Friday 15 November 2013

Foodie Friday - My Souped Up Spicy Version Of Nigella's Red Pepper Hummus

Despite recent not so saintly allegations I still worship the goddess that is Nigella Lawson. At the moment Food Network UK is showing a Nigella double bill every week night and despite seeing every episode at least half a dozen times I still tune in and watch. I have quite a few of her books and it's hard to pick a favourite but at a push it would probably be Nigella Express.

The book basically features recipes that can made in a hurry with a minimum of fuss and effort. I've tried quite a few recipes from the book but if you had my book in your hand in an instant you could probably tell which one I've made the most. Unusually for me it's not a sweet one, it is in fact her Red Pepper Hummus, most of which seems to be smeared over my book - whoops! Due to the amount of time I've spent in Greece and Cyprus I'm a huge Hummus fan, and I can happily devour a tub in one sitting. This recipe though is different to pretty much any one I've ever seen in the supermarket. Yes you have your basic ingredients chickpeas, olive and garlic but this one also contains roasted red peppers and cream cheese - what's not to love? Alas the original recipe isn't available on the Nigella's fabulous website but it is as I say in Nigella Express which I would thoroughly recommend. She uses less lime, and less cream cheese than I do, and she uses garlic oil and paprika instead but this is my souped up spicier version.

Spicy Red Pepper Hummus

1 Can Chick Peas (400 - 410g )
1 Jar Roasted Peppers (Drained Weight - 350 - 380g
125g Cream Cheese (About 1/2 Tub)
2-4 Cloves Garlic
2 Tablespoons Of Olive Oil
Juice Of Half A Lime 
A Couple Of Pickled Jalapenos 
A Pinch Of Chilli Flakes
A Pinch Of Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper To Taste

1. First thing you need to do is drain your chick peas, I doesn't matter if they're a bit wet but you need to drain as much liquid off as you can.

Then drain your peppers

Mine quite frankly were huge, so I quartered them but if yours in smaller pieces, you can leave them as they are

Next your jalapenos if your using them - mine were sliced ones so I put them in whole

and your garlic - I just used two cloves here but they were quite large - I gave mine a really rough chop.

2. Pop all of these ingredients into a blender or a food processor

and zap, you don't want it to be too smooth here, you just want to start breaking down the vegetables and chick peas.

3.Then add the cream cheese, the olive oil and the cayenne or chilli flakes if your using them.

4. Then squeeze your lime

and add that to the mix.

5. Zap again until you reach the consistency you want. Some people like the hummus quite thick and chunky but I like it quite smooth with just a little bit of texture. Check the seasoning and add salt, pepper or more lime juice to taste :)

6. Then you can either serve it straight away or if you care bear it, chill it for an hour or so to allow it to firm up a little bit and for all the flavours to develop. 

I'm serving it as a dip here with tortilla chips, but you can also use it as a sandwich filling or in a wrap or even as a salad dressing. This makes a large bowl. There aren't many preservatives in this so it's best eaten within 48 hours or less x 

Hints And Tips

* I love chick peas, and I don't see any reason why you could make this with defrosted frozen ones or with cooked dried ones but tins are by far the quickest way to go. Just a quick tip if your in a larger supermarket don't buy your chick peas from the canned beans and vegetable aisle - if your supermarket has a world foods aisle look there instead there was over a 30p difference in tinned chick peas in my local Tesco just by looking down the world foods aisle and buying a different brand.

* Peppers - Of course you can roast your own peppers but again why would you? Jarred peppers aren't cheap but it's so much easier than roasting and peeling your own. There pretty expensive in some of the big supermarkets but Lidl do huge jars of really good peppers, and the jar I'm using came from Home Bargains.

* I love the taste of lime juice but limes are a bugger to juice best thing to do is microwave them for 20 - 30 seconds and roll them a bit and you should get a bit more juice from them. Nigella uses plastic lime juice but to be honest I've never seen it ? Anyone know where I can get some?

* As with any recipe you can alter the flavours to suit your own palette. Nigella's recipe doesn't include the chilli but I'm a chilli fiend so I add it, and of course you can alter the garlic, salt and pepper, and lime juice to suit. You could even alter the cream cheese too I'm using supermarket own brand original full fat but I'm sure you could try some of the flavours and variants too - I imagine sweet chilli would work particularly well with this recipe.

Are you a Nigella fan? and Do you like hummus? leave me a comment and let me know x Oh and if you have any great hummus recipes please let me know - I'm still looking for a HG basic hummus recipe x 

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