Monday, August 23, 2010

.roasted garlic hummus with fresh pita.

A few years ago, while we were stationed in Georgia, I surprised my husband to a trip to Savannah for his birthday. While we were in Savannah, we ate dinner at this little pizza place called The Mellow Mushroom and for the first time in my life, I had hummus. I had no idea what hummus was, but the waitress recommended it and we said, "Why not!" Let me just say my eyes were opened to a whole new world of food.

Since that time, I've had hummus multiple times. I've had good hummus. I've had bad hummus. I've had dill hummus. I've had roasted red pepper hummus. One thing I think we can all agree on (all you hummus lovers out there) is nothing compares to good, homemade hummus. (Did I say hummus enough times in that paragraph???)

The other night, an online friend mentioned The Mellow Mushroom and I immediately started craving a batch of roasted garlic hummus with FRESH pita. Now you could buy that store bought, I'm dry as bark, pita bread, but I'm telling you, once you have fresh, there ain't no goin' back! If you take the time to make pita yourself, you will love yourself forever and so will your family. It's easy easy easy. You can find the recipe here (you'll have to scroll past the souvlaki recipe) and if you make a double batch, you can wrap them in a freezer ziploc and have them ready anytime you want.

Now for the actual hummus recipe!

  • Begin by roasting your garlic. Take a bulb of garlic and chop off the top. Put it on a piece of foil, drizzle with a little olive oil, then wrap it up nice and tight. Pop in a 375* oven for 45 minutes. Roasted garlic is AMAZING!!! It mellows out the sharp pungency and almost makes the garlic sweet in flavor. Really delicious stuff. When it's done roasting, remove from the foil and let cool. When it's cool, just squeeze out each clove from the skin and put in a bowl. You can keep this in your fridge for up to a week. It's great in sauces and in homemade bread! For this recipe, you can use the whole shebang if you want, but I used 1 Tablespoon. Put it in a blender.
  • Add to the blender: Two 15.5 oz cans garbanzo beans, drained, the juice of 1 lemon, 2 Tbsp tahini, and a little sea salt.
  • Blitz for a minute.
  • Turn off and use a rubber spatula to move things around.
  • Turn the blender back on and slowly drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil. You'll have to keep turning the blender off and mixing by hand with the spatula. You don't want to add too much oil because the hummus will become runny. Keep doing this until the beans are completely pureed and the hummus is a smooth, yet thick, texture.
  • Transfer to a bowl and stir in a small handful of chopped cilantro. Taste and re-season with salt if it's needed.

Hummus will keep very well in the fridge for quite awhile, but I doubt it'll last that long, it's that good.

So go and eat hummus my friends! It's good for you and it's YUMMY!!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

.apple fritters.

It's almost harvest time here in the Hudson Valley of New York. We moved to a new house in April and it's located smack dab in the middle of about a hundred apple and pear orchards, and vineyards. It's just beautiful here!

One of the bonuses of living in this location, is that we can get apples from any of our neighbors whenever we want, fresh picked from the tree. Yesterday, my daughter found some perfect apples that had fallen from the tree, so we got them for free! Can't beat that price! I thought those granny smiths would make some amazing apple fritters.

These fritters are out of this worldwhen fresh from the fryer. Maybe you should make some for your family today? (or for yourself if you don't want to share :) ) You know they'll love you for it!

I used 2 granny smith apples. Peel and dice. Try to keep the apple pieces uniform in size, otherwise you'll have overcooked and undercooked apples.

In a bowl, mix together:

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

To the dry ingredients, add 1 egg and enough milk to form a thick batter (think thicker than pancakes). Stir in the apples. Heat some oil in a pot to 325*. We don't want to have the oil too hot because the fritters will brown too quickly and the apples won't have enough time to cook. Carefully (CAREFULLY) drop in large spoonfuls of batter into the oil. Don't overcrowd the pot. When they're nice and brown on one side, roll them over so the otherside can cook.

When they're done, carefully pull from the oil and place on paper towels to drain. Once drained, and cooled slightly, sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.
Best served with a glass of milk, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This recipe makes about 1 1/2 dozen. Bon appetit!