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headergasc_hummusThe first time I had Hummus was when I went away to college in the big city. My little hometown did not have a lot of ethnic restaurants, so I had never had any Middle Eastern food until I left. This was a very [VERY!] long time ago, so there was little choice of ethnic food in the supermarket yet. Unless you count cans of chow mein noodles and ravioli, which I definitely do not. Though back then, we probably did.

Going to a restaurant that served things like falafel, tabbouleh and hummus was a delicious revelation – it was all so different and so incredibly good. Then, when I came back to live near where I had grown up, if I wanted to have hummus, I had to figure out how to make it myself. I finally was able to get my hands on some tahini, but it was not really very good – kind of dry and a little on the stale side. So, for years, I gave up on the idea.

Then maybe 10 years ago, suddenly, everyone wanted hummus and you could get it ready-made in the grocery store. It was pretty good too, but SO expensive, that we saved it for a “sometime” treat. I still think it is really overpriced, so I make my own. Now, of course, you can get tahini in nearly any grocery store, but I am not always crazy about the brands I can find there. Often, they seem to have been sitting around for awhile and get separated and difficult to stir back together. That is why I am glad to have found Sittoo’s here at Great American Spice Company. It has a wonderful smooth, creamy texture that makes a big difference in recipes. It makes really good hummus – much better than what you can buy in the store and a whole lot cheaper too.gasc_hummus_4shotIt is so easy and just takes just a few minutes.

1 15 or 16 ounce can chick peas
1/3 cup Sittoo’s Tahini Paste
The juice of 1 lemon
2 – 3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 – 10 grinds 5 peppercorn blend [or 1/4 teaspoon regular black pepper]
2 tablespoons olive oil
Liquid from the chick peas
Additional olive oil
Hungarian Sweet Paprika

Drain the chick peas [also called garbanzo beans], but save the liquid. Put the peas in the bowl of your food processor and add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Process on high speed for about 20 seconds at a time, opening the bowl and scraping down the sides in between, until you have a very smooth hummus. This will probably take a minute or two all together – maybe 3 minutes. Add the oil, and if needed, the saved liquid from the chick peas, a tablespoon or so at a time, to thin down the hummus to an easily scoopable texture – usually you will need around 3 tablespoons. Process another 30 seconds or so. [if like I sometimes do, you dumped the liquid from the chick peas because you weren’t paying attention to what you were doing, just use water – it will be fine]
Spread the hummus out in a shallow bowl or deep plate, and drizzle the top with a bit more olive oil. You can lightly sprinkle some sweet paprika on the top for garnish. Serve with cut up veggie sticks, pita triangles or crackers. I love the little shooter glasses up above for parties – they are so cute.

Hummus goes especially well with Triscuits I think.plated_gasc_hummusIt is a good idea to make hummus a few hours before you are going to serve and let it chill and blend the flavors well. Leftovers should also be stored in the fridge, where they will keep for about a week.

Here is another shot of the shooters – can’t you just see your guests enjoying these?


Donalyn is a long time food blogger - this is what she has to say about blogging for us: "My husband and I are blissful empty-nesters, enjoying the good life in rural Upstate NY. We grow a huge garden and are always looking for new challenges, the latest of which is brewing beer from our own home grown hops. My take on food is to use the freshest, most local food you can find and give it plenty of flavor. That is where The Great American Spice Company comes in. I've used their products for years, and I'm thrilled to be sharing some of our favorite recipes on their blog."
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