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Well hello January. 2011. Here we are.

I started this post all bleary eyed in an airport in Texas, having just said goodbye to Paul for a while, en route to Vancouver for a jam packed semester back on campus. It’s a shock to the system to be sure, after 8 months of commuting from my bed to my kitchen table while I was taking distance ed courses. It’s hard to say how I feel about the next four months . . . being across the globe from my husband; bad, interacting with actual human beings again; interesting, having more structure in my days; good, having less flexibility in my day; bad. It’s a time I hope to spend focused on learning, food, and self-growth. The upside is that the on campus courses I’m taking this semester are vastly more interesting than those I’ve been taking online over the last two. Food Theory! Wine Science! Ha-za!

Soon enough I’ll be sorting through the copious volume of photos from our trip to Costa Rica and doing a travel food post, and I’ll get back into the swing of regular posting effective immediately – can you really blame me for not making the blog a top priority while I was lying on the beach and enjoying frosty cervazas with my sweet fella?

I made and photographed this hummus back in December thinking I would post the recipe while the holiday parties were still in full swing, since hummus is such a ubiquitous adornment on holiday party tables. Alas, I didn’t get around to posting it, but I think it’s still a good recipe for starting off the new year. I love to pack hummus in my lunches with assorted fair for dunking; crackers, rice cakes, veggies, whatever floats your boat, really. This hummus is particularly nice because a good chunk of it’s bulk comes from caramelized onions, which offer a mellow sweetness and also lighten the dip considerably. The onions, you could say, take this hummus to the next level. I had this sort of hummus for the first time back in February when I was visiting with my friend Harmony, who was at the time recovering from surgery and bed ridden. Her husband, Adam, made this hummus and served a gargantuous bowl of it along with dunking stuffs for our lunch, which we ate sprawled out on their king-sized bed while being crawled upon by a toddler and a cat. It was like a pyjama party picnic, minus the ants.

I never got Adam’s exact recipe, so this hummus involved a fair amount of guess work. But doesn’t all hummus, really? I like to add ingredients slowly, tasting as I go. A little more lemon, a little more salt. More garlic? It’s up to you. I felt that I had gone a little too far with the garlic, but other people who tasted this hummus declared I hadn’t gone far enough, and I think I like my hummus a tad on the salty side. I’d like to try another version where I swap out the onions for, say, 4 bulbs (yes, bulbs) of thoroughly roasted garlic.

Next Level Hummus Recipe:

Take the time to caramelize your onions to a deep golden brown, but not burnt; the flavour will be less oniony and more sweet. Add ingredients slowly and taste often; remember, you can always add things, but you can’t take away. Finish the dish with a glug of good olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika if you have it on hand.

This recipe makes a lot of hummus, so feel free to cut it in half if eating hummus by the tub isn’t your thing.

4 cups of cooked chickpeas

2 large yellow onions, sliced

4 cloves garlic

1/3 cup tahini paste

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

smoked paprika and olive oil for garnish

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the sliced onions, and slowly brown to caramelized, stirring frequently. Cool slightly. Place chickpeas, tahini, onions, and half of the garlic in a food processor. Pulse to combine, then run the processor while drizzling in the olive oil. Gradually add the seasonings; the lemon juice, salt, cumin, and the rest of the garlic if you like. Taste as you go. When you’re happy with it, place the hummus in a large bowl and sprinkle a little smoked paprika over the top, followed by a swirl of good olive oil.

 

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2011

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