Sunday, April 13, 2008

I've Got Problems

A bunch of our guy friends have a nearly weekly "Man Night" - a night to play cards, drink beer, cuss, etc. This bugs the shit out of me. I like to play cards, drink beer and cuss too. Gavin doesn't like to play cards, but if he wants to drink beer and cuss - hell, even fart and burp - he can do that ANY night. You could say every night is "man" night.

We protested Man Night initially. Not hard, since Gavin wasn't really interested in poker. I wanted to go though dammit. So - I offered to host it.

We have only hosted "Wo-man Night," aka "Poker Night" a few times. Girls and guys are invited - though inexplicably I am usually the only girl.

The first time we hosted, I was damned if I was going to wait on the guys, serve up food and freshen cocktails. I wouldn't even put the chips or dip into a bowl.

Well, recently it was our turn to host Poker Night again. It had been awhile and I wasn't feeling quite so cantankerous about the whole let-them-eat-chips-out-of-a-bag bit. Plus, I had read a killer recipe for hummus that I wanted to try.

Once you try this hummus, you will never eat store-bought again. It is rich and creamy and costs about 97 cents to make.

from Cook's Illustrated
1 can chickpeas - drained & rinsed
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons
6 tablespoons tahini, stirred well
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch Cayenne
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or parsley leaves

Combine lemon juice and water in small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil in second small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside 2 tablespoons chickpeas for garnish.

Process remaining chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. With machine running, add lemon juice-water mixture in steady stream through feed tube. Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle reserved chickpeas and cilantro over surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

OK - so as I garnished the bowl of hummus, Gavin pointed out that it was just a poker night. Hmf. I couldn't help myself - once the hostess inside me was let out there was no going back. I heated some pita, pulled some olives, feta and jarred roasted peppers from the fridge and...your deal.

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