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Creamy Hummus, Restaurant Style

What you need: 

1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
water, as needed, optional
4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (24 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
salt, to taste
olive oil, for drizzle
parsley, to taste, for garnish
ground cumin, to taste, for garnish

What you do: 

1. Put the tahini and lemon juice into a blender (I use an immersion blender) and blend away until it's frothy, white, and creamy. You can substitute a little water for lemon juice; experiment. This is your sesame cream! (If you added a lot more water and blended well enough, you'd get sesame milk.)
2. Blend garlic into the cream, and add some salt, to taste. This is a basic tahini cream sauce that's actually really good on its own! Take a handful of chickpeas and blend it into the sesame cream until smooth.
3. Continue to blend in chickpeas a little at a time until the cream has thickened, but isn't too thick and is still pale (not the deep yellow of the usual chickpea mash). Add salt, to taste.
4. You won't use all the chickpeas, much less than in many hummus recipes. For the above, I usually use about 1/2 (24 ounce) can's worth. Scoop the hummus onto a plate, put a few whole chickpeas on top, drizzle good olive oil over it, and sprinkle some parsley and/or cumin on top if you like.
That's it! It's best if served at room temperature or slightly warmer.
The secret to good hummus, and the difference between hummus and chickpea mash, is to understand what is really going on with the tahini.What is milk? Milk is generally an emulsion of protein and fat in a water-based liquid. An emulsion is when you mix one liquid into another that don't generally mix, like oil and water when you make salad dressing. They're not dissolving into each other, but the little molecules of one are suspended in the other.
For dairy milk, it's an emulsion of animal protein, fats, lactose, etc. For soy milk and nut milk, it's the same thing, but now it's nut proteins and oils. But in all cases, the emulsion is where the creaminess comes from in "milk". If you have less water, you call it cream (either dairy cream or nut creams).
Tahini is sesame butter, and to make creamy hummus, the secret is to first turn that into sesame cream! To do that, you need to emulsify the tahini in a water based liquid first. This will not happen if you just put everything into a food processor all at once!'

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This came out exactly as promised, restaurant quality. Thanks for the hints about creaming the Tahini first. Great recipe!



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