Ahmed and Kev came to dinner last night, well they came over yesterday afternoon and we sat and gossiped* and ate (tonnes of olives**) and drunk all afternoon until Simon came home and then we started eating and drinking again ...
When Kev rang and said that they were coming down I made the decision not to cook a "meal" so to speak ... a main course to meet the needs of a vegetarian, a muslim and Simon "I only like peas and carrots" Langthorne was beyond my culinary talents and it made my head hurt to think about it. So a selection of tapas-esque dishes was called for, we had green bean, shallot and bacon (vege version) salad, mozerella with a chilli lemon dressing, roasted peppers, fried courgettes in tomato and garlic, couscous, olive bread *** and some of Ahmed's homemade houmous. So for your delectation I present traditional Palestinian houmous (I'll never buy it from Tesco's again!
You will need
1 can chick peas
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 lemons
2 heaped tsps tahini (mix the jar really well to get the good gloopy stuff from the bottom)
1 green chilli (one of the fat ones that's only medium hot), roughly chopped, seeds and all
coarse sea salt
- Drain the chick peas, retaining the liquid and place them in the bowl of a food processor **** blend until a fine pulp.
- Add about half of the liquid and blend again until it resembles thick double cream (... I suppose you could pass it through a sieve at this point if you really wanted to but I'd been making the acquaintance of Mr Merlot all afternoon and I was hungry!)
- Add the freshly squozen/squeezed juice of half a lemon, a clove of chopped garlic and the tahini (including a little of the tahini oil) and whizz for 30 seconds.
back at the ranchin a pestle and mortar, pound ***** the remaining garlic, the chilli, some sea salt and the juice and pulp of the lemon. This sour, hot, salty mixture becomes a dressing for the finished houmous!
- Add half of the hot lemony mixture to the houmous and whizz again. Serve on a large plate flattened out, leaving a sort of a moat to drizzle extra virgin olive oil into. AT the last minute top the houmous with the "dressing" and serve with hot flat bread such as pitta!
I went to bed full, smelling of garlic and slightly squiffy BUT very happy. As my toast at the start of the evening said "here's to good friends, good times and good food!"* And they say women can talk ... jeez! The differences is that women can talk and do other things at the same time!
** Ahmed tells me that his dad buys 30 sacks of olives at the start of each season and his mum cures them ... they then last throughout the year! After yesterday, I can't believe the 30 sacks last that long at all!
*** With the addition of a piece of medium rare rump steak for the carnivore!
**** Ahmed's mum apparently makes this buy hand from scratch! Yeh, well, I have a Phillip's Master Chef!
***** Schwarzenegger ~ pah!