Hummus

Quick Look_______________


So the analogy goes something like this....


mashed potatoes : potatoes ::


a) guacamole : avacados


b) hummus : garbanzo beans


It's really that simple. Hummus is mashed up garbanzo beans (chick peas) with a few extras mixed in. The surprising thing is that it's really not that expensive to make yourself. It's actually about 4 times more expensive to buy it at Costco. It's a good, healthy snack you can serve with pita chips, pita bread, or crackers. There are a ton of hummus recipes out there...go look up some and try different variations. I'm going to post a very basic recipe.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: None
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Labor Intensity: Could do by yourself
  • 30 servings, adjust by 1.5x if your group tends to eat multiple servings.

Ingredients_______________

  • (4) 15oz cans of garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable (olive) oil
  • salt
  • garlic (optional)
  • 1 cup Tahini (ground sesame paste)
  • Total: $5- $10

Directions_______________

  • Drain cans, but save 1 cup of the liquid.
  • Add 2 cans to a blender/food processor (or whatever quanitity it can hold)
  • Add 1/2cup tahini (I don't have this and often omit it, some people substitute sesame seeds)
  • Add 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Add 1/4 cup oil (olive if you have it)
  • Add 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • You can add 2 whole cloves of garlic if you want.
  • Blend and slowly add 1/3 cup liquid from garbanzo beans until desired consistency
  • Repeat batch until finished

Tom's Tips and Tricks_______________

It's good and better for you since it doesn't have all the perservatives, but there's still something about store bought that I like a little more. Play around with the ingredients and modify it according to what you like.

Raw garlic will have a pungent flavor. You can make it mellow by dicing it and then frying it on a pan before blending.

Oil will make the hummus smoother and "creamier". If you want you can omit the oil, but it will be a bit grainy.

Some people add cumin and paprika. Both sound like they would go well with it.

If you want to try to substitute sesame seeds for tahini, you could dry roast them on a pan on medium heat, blend with oil to make a paste, then add the rest of the ingredients.

[Possible side dish] crackers, pita bread, pita chips

Conversions

This week's post is a little lame, but I just wanted to cover some basics. Whenever you scale up or down a recipe, it's pretty straightforward most of the time. You could save time if you do some simple conversions. For example if you had a recipe that called for 1 tablespoon and you wanted to make 4 times as much, you could either use 4 tablespoons or pour it into a 1/4 cup, which would be a little more accurate. Here's a list of some conversions:

Gallon = 4 quarts = 8 pints = 16 cups

Quart= 4 cups = 2 pints
Pint= 2 cups

1 cup = 48 teaspoons = 16 tablespoon = 8oz = 1/2lb of water

1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons

All you really need to remember is 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons. 1 cup = 16 tablespoons and you could figure the rest out from there.

Personally, I do everything in metric, I find it quicker and easier. A teaspoon is about 5ml, tablespoon=15ml, cup=240ml and so it's just figuring out which one to use, kinda like making change. For example if a recipe calls for 1/3 cup and you want to do half of it, you could convert it to 80ml and then half it to 40ml, which is about 3 tablespoons.

Korean Radish Soup (Moo Gook 무국)

Quick Look_______________

Korean radish soup is cheap and easy to make. Unlike most Korean soups, it's not spicy but has a mild flavor. It's a fairly light meal, but when your stomach is full of warm soup and rice... be careful.
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Labor Intensity: Could do by yourself, but 3-4 helpers would be good.
  • 30 servings.

Ingredients_______________

  • 8 lbs beef (chuck, stew meat, brisket ...about $2/lb. Brisket is under $2 at smart and final)
  • 4 gallons water
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • Pepper
  • 6 large Korean radishes (Daikon) about 6-8 inch long, like a small football (sold at Koreana market or most Asian markets)
  • 1 bunch garlic (cheaper at Asian markets than Safeway)
  • 1 large onion
  • Total: about $20

Directions_______________

  • You will need a large stock pot, I personally would split it into 2 large stock pots if you have space on the stove.
  • Boil the large pot(s) as well as a smaller pot of water, reduce to medium heat once boiling.
  • While water is boiling, cut the meat into 1-2 inch cubes
  • Add meat to small boiling pot for 10 minutes
  • Take the meat out of the water and rinse off the foam. Discard water in small pot.
  • Add the meat to the large boiling stock pot.
  • Cut the ends off of the onion, peel the skin off, and add whole onion to the large stock pot.
  • Peel skin off of garlic bunch. You can use the side of a knife to smash the garlic and throw it in whole, crushed, to the boiling pot.
  • While meat is boiling, peel radish and cut into thin disks (like pepperoni), then cut into quarters (like pizza slices)
  • Allow meat to boil for 90 minutes to get tender, remove from pot and shred (optional).
  • Strain out the onion and garlic and discard.
  • Add radish to soup, allowing it to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Read more about it below.

Tom's Tips and Tricks_______________

The meat is boiled and transfered after 10 minutes to cook the blood on the surface and then discard it. This way the large stock pot with soup will not have little blood clots or foam on top.

