Sunday, September 22, 2013

Moroccan Spiced Hummus

When I was a chef at the Ravens', one favorite starter on the menu was the grilled mushroom salad, or more formally, Grilled Moroccan Spiced Trumpet Mushrooms over fresh cut romaine, red bell pepper, celery, red onions, and olives with lime-cilantro vinaigrette. The mushrooms were marinated in fresh squeezed orange juice, tons of garlic and paprika and grilled to perfection. I was so taken by these flavors and then this hummus was born.

More recently, I occasionally can be found preparing it in 5 gallon quantities at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, NY. To day at lunch we served over 600 people - this is how I've spent my summer, making hummus, dressings, and all salad bar essentials for the dining hall. This adds up to about 500 gallons of hummus that I've made personally.

Five hundred gallons of hummus. That's enough to fill this fish tank:

And I'm still not entirely sick of it. The secret is the many variations that hummus can be a canvas for. This one here is definitely my favorite.

Moroccan Spiced Hummus

1/4 cup garlic cloves
4 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cans organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas) (15 ounces each)
6 tablespoons tahini
6 tablespoons orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
dash of salt
dash of black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

In small pan over low heat, gently cook garlic cloves and olive oil until garlic is golden brown. Drain out the oil and let both the oil and the garlic cool separately and completely.
(*Alternatively you can roast the garlic in the oven, or just use raw.)

In a high-speed food processor, puree garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, orange juice, paprika, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper until perfectly smooth. If it is too thick, add more orange juice. When at desired consistency, slowly stream in olive oil while food processor is running. Serve with crudite, crackers, in a sandwich, however you do your hummus!

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