Little things

I think all of the dads in attendance today can agree that it was a fun Father’s Day. At least, I think my grandfather agrees:

Yeah…Hat courtesy of Patrick. But that’s a genuine smile from the old man, and I haven’t seen one of those out of him in a while. That helps make it a great day. By the way, that’s also a picture by Patrick.

Okay kids…I’ve been told y’all need the recipes for Hummus and Salsa I made for today. As you all should know by now, I don’t use recipes much–I really just read them a couple of times to see how the construction goes, and then wing it from there. But here we go, with notes for you to follow:

HUMMUS

1 can Garbanzo Beans
3-6 Tbsp Reserved garbanzo bean water
3-4 Tbsp Vegetable or Olive Oil
1-2 tsp Tahini (optional)
1-2 Cloves Garlic
2-4 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt

Drain the can of garbanzo beans, reserving the liquid. Put the beans into the bowl of your food processor. Add a 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (start light, see how it’s going as it blends–some brands of beans are saltier than others). Add 2 tsp lemon juice, the garlic, 2 tbsp of the oil and the tahini (this also is to taste and is completely optional. I’ve found that it does nothing for the consistency, but just makes the taste a little smoother). Start blending and add about half of the reserved liquid from the can in a slow stream. Stop blending once in a while to check on consistency and taste, and adjust from there. The finished product should seem thinner than normal because it will thicken up in the refrigerator.

Some notes: I learned how to make this because it was costing me $4 at the store to buy about 1/3 of what this recipe makes. And this recipe costs less than $1.50 per batch (if you can get your garbanzos for $1). The whole process for me usually takes about 10 minutes to get the finished product at the smoothness I like. Also, I’ve found that if you drop in a whole clove of garlic as you start grinding, the garlic flavor will be stronger. If you mash or mince the garlic and then put it in, it will be weaker. I’ve read that if you remove the skins from the beans, you’ll get a smoother product. I’ve spent the hour peeling every bean out of the can, and let me tell you it isn’t worth it. I never noticed the difference. You can eat the hummus right away, but as I said, it sets up a bit in the fridge and the flavors blend  more as well. All-in-all, this is much better the next day than it is the day you make it.

Enjoy!

 

SALSA

1/2 can whole peeled tomatoes (reserve about 1/4 cup of the juice)
8 fresh roma tomatoes
Cilantro (or parsley)
8-14 cloves garlic
1-2 medium onions
lemon juice
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

Food processor again…Though I have done this just by chopping the veggies. Dump half of the roma tomatoes, half of the onion and most of the garlic in the food processor). Pulse a few times until there aren’t any big pieces of anything left. Add about a 1/2 tsp of lemon juice, the cayenne and chili powders, some sprigs of cilantro, and the salt. Pulse again a few times to integrate and take a taste to see where you are (the garlic will be very strong at the start–it mellows out a bit as it sits, but add more if you feel the need). At this point, the ingredients you have in there will be very finely chopped and it won’t really look like salsa yet. Dice the remaining onion, roma and canned tomatoes and stir into the mixture. Depending on how much liquid the romas have given up during processing, you might need to add the reserved juice from the canned tomatoes now. Stir and taste, adding salt, lemon juice or pepper as needed.

Notes: This one was born because while I’ll eat it, I don’t love green or hot peppers in my salsa–I feel like they just take over all of the other flavors. Yet I still wanted the heat, so I replaced it with garlic and dried pepper powders. I’ve got no other word for it, but this salsa is very aggressive right away. Let it sit at least a couple of hours in the fridge to let the flavors come together, though overnight is best.

So there you go. A great day with family and some really great dads. Thanks to all and love to everyone.

See you tomorrow.