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Recover the American kitchen.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Terrible Year? Use more Greece.

My friends. I did something stupid. I forgot who I was.
 Late last year I asked for advice from someone I trusted and respected, a mentor. Someone I hoped could improve this blog and maybe help expand it into something greater. I'll never do that again.
 I was told I was being silly. "Everybody has a food-blog these days, and anyway you aren't really a Chef anymore."
 The dumb thing I did was listen and it took me half a year to say "FUCK YOU."
 Let's get to work.

 I've mentioned before that I collect old cookbooks. I especially love the "Neighborhood, church ladies, military wives, community auxiliary women, published on a copy-machine" ones. WHY? Because these people you've never heard of will never be on "Top Chef" will never own a restaurant and will certainly never-ever EVER be a celebrity Chef. They do The Lord's work instead. They cook for their families.
  Case in point.
 One of my dearest friends, someone I've known since High School uncovered a treasure while cleaning. A self-published book of Yia-Yia's recipes from our local Greek Orthodox Church who every year puts on a fantastic food orgy known locally as "GREEKFEST."As many times as I've attended I am certain I have eaten her Grandmother's cooking. I hope she approves of my efforts.
It's pure gold

Right. Here we go. 


2 cans Garbonzo Beans. "Nick I can't find those, can I use Chick-Peas instead?" 
1-2 good sized clove of fresh garlic
Tahini, 'bout a 1/4 cup. No joke it's getting really much easier to find
Good pinch of ground Cumin
Small pinch of chili powder (or not)
1 TB fresh grated lemon peel
juice from one lemon
a good amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
fresh chopped Mint and Parsley, enough that you have some left over for garnish
Chopped Peppadews. These are a sweet-spicy pickled pepper, most good European Deli's carry some form. Chopped. I used these to add some heat, 'cus it's Nachos. 
salt and pepper

One 8 year old Niece to help with all the cleaning (optional)

Pita-chips. OK sure I could have cut up and fried some Pita bread but shut up

Some Tomatoes, seeded, diced.
Cucumber, seeded diced

Feta cheese. 

Drain and rinse the beans. Dump into a bowl with steep sides. Add the Tahini, garlic, cumin, chili powder, lemon peel and juice, salt and pepper. A solid slorp of the oil and a portion of the mint and parsley. Using a hand held blender (thunder-stick) start blending. OR dump the aforementioned into a regular blender. Adding a little water to help along the way isn't a bad idea. Check your seasonings. 

Most commercial Hummus is very very smooth and that's fine but when I make this at home I always stop long before and leave it alone 'cus I like a rougher texture. Does that mean you have to? No, of course not. 

I know, wasn't that just stupid easy? Yeah it was. Make sure to taste your finished product and add whatever you think it's missing, little more salt, maybe more lemon juice, maybe you're a spice person and need more heat? Whatever.

 Plate with the tomato and cucumber, top with the Feta cheese and the Peppadews and don't forget the extra mint and parsley. Knock yourself out. 

I'm still here
Cooking poor, eating rich
get your grub on