Tuesday, January 22, 2013

You Had Me At Bacon - Bacon Hummus

I  was wanting to make a snack for a friend to tide us over to lunch.  I had some garlic and a can of chickpeas and was thinking of trying my hand at hummus, because as it gets more popular, it seems to get more expensive!
I had to run an errand first,  so I figured I'd get some tahini (sesame paste) which is one of the key ingredients of hummus at the big  grocery store or, striking out there, at the health store that's a couple townships over.
The big yuppie grocery didn't have it and the small mom and pop health food store recentlly went out of business (there are many empty strip malls around here).
There was sesame oil at the grocery but that was $10. No thanks. Plus sesame is an ever growing food allergy.  So, since I'm experimenting with recipes for my friend A Girl and Her Gun with No Dairy and No Gluten for her teenage daughter, why not add in No Nuts. (If you have a bacon allergy, you really need to find another blog).
So I had to come up with plan B. I substituted some lemon and Braggs (real apple cider vinegar with the "mother") for the tahini with some spices that came to mind.  I offered  my friend a spoonful for a taste -  "here, try this". It was good, but it needed something to add some savory to offset the ever so slight vinegary undertone.
Bacon and green onion.  Oh My!  It was the perfect combination of tart and savory. I sliced up a little baguette and we stood at the counter and literally cleaned the bowl here.  This WAS lunch.
Tahini Free Hummus with Bacon
(c) Home on the Range
1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed.
3 teaspoons chopped garlic (from the jar).
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
a grind or two of fresh pepper
1 Tablespoon bacon grease
4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (and if you get the urge to shout "EVOO" like Rachal Ray, please do so in the privacy of your own home).
5 pieces applewood smoked bacon, cooked,
3 heaping Tablespoons finely chopped green onion (green parts, not the bulb)

Makes enough for lunch and extra to send home with my friend.

Cook the bacon and set aside to cool. Retain at least one Tablespoon of the bacon grease.
In blender or food processor (preferred, the blender didn't make it that smooth) mix spices, lemon juice, fresh bacon grease and Braggs with the chick peas until course. Drizzle in remaining olive oil, pulsating until you get the desired consistency (for me it was 4 Tablespoons). Stir in 1/2 of  the bacon (chopped) and serve topped with remaining bacon and green onion.
Note - this used a can of chickpeas that needed to be used up.  Dried chickpeas are super cheap and easy to cook up.  Cook in some water with some garlic  and add a fair bit of salt after they start getting soft (cooking time will be on the package). When cool and dry, freeze in small sandwich bags.  Great for snacks, salads or recipes, they will keep in the freezer for at least a month.