Double Habanero Hummus

Canned garbanzo beans cost a lot less per ounce than premade hummus, so to pinch pennies I’ve been experimenting with making my own. Plus the spiciest hummus the local store sells is only jalapeño hummus and that’s just too wimpy for my tastes. This recipe is full of that habanero yumminess that will have you going back for more until smoke is pouring out of your ears.

The following recipe was adapted from several online recipes for hummus.

  • 1 15oz can garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ½ bulb (not ½ clove) garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 habanero peppers*

Blend tahini and lemon juice for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the blender or food processor, then blend for 30 seconds more.

Add olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and water to the whipped tahini. Blend for 30 seconds, scrape, blend for 30 seconds more (or until well-blended).

Add habanero peppers and blend until liquefied.

Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. If using a blender, run garbanzo beans through a food mill twice or until well-mashed, place in large bowl with whipped tahini and spice mix, and stir until well-blended. If using a food processor, add garbanzo beans and process until puréed.

* Or use just 1 or even ½ if you don’t like it as hot as I do (full disclosure: I adapted this from a recipe that used only ½).

Salal Jam (Improved)

I tried making salal jam once before, and I remember none of the recipes made that much sense for me. Most were actually for jelly, not jam (which is a lot more work). I picked one and tried it, and found the results disappointing.

This time, I went back the the recipe I used before, and adjusted it a little bit. The result was much improved. Here’s what I came up with:

8 cups salal berries, unmashed1
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced

Wash berries and remove foreign matter (fir needles, etc). Add 1/2 cup water and cook until soft (2-5 minutes). Run the softened berries through a Foley food mill.2 Add lemon juice to results, bring to boil, add sugar, stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until sugar dissolves, return to boil, remove from heat.

Apply the standard 10-minute processing in a boiling-water canner.

You might have noticed there is no pectin in the above recipe. Salal berries are naturally high in pectin. Commercial pectin is not needed.

1 Most jam recipes call for measuring raw mashed berries. Forget it; even fully ripe salal berries are too firm to mash raw. Moreover, I managed to pick most of mine without the stems; if most of yours have stems, you might want to increase the measure to compensate.

2 Or if you’re into upscale, electric appliances, I suppose a food processor could do this as well. Just be sure to use an attachment that runs the berries through a mesh of some sort as well as mashing them. You do want to get the skins and stray stems out.