Monday, April 19, 2010

My Ultimate Creamy Homemeade Hummus

Last Saturday my friend had a fabulous BBQ. The BBQ was full of fun times, laughs, awesome food and a game called Taps (which brought me back to 4th grade on the playground). And even though it was surprisingly cold that day we kept warm by the charcoal grill and with my friend Julio's amazing chicken wings. Umm, Umm ,Umm, I wish I could eat one now.

But I, not wanting to show up empty- handed, decided I was going to make my Ultimate Creamy Homemade Hummus, which was a HUGE hit.
I know it looks delicious, but it tastes even better. Go ahead take another look.

Here are some tips you should know, so you can perfect my Ultimate Creamy Homemade Hummus the first time.

1.To get really creamy hummus a little extra effort goes a long way.

Chickpeas have a little thin skin on them, even the canned ones. They're easy to remove and the time spent doing this is well worth it.

2. Order is important.

You want to blend the lemon juice and tahini first until it's really smooth. Also
I like to mash the Chickpeas to help the process along. Once both are thoroughly mixed separately then you can add them together.

Ultimate Creamy Homemade Hummus

1 15 oz can of organic chickpeas
1/3 cup organic tahini
Juice from 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water or vegetable broth

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and set aside. Remove the skin from the chickpeas.*

Combine the tahini and the lemon juice and blend until smooth and frothy.

Add the garlic and salt and blend again.

Now add in the chickpeas a little at a time. Scrape down the sides of the blender and push the chickpeas down to the bottom as needed. Once you've got all the chickpeas blended in, add the cumin, olive oil and turn on the blender and leave it for a few minutes. I like to use vegetable broth instead of water to add in a little extra flavor to the hummus and to thin it out. But you can also use water.

Garnish with parsley, olive oil, paprika.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Phaal Curry Challenge Results- Brick Lane Curry House

I went with one of my friends Mr. Stedy Ruckus to take on the Phaal Curry Challenge. We both ordered the Phaal Curry with chicken and waited with anticipation as the waiter told us horror stories of people passing out after they ate it, which I admit did strike a little fear in me. But luckily for me one of my friends had done the Challenge the week before and he told me that I would definitely be able to handle it since I love spicy foods. He also warned me that it's not the heat that will get you but the amount of food.

About 20 minutes later.. duh duh duh... it arrives. My friend Stedy Ruckus aka Stedy Curry and I had discussed what strategies we were going to employ. We decided to go with the eat as fast as you can method.

But as I took my first bite I knew I was in trouble. I could taste the heat from the ghost peppers and then it was like a dull, hot pain on my toungue that spread all through my mouth. Bite after agonizing bite I chomped through sipping mango lassi througout hoping that the sweetness from the mango and the milk proteins in the milk would ail my aching tongue.

However, the eat as fast as you can method worked out great for Sted because he ended up breaking the record for the fastest time. He downed the spiciest curry they had in an amazing 7 minutes.

{Stedy Ruckus aka Stedy Curry and Aisha Foodista}

It was a true battle of the tortoise and the hare because I ended up with the record for the slowest time, a phenomenal 2 hours. I know kinda sad... but our dynamic duoism must have impressed because the head chef came out to meet us.

{Head Chef in the White Coat}

He regalled us with tales of the people who attempted the challenge before us and teased that he didn't make it spicy enough because I was eating it so slow and my friend had eaten it so fast. We assured him that he hadn't because it definitely was hot.

{My last bite}

But let's dispell some myths we learned about the Phaal Curry Challenge:

Has anyone ever died?
No. There has been no record of anyone dying. Just people passing out.
Is there a time limit?
No. But they probably will put a time limit now because of me.
How many people actually complete the Phaal Curry challenge?
A little under 50% complete the Phaal Curry Challenge. The majority of people give up.

Has anyone ever eaten it twice?

Yes. There is a man who comes almost every morning when they open and only orders the Phaal Curry, eats it in under 15 minutes and then leaves.

Do you have to eat it all?
Yes. You have to finish is all. And they will check your plate.

Tips I would give someone who wants to try it:
Don't give up.
There is a lot of food so come hungry.

Try not to drink anything. If you can. I drank like 3 mango lassi's and that made it harder for me to finish.

Try to eat it as fast as you can. The curry is not only hot but it's also a little bitter so it's not the most enjoyable thing to eat.
Good luck and most importantly have fun with it :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rollin Down the River Seine

Rolling down the River Seine on a Dinner cruise was so much fun. I got to see Paris from a completely different perspective. The food was delicious but there was one dish that stood out. It was highly imaginitive and was one of the most clever dishes I have ever seen.

{Hors D'Oeuvres: Prosciutto and Artichoke, Foie Grois and Apricots,
Tomoato, Mozzeralla, and Basil}

{Split Pea Puree, Tuna Tartare with a Candied Orange
and mung bean garnish}

{Prawns in a Saffron Consumee with Asparagus}

{Veal with a Squash and Arugula Salad}

{Dessert Tray}

The dessert below was the most inventive, craziest dish I've ever seen. It will definitely have you saying Ohhh La La. It was invented at the Ritz Paris Escoffier Hotel in Place Vendome in Paris. (My culinary school alma mater). It was a milk chocolate ball dusted with decorative glitter and on the inside raspberry, heavenly goodness with chocolate mousse. But you have to watch the video to see how they did it. So clever, so simple yet amazing. They used a hot raspberry sauce reduction to melt the top part of the chocolate while still leaving the rest intact. Ohhhh just thinking about that dessert makes my mouth water.


{You have to watch the video below}

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