Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hummus in Chile made easy (well, easier) and Pho

I make hummus a lot wherever I am because in my book you can't go wrong with lots of olive oil, garbanzos and garlic, but here in Chile it's much more of a process because you have to soak and cook the garbanzo beans before you even start. I'm so used to soaking and cooking beans that that part doesn't doesn't bother me, but not having a food processor for after I cook the beans is a bit frustrating.

I've often gone to town with my pot and "masher" (a.k.a. glass cup) for over an hour trying to turn those darn beans into a smooth paste, but the finished product is never what I'm hoping for. I have a blender, but it can't handle too many solids so it's been useless so far. But on Sunday, I finally did it!

I always buy garbanzos without the skin and this Sunday at la Vega was no different. What was new was that they only had the really small beans without skin which seem to be the answer. I also put them into the blender immediately after they were done so they were really hot. Then, I added all of the other ingredients and was finished in under 10 minutes which beats my previous "making hummus in Chile" record by a ton.

Italo has become a master pita chip maker so we had a delicious Sunday night snack with a bottle of Concha y Toro Riberas Camenere (not as good as the Syrah or the Cabernet Sauvignon in my opinion) and scrabble.

Earlier that day, I made Vietnamese Pho from what I think is the perfect recipe because it's so easy to follow and delicious. It turned out a lot better than my first attempt a few months ago because I bought more beef bones for the stock and did a better job cutting off the fat before I cooked them. What's so wonderful about being in Chile and making pho is that churrasco is a cheaper, easier to find and still yummy alternative to flank steak and the spices and sauces that go in it will last me forever.

All in all, I had a very successful Sunday cooking which is my all time favorite way to spend a day of rest at home with my man. My next cooking adventure will be trying this ridiculously delicious sounding stew recipe my mom gave me that involves soaking a pork shoulder in 2 bottles of red wine and TWENTY cloves of garlic over night.