Monday, January 26, 2009

Q & A with Paprikahead: Thin Hummus

From the first real, live person I ever met from Brooklyn, or all of New York City, for that matter:

I recently made a large batch of hummus that came out thin and a little bit underspiced. Do you have any suggestions for ways to use it where this won't matter? Pretty much all I ever do with hummus is eat it with bread, and I want some novel use for it. Or, do you have any suggestions for ways to transform it into something completely different from hummus?


Dear Toby,
You have several options. Under-spicing is fairly easy to correct. The consistency, less so. Of course you could make an extra-thick and over-spiced batch of hummus, combine the two, and continue eating hummus on bread as is your wont.

But if it's metamorphosis you're after, you could add extra tahini and squeeze in some more lemon juice and call it salad dressing. You could use it as a sauce for meat, inspired by the mixing of flavors that often occurs on large dinner plates at Mediterranean restaurants. Lamb, for instance, or keftethes. For that matter, you could really go out on a limb and make soup. I mean, is there anything in hummus you wouldn't put in soup? Maybe not so much lemon juice or spice, but the spice won't be an issue for you. The olive oil -- well, it probably won't break its emulsion if you don't make too thin a soup. But if you added just the right amount of stock, and some tomatoes, you could call it whatever you liked. Garbanzo bisque.

Speaking of keftethes, and the fact that you are now in Seattle, you should check out Vios Cafe, where I used to be a pantry chef. Oh my goodness! They opened a new one in Ravenna! With a pub and science on tap. Yes, Seattle, I have been gone too long. (Not that I was ever there longer than the time it took to break a couple of hearts, slice some feta, and drown it all with olive oil.)



j-st-n- said...

Hey, do you know of any other "science on tap" type events in other parts of the country, perhaps on this side of the Mississippi? I could definately get on board with that.

Jennifer Jo said...

Your final line is splendid. Now, tell me the truth: How long did it take you to think it up?


Rosanna said...

Let's see... it must have taken me about two dozen years to write that line.

I can't pretend to be quick at this business. Fastest blueberry picker in the patch, sure. Sparkling dishes in no time -- stovetop and counters, too. But I'm a plodding writer if ever there was such, and I'm not ashamed to revise.

Toby said...

Thanks! I think I will follow your advice and use the hummus on some lamb. Would you recommend actually cooking lamb in it? My thought right now is to braise some lamb with tomatoes and then add the hummus at the very end.

Any other Seattle advice? I have no free time but someday I will...

Rosanna said...

I think I wouldn't cook the sauce -- just serve it with the lamb.