is mecha oishii!!! (just too delicious)

Basic Hummus Recipe

2 cups dried chick peas (also called Garbanzo Beans), soaked overnight
1 T sea salt
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup tahini (also called sesame seed paste) - I didn't use so much tahini as it contains too many calories.
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 t cayenne pepper, more to taste
1/2 c filtered water, plus 1/2 cup or more as needed
sea salt to taste

Rinse the soaked chickpeas well, put in saucepan with 9 cups filtered water, plus 1 T of sea salt. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 2 hours or until the chick peas are soft. As foam rises to the top, skim this off and discard. The foam contains the impurities of the beans (supposedly!) and is best to remove. You may need to add more water as it cooks down.

In a food processor, chop the garlic cloves. Add tahini, lemon juice and 1/2 c water, process until smooth and well combined.

Add cooked and drained chickpeas and cayenne to the bowl of the food processor with the tahini mixture. Process until well blended while adding additional 1/2 cup or more of water, as needed. Add sea salt to taste, as needed. Once blended, process another minute or so. The extra processing adds air to the hummus which gives the recipe a light, pleasing texture

Hummus is great with nearly any chopped vegetable. Add to sandwiches. Serve topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or chopped parsley. Experiment with adding chopped olives or sun-dried tomatoes to the basic recipe for additional flavor. Enjoy!

Here is a short slide show of the crafts fair for you all to enjoy whilst munching on some yum.
The music is "Colleen" by Joanna Newsom.

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