So all this talk about dip recipes for yesterday’s big game had me whipping up hummus for the second weekend in a row. But this time, I did it similar to what is done at The Terrace, the wonderful Mediterranean restaurant in west Little Rock at the corner of Hinson and Rodney Parham Rd. My favorite dish is called Frenchie’s Hummus, named after my friend Frenchie Boutiette (who is actually Arthur Boutiette and the reason the restaurant on Chenal Parkway is called Arthur’s. He and Jerry Barakat have been friends for years. Jerry is the patriach and former owner of The Terrace.) There are some days I just crave this recipe dish. So my friend Carla Koen made something similar to it, and I stole it from her. You top the ground beef dish on the hummus. Recipe follows. You will love it. I got naan bread from the Indian food store, or you can try to track down real pita bread. Please don’t buy the cardboard crap from the grocery store.
As for hummus, I have made it for 20 years. Way before it was cool. But mine was always grainy. I once even painstakingly removed all the skins from the chickpeas. Well, that’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back. So this time, I did what the magic of the recipe belows says. TO WHIP THE TAHINI WITH LEMON JUICE FIRST. That did the trick. It’s the best thing you’ll ever eat.
GROUND BEEF TOPPING FOR HUMMUS
Adapted from www.177milkstreet.com
½ pound of ground beef
½ cup of water
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. paprika
¾ tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Ground cumin
½ tsp. Cayenne pepper
small yellow onion, chopped fine
½ tsp. Olive oil
2 TB. fresh parsley
Squeeze of lemon juice
Chopped slivered toasted almonds for garnish
- In a medium bowl, use your hands to mix together the beef, paprika, salt, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, cayenne, garlic and 2 tablespoons water.
- In a 10-inch skillet over medium-high, add the ground beef mixture, the onion and olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, until the onion is softened and the beef is no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add the remaining water and cook, scraping the pan, until the water has evaporated and the mixture begins to sizzle, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Taste and season with salt. Now add the almonds and everyone will be happy.
Serves two Fischers but probably 4 regular people
Recipe adapted from www.inspiredtaste.net
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
3 small garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons water
Dash ground paprika for serving
Parsley, chopped fine, for serving
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making the hummus smooth and creamy.
Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended. Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; 1 to 2 minutes.
Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika and some parsley. Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week. But it won’t last that long. It will be eaten in one sitting.