Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I was talking to a friend recently, and he mentioned that brownies are one of the four main food groups.  Being that I believe that the government, Lord Business, or whoever creates these things has our food pyramid all wrong because clearly, chocolate should be on there on a main section, he peaked my curiosity.  What are the other food groups, I inquired.  This sounds like a food pyramid I can get behind!  He quickly replied, "Candy Corn, Candy Canes, and hummus."  It sounds like Buddy the Elf took a trip to the Middle East and decided to forego syrup as one his four food groups.  I can't say I would blame him!  This stuff is delicious.  Sure, Buddy, it doesn't have 8 pounds of sugar per tablespoon, or any for that matter, but I think this is a dip that he would get behind if he tasted it.  I'd just be nervous about what his breakfast would end up like- spaghetti noodles, candy corns, candy cane chunks, and hummus.  Delicious!

For the hummus recipe, I added the roasted red pepper because who doesn't want roasted red pepper in their hummus?!  Feel free to omit that part if you want quick, easy hummus.  Or use jarred roasted red peppers instead.  If you're being more health conscious as well, you can skip the pita chips and use fresh vegetables or candy canes, if you're an elf from the North Pole who likes to call himself a Cotton-headed Ninny Muggins. 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus


Pita chips:
4 pita breads, split in half
1/2 c olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1 t Emeril's essence (see below)

Emeril's Essence
2 1/2 t paprika
2 t salt
2 t garlic powder
1 t black pepper
1 t onion powder
1 t cayenne
1 t oregano
1 t thyme

For the Hummus:
1 red pepper
1 can Garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas)
2 1/2 cloves of garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 T olive oil
1/8 t smoked paprika, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/8 t sumac, plus more for sprinkling (I didn't use this)
2 T tahini (I found this at Trader Joe's by the prepared dips and refrigerated cheeses)
sesame seeds
dried parsley

For the pita chips, mix all ingredients for Emeril's Essence and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Combine the olive oil, garlic, and 2 t of Emeril's essence in a bowl.  
Split the pita bread in half through the middle, so you have two circles. Place the pita bread on a cookie sheet, with the rough, inside part face-up.  Brush the olive oil mixture over all of the pita bread.  Stack them up and cut them into quarters.  Arrange the pieces evenly in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.  

While they are cooking, preheat the grill to medium heat.  Place the whole red pepper on the grill.  Cook each side for 2-3 minutes or until blackened.  

Once all side have been grilled, place the red pepper in a ziplock bag for ten minutes.  The steam will soften the skin and allow it to be peeled right off.  

After ten minutes, remove the pepper from the bag and peel off the skin.  Discard the skin.  Cut the pepper open and remove the seeds and veins.  Cut off the stem.  All you should have left is nice, soft, skinless, roasted red pepper.  

Drain the canned beans, reserving the liquid and rinse the beans.

In a food processor, place the beans, 1/2 of the roasted red pepper, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and salt.  Blend for a minute.  After a minute, add the olive oil slowly while the machine is still running.  Add a bit of the reserved liquid, if needed.  Once the hummus is nice and smooth, add the smoked paprika and sumac, if using.  Pulse a few times to mix it in.  

Put the hummus into a serving bowl.  Dice the remaining half of the roasted red pepper and place it on top of the hummus in the center (see the picture).  Drizzle some olive oil over the top.  Sprinkle some smoked paprika, sesame seeds, parsley, and sumac on top.  

Serve with the pita chips.  

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