An Open Letter to Hummus (and a Recipe)

Hummus is on my mind lately, everyone.  I just thought you should know that.  It is so awesome, and it has been making daily appearances in my life.  I need a few moments to express my feelings for this super awesome food.  So bear with me as I get a little sentimental.

Oh, hummus.  I have nothing but love for you.

Shall I count the ways?

I shall.

1.       You are super versatile and can go on almost everything, from veggies to sandwiches or even used as a salad dressing.

2.       You are full of protein and make my tummy happy.

3.       There are so many flavor combinations to incorporate into you.

4.       You are made from a legume called either chickpeas or garbanzo beans, which are both on my top ten list of fun words to say out loud.

5.       Oh, I could go on forever, hummus.  But I’m hungry.  So I’m just gonna get to it.

Here’s a twofer recipe that starts with my secret to making perfect hummus: rosemary-infused olive oil:

Chunky Rosemary-Infused Hummus

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America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches — Veganized

Our recent article on America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches has caused quite a stir in the blogosphere, but no one was more riled up  than a group of spunky vegan bloggers. Their de facto leader, Namely Marly, explains:

We read this article with great curiosity but it didn’t take long until the curiosity faded and was replaced with something else. OK. We were grossed out. Particularly at one sandwich that referred to an ingredient called suckling pig. We hoped this was a reference to something other than the obvious, but it appears it is exactly as it sounds. Only one of the 10 sandwiches appeared to be vegetarian. We felt like a cross between Stan Laurel and Rodney Dangerfield, scratching our heads with a half whimper and half scowl thinking, “Why don’t we vegans get any respect?”

So they decided to demand their own respect, teaming together to create tasty and healthy versions of each cholesterol-laden entry on the list of America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches. Hence, America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches — Veganized. Here are all ten of ’em. Follow the links for recipes.

10. The Vegan Spuckie

We called this olive-carrot-mortadella goodness from Cutty’s in Boston “the one sandwich that most successfully merges the old-school method of overdoing it on Italian meats with the new world of artisan, veggie-centric goodness.” Drop the meat part and it’s still drool-worthy. Trina Jaconi Biery of Your Vegan Mom made her own meat-free mortadella, featured here on a ciabatta roll topped with vegan mozzarella and a sweet carrot-olive salad.

Recipe: The Vegan Spuckie

(Photo: Trina Jaconi Biery)

9. Vegan Bulgogi Steak Sandwich

When Allyson Kramer of Manifest Vegan learned there was a Bulgogi Steak Sandwich (from Koja in Philly) on the list, she jumped at the chance to veganize it. As a child she used to eat bulgogi steak sometimes twice a week. Now a vegan, she’s been hankering to try a veggie-friendly version. Served on a hoagie roll (Allyson even provided a recipe for gluten-free hoagie if that’s to your liking), marinated tofu is topped with caramelized peppers and onions, chili garlic sauce, and melted vegan mozz.

Recipe: Tofu Bulgogi Steak Sandwich

(Photo: Allyson Kramer)

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Top 10 Food Tattoos

I need another tattoo like I need a hole in the head. However, I have been racking my brain and searching for a kick-ass food tattoo. I have thought about a play on the phrase “in the weeds”; it is still evolving. I like peanut butter and jelly, but do I really want a permanent sandwich on my back side? I could probably cover both of my arms and legs with every food that I enjoy, but I’m not sure I want to be completely covered in ink. This is difficult. So  I’ve compiled a top 10 list from the flickr group Food Tattoos. Enjoy. Maybe you’ll get some ideas for your next tat. If you have any ideas to share or already have a USDA seal on your butt, please tell us about it, dear inked-ESer.

(Photo: Pophangover)

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Top 10 Finds at the 2010 Food Fete

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The younger, hipper cousin to the Fancy Food Show, the annual Food Fete is a gathering place for foodie types; a showcase of the newest products across the world of cooking, dining and drinking; and an all-around schwagfest. Obviously, we bit. Here are the coolest new products we spotted at this year’s fete.

10. Sous Vide Supreme

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Remember last year when I got high on Top Chef and bought that Thomas Keller sous vide cookbook but then realized you need a couple grand worth of equipment to sous vide food at home? Well some clever market researcher must have realized there are a lot of d-bags like me out there, because SousVide Supreme now has an at-home sous vide machine designed for the average joe. OK, at $450 maybe it’s for the slightly above-average joe, but still, getting closer! Everyone must sous vide! UPDATE: Endless Simmer tries out and reviews the SousVide Supreme.

9. Glace de Veau

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Ya’ll know we don’t usually hype pre-packaged sauces and such here at ES, but when the supermarket starts carrying roasted veal stock reduction, I have to digress from the norm. Yes, yes, I can hear Anthony Bourdain carping on about how every cook should have their own homemade veal stock in the freezer and how it only takes 172 hours to prepare so what’s your goddamn problem? Well you know what? I’ve had your book on my shelf for two years and still never made any damn homemade demi-glace, so I’m going with this. In stores this fall.

