... or a disaster of epic proportions!
I like hummus. Generally the chick pea (aka: garbanzo beans) variety but I get tired of the same texture and flavor combinations in the traditional varieties.
By my thinking you can make a hummus from any type of bean (except for green beans.) With that in mind I decided that I needed to investigate what my possibilities might be.
My experience with beans is a bit limited. I like all kinds but each has a specific use in my mind. For example, navy beans are Boston Baked beans, pinto beans are refried beans, chick peas are hummus, etc. So the idea of using a different bean for a different purpose requires a bit of mold breaking in my head.
One way this happened was quite by accident. QUARTER/quarter is a small but elegant restaurant in Harmony, Minnesota. The chef, Stephen Larson, is quite talented and will create something outside the box that is quite delicious, playful and unique.
A standard item on his Summer menu is the White Bean and Pork Pate'. It is served with a sliced baguette, brown mustard/mayo and pickles. It has become a favorite of mine and cracked the idea that I don't need to color within the culinary lines.
So I went to a Bill's Imported Foods and grabbed a bag of white beans. Bill's is the worst kept secret in Minneapolis. They have a fairly good variety of food stuffs, mostly Mediterranean in nature. There are several varieties of Feta cheese available and gallons of olive oil. I source my olive pomace oil there for making soap. It is cheap and I don't feel bad dropping $13 on a gallon of it. They also have olives. The best thing at Bill's is the spices. Big packages, small price. Go there and you will be surprised.
Next thing, get a recipe. This was the one that I based my process on. Since I was going for quantity I needed to eyeball the amounts of everything to try to come close.
I found several that would suffice but the gist that I got was you need beans, lemon, tahini, garlic, salt and cumin. Actually the cumin seems optional for many of the recipes that I found but I like cumin so in it goes. Tahini, on the other hand, is some expensive shit. I decided that any nut butter would suffice and I happen to have cashew nut butter on hand so I used that. Garlic appeared to be limited to the taste of the preparer. In my world, there is never enough garlic. I also like to add parsley.
Now, consider that a one pound bag of white beans needs to be soaked then cooked. What I ended up with was about 4 lbs of beans. Fortunately I purchased more than I would ever need of the other ingredients so as not to worry.
What I ended up with was a lovely soft and creamy white bean hummus that tasted awesome.
I also smoked the blender in the process and pretty much trashed the kitchen.
So much for trying to cram cooking into an afternoon/evening of being late for work, grocery shopping, getting the kidlet from her program, riding bikes to get dinner and riding back and making a smoothie for the kidlet before venturing into this little disaster. I would like to say it was worth it but only time will tell.