I personally feel what makes or breaks this is getting the salt right. Too often people undersalt soup. I would pour 1/3 cup of salt into a bowl and pour 1/2 of it into the soup. Then add it slowly to taste. I like to make it a bit salty to bring out the flavor...I will post more about this later. Add as much pepper as you like.

A large stock pot will be adequate if it could hold 4 gallons. For reference, the drink coolers we use are 5 gallons. You may need to split this into 2 smaller pots. This will provide 2 cups per person (or half a nalgeen bottle).

[Alternate variations] You can add about 5 chopped green onions before serving. Another variation is to add a few cups of fish sauce, or about 20 dried anchovies to the water and strain them out at the end.

[Possible side dish] serve with rice.


Thai Curry

Quick Look_______________

Dish-gracepoint-thai-curryThis recipe comes from Tim So:
Thai(esque) Green Curry Chicken [I apologize in advance for grossly misrepresenting what this dish is probably supposed to taste like in Thailand.]Thai Curry tastes good for pretty simple reasons: it's meaty, creamy,and armotic(-y). To that end, I like to make it a bit different than most people in our church like it (no offense to Bo, as this is based on her recipe plus one I found on F&W). Basically, it's mostly meat (surprise!).
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1/2 - 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Labor Intensity: Could do by yourself, but 3-4 helpers would be good.
  • 30 servings, adjust by 1.5x if your group tends to eat multiple servings.

Ingredients_______________

  • 8 pound boneless/skinless chicken meat (pref. breast, but dark will do dandy) (about $2/lb for chicken)
  • 8 (19 oz.) can coconut milk (about $1.50 each at Ranch 99)
  • 2 cups stock, broth, or msg/msg soup base (4 tsp)
  • 8 average Chinese eggplant (.75 to 1 pound)
  • 12 tbsp (3/4 cup) mae ploy curry paste + more to taste ($3 a jar)
  • 12 tbsp (3/4 cup) sugar (or one half a circular palm sugar thing) + more to taste
  • 12 tbsp (3/4 cup) fish sauce (I use 3 crabs brand) + more to taste
  • Some* Thai basil, whatever that means!
  • Total: about $30

Directions_______________

  • You will need a large stock pot.
  • Heat coconut milk, curry paste, sugar, and fish sauce in a pot at medium heat. Stir occasionally to make sure it doens't burn to the bottom of your pot.
  • Cut chicken into pieces. I generally aim for 1/4" x 1.5" strips.
  • Cut the eggplant with a 45 degree bias, 1" thick. If they're too gigantor, cut these disks in half.
  • Fry chicken with some oil (about 1 tbsp), however you want to do that. Get it brown, but you don't have to cook it all the way through. Tip: using a good wok requires less oil than a traditional frying pan. But since coconut milk has so much fat, it probably doesn't matter. Reserve the chicken and leave the oil/fat behind.
  • Lightly stir-fry the eggplant in the leftover oils and fats. As soon as it looks like the fat has disappeared (i.e. been absorbed) remove the eggplant and reserve. Deglaze the pan with the stock, reduce until thick, and pour the flavorful bits into the coconut milk. Note: deglazing means pouring the liquid into the pan while it's still hot and scraping up all the junk on the bottom of the pan: it tastes good. If you're using MSG instead of stock, use water and then add the msg to the coconut milk.
  • Adjust the flavor of the coconut milk with fish sauce, curry, and sugar. Add curry if it's not aromatic enough. Add fish sauce if it's bland. Add sugar if you want more sugar. If it's not creamy enough, turn up the heat until it's bubbling and wait for the curry to reduce (if you use Mae Ploy coconut milk you probably will never encounterthe "not creamy" problem). Add reserved eggplant once you've settled on the flavor.
  • When the eggplant looks like it's getting tender, add the chicken and gently simmer until everything is just cooked (try getting a big chunk of chicken and splitting it in two to check). Reduce heat to low or keep warm setting. If it looks more like a big pile of eggplant and chicken instead of the Thai curry that you're used to, congratulations!
  • Wilt some fresh thai basil in the curry just before serving. How much should you use? I have no idea since I never measured it! Use enough, but not too much.
  • Optional: If you have tons of money you want to discard, or want a more authentic recipe, slice the tender part of 1/2 lemon grass stalk and a kaffir leaf. Add them to the mixture at the same time as the eggplant. I find I can get good approximation of the subtle citrus highlights these impart with lime zest, lime juice, and sugar (do all these things to taste). Or forget about it and just add more meat (my personal recommendation).

Tom's Tips and Tricks_______________


I would suggest using Mae Ploy Coconut milk over Chaokoh coconut milk. It's much more creamier and results in a better flavor.

Adding more curry will not necessarily add more flavor, it will just make the curry spicier. If you want it more flavorful, add more fish sauce. If you want it less spicy, add less curry paste.

[Possible side dish] rice and salad

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Dish-Gracepoint Fellowship Church!