August 27, 2012 by Liz
Hiatus and Hummus
CinemaSnackBar has not run off to Africa à la Dave Chappelle, contrary to rumors. Our rumors. But still.
This week we’ve been moving, from our 3rd floor raccoon infested hot as Hades apartment of 3 years to a better, cooler one. Sadly, one really does not know how much stuff one has until the moving has commenced and let me tell you, our Good friend Will has received an extra significant influx from us this week.
Moving also meant a cessation of internet and cable services, which was akin to cutting off my right leg. Buffy DVDs and takeout can only get you so far. Thankfully, we’ve regained internet and now Netflix and Amazon Instant are up and running full speed again.
However, that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Instead, I’d like to take the time to talk to you about the ultimate, classic, perfect movie companion: Hummus.
Hummus? Really? I thought it was popcorn, soda, and a big box of [insert movie candy here]!
Living in a town with a proliferation of Cinema/Food Service locations [Alamo Drafthouse, Violet Crown, iPic Theater, Flix Brewhouse], the bygone days of a ginormous popcorn and soda being the only source of sustenance during a film are but a distant calorie-laden blood sugar spiking memory. Now you can get cheesy pizza, cheeseburgers, macaroni and cheese, fries doused in cheese, cheese with cheese, and even cheesy creamy cheesy creamy cheesy (aka queso).
Okay, so it’s not that bad. The Drafthouse does have salads and wraps, but it’s hard to eat those items in a darkened theater. You don’t want to take your eyes off the screen for fear of missing the one visual clue that Superman is really Clark Kent (yeah I know, big shocker!) or, even worse, keeping your eyes riveted only to poke it out with an ill-aimed fork.
Enter hummus. It’s finger food. It’s a dip. It’s nutritious and filling. Eat it with veggies. Eat it with pita chips/tortilla chips/crackers. Eat it in lieu of cheese on a sandwich/wrap/other device for transporting hummus-y goodness to one’s mouth. It’s thick enough to not drip en route from the conveyance vehicle to your mouth, but it’s soft and creamy with loads of flavor. Of course, in another universe I’d discuss the nuances of the multiple versions and disputed claims of the origin for hummus, decrying the most authentic amongst a multitude of authentic-claiming recipes, but in the end the version in front of you is delicious and satisfying. It just gets better with every iteration and improves with proximity to the Middle East.
Best of all, eat it during a movie in a theater or at home and you’ll experience the transformative characteristics of being able to eat healthfully, heartily, and deliciously all while still keeping your eyes peeled for that Infinity Gauntlet breeze-by during Thor (2011).
Hummus with Za’atar
Adapted from The Shiksa Blog (and about every recipe for Hummus ever)
2 15oz cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) – or cook the equivalent
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup tahini
6 roasted garlic cloves
2 raw cloves garlic crushed, then minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil (make sure this is flavorful oil that you enjoy the taste of)
1 cup reserved liquid from beans
2 Tbsp. Olive oil (heated)
2 tsp. (3 big pinches) za’atar (a middle eastern spice blend)*
Drain the chickpeas saving the liquid from the can or cooking. Combine tahini, garlic, salt, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor. Blend until creamy, add chickpeas. Pulse to start and then process until smooth. Then stream in liquid while processing until the hummus is creamy but still thick.
Place hummus in serving bowl or into smaller individual bowls. Create a well in the center of hummus. Heat up extra olive oil in microwave for 10 second increments (or in pan on stove) until just warm. Pour into center well. Sprinkle za’atar along unoiled portion of hummus.
Consume happily and hungrily.
*We use a version heavily laced with sumac. I would suggest that if you can only find the za’atar blend that is mostly thyme, see if you can get the spice sumac and add it to the za’atar blend. You will not regret it.