Friday, April 17, 2009

Feta cream / hummus

Back to my Moroccan plate. You got the couscous recipe earlier and now I will let you in on the sauces. A thick cream of feta, a nutty and earthy hummus and some harissa form the ideal company to some couscous or serve well as a dip with other dishes.

Harissa is a hot North African sauce made of chillies and garlic. In Morocco it's served with couscous and other food. I found it in the regular supermarket, otherwise a North African store will have it. You can substitute it by sambal, or hot ajwar.

Feta cream (half bowl)

The feta cream is made by mixing 100 g of feta with a few tablespoons of Turkish yogurt. Put it together in a bowl and mix into an almost smooth paste with a fork.

About the feta: there is feta and there is feta. Feta should be made of sheep and/or goat milk, but definitely not of cow milk. Check the ingredients. Real feta might be a bit more expensive, but there is such a big difference between the real feta and the fake, that it's worth paying a little bit extra.
Turkish yogurt is almost like mascarpone: it's very thick and creamy. Can be substituted by ordinary full fat, thick yogurt.

And then the hummus. I tried making hummus with my handheld mixer (NL: staafmixer) but that didn't work. My mixer is not very strong though, so you could try it and maybe it works. I have a little food processor that is more like a small chopping machine that did the trick (wish I had a real machine though..)

Hummus (makes a full bowl)

1 can chickpeas (400 g) (NL:kikkererwten, S: kikärtor)
juice of 1/2 small lemon
3 tablespoons tahin (sesamepaste)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8-10 tablespoons of olive oil
3-4 tablespoons of liquid from the chickpeas

* place all the ingredients in the mixer bowl
* mix it
* stir and mix again
* repeat until it has become a smooth paste, add more olive oil/liquid if necessary
* drizzle a little olive oil on top before serving, or some paprika powder

If you have the time: make the hummus a day in advance. That way the flavours work together to get an even better tasting substance.

The hummus and feta cream also serve very nicely as a snack, with for example some toasted pita breads or sliced red bell peppers and sticks of cucumber.

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