Friday, September 28, 2007

Roasted Red Pepper Homus - Grow Your Own #2


Hummus or homus is a dip made basically of chickpeas and sesame tahini. It is a popular spread in various countries in the Middle Eastern world that we borrowed. This recipe has been on my waiting list for so long... One of the reasons it took me so long is that I live close to a restaurant with a drive-thru that sells this type of food, and it is so easy to order it from my car... So, this time, I planned this meal, went to the market and bought both chickpeas and tahini. And I combined two recipes, one from Technicolor Kitchen and another one from the kitchen of The Budding Cook, because the red pepper adds a fascinating color to this dip!

15 oz (about 400g) drained canned chickpeas
2 big pieces of roasted red pepper
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves garlic (I baked them for a minute in the microwave)
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

1) Combine all ingredients, except olive oil, in a food processor and blend well. With the processor running, gradually pour the olive oil processing until just smooth.

2) Transfer to a bowl and decorate with mint leaves and green onions (these herbs are both from my tiny garden).

3) Serve with pita bread, vegetables or other Middle Eastern dishes.

Here's how I roast peppers
- Directly on the burner, over the gas flame of my stovetop, I blacken the pepper. I remove them from the fire and place in a food grade plastic bag so the steam that forms will help to remove the skin. Let cool for about fifteen minutes, remove from bag and with a knife I peel off the skins.

Be careful:
If you don't use this type of stove, roast the peppers under a broiler or in the oven.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Milk Caramel - Dulce de Leche

My mom used to make this creamy milk caramel when we were kids. When I was seven and still lived on a farm, I was eating caramel outside our house, in the balcony, with so much gusto and I was stung by a wasp! Time went by, we moved into town and she never made this again, she would tell me it only tasted good with raw milk which we didn't get in town. Some time ago I was telling her how much I missed her milk caramel and we decided to give it a try with pasteurized milk and ta da... there it was right in front of me, my delicious milk caramel!

Dulce de leche is the Spanish word for milk caramel, in Portuguese it is called "Doce de leite."

4 cups (1 liter) milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Pour milk, sugar and cornstarch in a non-stick saucepan and and cook it over low heat, stirring fairly constantly for about 45 minutes or until the milk achieves the consistency you want.

Serve plain or use it as cake filling.

And speaking of sweet things, my dear blogging friend Vi of East Meets West Kitchen honored me with the Rocker Girl award! Thank you Vi!!! I don't feel I deserve it but now it is my turn to pass this badge on to my blogging friends. I would like to nominate all my friends on my side bar, under "Blogging Friends" as I truly think you all deserve it and YOU all ROCK!