8. Box ‘o EVOO

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I think Lucini was actually there to show off the taste of their olive oil, but I was more impressed by the packaging. I don’t know about you all, but I’ve always found those tiny 6-oz. jars of oil woefully inept at keeping up with my usage, and the large bottles too heavy to lug home from the grocery store. Solution: an ungodly amount of extra-virgin olive oil, packed into a plastic bag in a cardboard box. It even comes with a spiggot, just like boxed wine! All I need now is the self-control not to drink directly from the spout.

7. Green Garlic

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This is a tasty green product that I’ve never seen in stores before. California-based Christopher Ranch is expanding their garlic repertoire by harvesting the stuff while it’s still young and green, and selling it with the leafy, scallion-like stalks attached. The green part of the garlic offers a less intense garlick-y bite, and you can still use the bulb, or even fry up those little strands at the root and sprinkle them on top of a dish. Coming soon to a Fairway or Whole Foods near you. Downside: shipped across the country in plastic packaging — I’d rather see them at the far mar.

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How Do You Take Your Hummus?

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A while back, BS posted on the deliciousness that is Sabra Hummus. Before discovering Sabra, I had sworn off store-bought hummus, but now I’ve been reconnected with my long lost chickpea love.

Growing up in an Armenian family, the only thing I ate hummus with was pita or a spoon (sorry for partying). However, my favorite restaurant at college serves their hummus plate with pita and a large assortment of vegetables (including onions and tomatoes??? What the fuck). My boyfriend frequently enjoys hummus with carrot chips (seen above) or green peppers.

I don’t understand this. I love the taste of hummus blended with warm, carb-packed pita. I can’t stand the taste of hummus+vegetables=too much moisture. Not enough hummus. Hummus slides off carrots. Watery mess.

Comments on my kid’s food post revealed that hummus is becoming mainstream, even for babies.  How are the kids these days consuming this delicious wonder? Is it being disguised by watery vegetables or eaten on a spoon?

Enlighten me.

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When There’s Nothing Left to Do Besides Saucin’ It

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As much as I’m like *oooomigawd I LOVE the farmers’ market* or whatever, and I totally do love it, it sometimes overwhelms my judgment.

I love it too much. It’s like a freaking social for me. I’ve become BFF with one of the vendors, Jaci, who always makes fun of her farmer family and talks shit about picking vegetables. She’d never been more grateful than when she found out she was allergic to bees and therefore couldn’t harvest the crops with her uncle and grandfather.

And then there’s the market director, Rebbie. She’s tall and beautiful and may or may not have magenta hair on any given Saturday. Plus she’s nice as shit.

I also run into my neighbors and now fellow ES bloggers, Maids and Bliz.

There’s Mike, who I met when I interviewed him about his group DC Homebrewers, who has since quit his job to work full time for Tree and Leaf Farms. He now bags my ever changing order of greens (it was a mix of kale this week) and I’m not so secretly jealous that he’s out composting during the day while I’m staring at a computer screen.

Anyway, I’m so distracted by my market friends, and of course all of the food, that I always over buy. In my fridge right now I have too many herbs and veggies to deal with: asparagus, kale, squash, shelled peas (holy crap all you do is pull this little cord and open up the shell and then eat the peas like candy—so delish), and then there’s this other purple thing that starts with a “K” but I can’t remember the name of it. I will thank Jaci for that impulse buy. And then there’s sage, garlic chives and garlic scapes. Good christ.

Now this is not a bad thing, of course. I just need to find new and exciting ways to digest all of these veggies, especially on nights that I don’t feel like full-out cooking.

Jessica Seinfeld-esque sneak attack post jump.

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

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– Don’t let anyone ever tell you ESers don’t know what to do with their fruit. All your recipe suggestions are worth reading, but I like Martha‘s:

Tarts, pies, buckles, cobblers, slumps, claufoutis, sorbets, ice creams, semifreddos – so many options! My favorite for a taste of summer in January are jams & preserves which are great for using up super ripe/verge of spoiling fruit and are actually pretty simple to make. When all else fails, toss just about any fruit in a blender with some ice and a healthy glug of tequila…done and done.

Erica has an even more to-the-point summary:

fruit + booze is as timeless a combo as hookers + sailors.

– And Karen reaches back to our hummus post to toss a secret our way:

I just found this and it looks like a winner… I’m going to try it. I just made my hummus with warm beans and that may be my mistake according to this story (recipe included!) Surprise secret ingredient makes for sublime hummus.

Cold beans! Who would have thought? Back to the hummus test kitchen…

(Photo: Flickrich)

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