Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day Two Fifty Three - Snacks for a playoff game

Last night, I tuned into watch the Yankees play the Texas Rangers, hopeful they were going to win, I was certainly disappointed by the 10 - 3 outcome. Needless to say, I still had a good friend over and whipped up a few yummy nibbles for us and I thought I'd share them with you all...

First off I made a homemade hummus served with carrots, cucumbers, and Vegetable Flax Tortilla Chips from Trader Joe's. Some people think that making your own hummus is actually more expensive than buying it in the supermarket but there's something special about hummus made with Rancho Gordo beans, heirloom beans from California. Hummus is a great sharing dish, delish on veggies, chips, pita, or breads, you name it - it is yummy and good for you to boot!

So what's in my hummus?

Garbanzo Beans
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Rosemary and Sage
1/3 log of Chevre
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
1/4 package of firm tofu (which will make it creamier)
A small drizzle of water

To prepare hummus with dried garbanzo beans, you first need to soak the beans in salt water for at least eight hours. Once they have soaked and expanded, put them on the stove in a sauce pot with their soaking water over low heat for about an hour or till they are tender. Now they are ready to be combined with all of the other ingredients  in a food processor. You might be thinking, why doesn't she use tahini, the classic hummus ingredient? Well I find that that hummus with tahini becomes all about the tahini and less about the garbanzo bean itself, so I stick to utilizing tofu and chevre for creaminess and so it is still about the garbanzos.
For myself personally, I like to add some red pepper flakes to the top once all your ingredients are mixed together, so should you feel like adding a little extra punch, go ahead! I guarantee you'll enjoy!!

Moving along from the hummus, I also made a roasted cauliflower, gruyere, rosemary olive oil asiago cheese flatbread. Roasted cauliflower is just the perfect early Fall topping for a flatbread if you ask me.

I regret to inform you, I didn't make the actual flatbread myself, but everything else was crafted by yours truly. I got the flatbread at Trader Joes -- a simple herb olive oil flatbread that tastes pretty bland and store bought on its own, once transformed with my toppings, it suddenly was a homemade success! The topping is easy, let me fill you all in so you can recreate it at home if you feel the desire!

Half head of cauliflower with florets cut off
1/2 shallot diced
clove of garlic diced
Fresh Rosemary and Sage
Dried Oregano and Marjoram
Rosemary Olive oil Asiago Cheese

First step here is to cut off the florets of the cauliflower and toss in a baking dish with evoo, shallots, garlic, diced up rosemary, sage, oregano, marjoram, salt and pepper. Place this in the oven at 250 for 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is just turning golden brown. Pull out and place to the side. Lightly brush the flatbread with some evoo and then top with the cauliflower and grate gruyere and asiago evenly over the top. Grind some salt and pepper with a few extra drizzles of olive oil and then place this in the oven at 300 for just about ten minutes or until the cheese is melted. Pull out and dive in. Satisfying and delish, this pizza is light yet flavorful with a nice amount of cheese but not too much. I'd recommend enjoying this with a nice medium bodied red wine.

Nutritious and delish nibbles that's for sure! Better than watching the Yankees loose!

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