The Pea for Parties

You have only 15 minutes to make a dish for that party tonight and it needs to blow away your friends. What’s worse is that your cooking skills are limited to scrambled eggs and toast. (That’s me!) So, what do you do?

You call on Hummus to the rescue.

Hummus requires only five ingredients.

Hummus is a delectable chickpea puree with the consistency of mashed potatoes that requires only five ingredients. It’s expensive at the supermarket, where a 10-ounce container can cost as much as $8, but at home, it’s incredibly cheap and easy to make.

It can be used in a lot of ways, such as a sandwich spread instead of mayonnaise; with a little extra thinning, a salad dressing; a dip for vegetables and chips;  hummus-crusted chicken; deviled eggs; a pizza topping; and a topping for bland vegetables like broccoli, string beans, and spinach. It can also be used in muffins, casseroles, risotto, lasagna and other pasta dishes.

The most important trait of good hummus is its creaminess. That is truly the key: A buttery, smooth consistency is your goal, which means only a food processor or powerful blender can make this dish. I use my Ninja, which you can buy at Target and most popular department stores.

One ingredient I never use is tahini, which is nothing more than creamed sesame seeds. While you can use tahini, it is really not that critically important. If you want a tahini flavor on the cheap, however, add more sesame seed or try some unsweetened peanut butter in your recipe.

While you can use dried chickpeas, I’d recommend canned. With dry beans, you have to cook the shit out of them to make a smooth hummus. With canned, consistency is a non-issue.

Place all of the following ingredients into your blender. Then blend until smooth.

• 2 tablespoons sesame seed
• 2 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 clove garlic (teaspoon), crushed or minced
• 4 tablespoons lemon juice (juice of 1 big lemon)
• 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo (chickpea) beans
• Retain half the liquid (to put in at the end to thin your mixture)

And that’s it. You can add the following ingredients for a snap in taste and for the most flavor-flav hummus in the world. Now go out, reader, and blow away your friends.

• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon white pepper
• Olives or Peppers
• Roasted vegetables

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