Friday, August 12, 2011

Homemade Tortilla Chips with Faux Hummus

chip & dip
A couple weeks ago my friend told me about an appetizer she'd had at a local restaurant... she told me it would be super simple to recreate at home and that it was, in fact, incredibly delicious. Then she proceeded to make it for me. (Yea!)

This is what she did... she mixed some local lime-infused olive oil and good balsamic vinegar into plain store-bought hummus. And that was all there was to it. Except for the eating part. We started dipping cubes of Ciabatta bread in it and I almost couldn't stop. Let me tell you... I fell for that stuff in a bad way. Who needs dinner when you've got a bowl of that in front of you?

Not too long after, I found myself staring at all the tubs of prepared hummus at Trader Joe's. Why not just make my own? After a quick glance at the ingredients, I grabbed some tahini and headed home to research recipes. It wasn't until a day or two later that I noticed the container was labeled Tahini "Sauce". Harrumph. So much for following the recipe for real honest-to-goodness hummus.* Time to just wing it.  The tahini sauce was made from olive oil, salt, and lemon juice, in addition to you know, actual tahini. Well with all that, I was half-way to hummus already...

Faux Hummus Restaurant Dip

This is by no means authentic hummus, but for a quick and flavorful appetizer... it's pretty awesome.

15oz. can of garbanzo beans
8oz. tub of Tahini Sauce
olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
squeeze of lemon
infused olive oil
good quality balsamic vinegar
  1. Drain the beans and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until they're pretty smooth, adding some drizzled olive oil to keep things moving. 
  2. Add in the tub of Tahini Sauce and pulse until combined. 
  3. Taste the dip and add salt, pepper, and lemon to taste. Pulse again, then taste. When you're happy with the way it tastes, put the dip into a serving bowl. 
  4. Cover the container and refrigerate if not using immediately.
  5. Just before serving, drizzle the infused olive oil and balsamic over the top of the hummus dip and swirl it around a bit with a spoon to combine (this is the time to use the good stuff if you have it). 
  6. Taste. Adjust for flavor. Taste again. Maybe it needs a little more balsamic. Better taste it again.

Which brings me to my next "recipe"...
We were out of bread. I made a fabulous hummus dip and we had no bread. Or anything else to dip with. Frankly, I could've just used a spoon (it's that yummy) but I try to be civilized. Emphasis on the "try". We did have some corn tortillas however, and though I'd never done it before, I'd heard it was easy to make tortilla chips at home (and it is).

Homemade Tortilla chips

10 8" corn tortillas
healthy fat in your favorite form: spray, liquid, solid
sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Spray or brush oil (or other melted fat) lightly onto both sides of each tortilla.
  3. Cut the coated tortillas into quarters or sixths (or even strips) using a sharp knife, kitchen shears, or pizza wheel.
  4. Spread them out onto two baking pans so they aren't touching. Sprinkle sea salt over the top.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes rotating pans at least once, preferably twice. Chips are done when they are a light golden brown. Keep an eye on them (my oven is different than yours).
  6. Take them out and let cool. They'll crisp up a little more as they sit.
  7. Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They'll keep for a few days that way. Yield = 40-60 chips (that sounds like a lot but it's less than you think). 
*When I do tackle "real" hummus, it will be from a recipe on The Hummus Blog. Anything and everything you ever wanted to know about hummus, and then some. I love the site, and the tag-line always makes me smile: "Eat hummus. Give chickpeas a chance..."
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    1. What a great way to whip up a less time consuming version of hummus; there is nothing better than being prepared for last minute guests, or just a snack on the quick!

    2. @bakerbynature: It also tastes much more complicated than it is (I love that about it!). The infused oil and balsamic just take it to a whole different level.


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