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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Recipe Review | Milk Street's Israeli Hummus + Spiced Beef Topping (Kawarma)

Several months ago I was introduced to Christopher Kimball's Milk Street magazine. I don't remember how I stumbled upon it, but after thumbing through a few pages, I was sold. Literally. I am now a subscriber of the print edition (they have an online version as well) which arrives in my mailbox every-other month. It is gorgeous! The recipes are plentiful and varied and the entire package is presented in a way that makes me want to read it cover-to-cover, like a novel, as soon as it arrives. Also, there are NO advertisements. None. Below are the first recipes I tackled. The story part of the Israeli Hummus article was enlightening as well. I don't think I'd every heard of serving hummus warm and certainly not as a main dish (typically the breakfast choice in Tel Aviv and often eaten with a spoon, like soup). The suggested accompaniments (sliced hard boiled egg, roasted eggplant, Kawarma) take the dish in different directions.


Israeli Hummus
via Milk Street (Special Issue)
Makes 4 cups (leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 5 days)
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What you need:
Cold water
8 ounces dried chickpeas (Whole foods Market 365 Everyday Value brand recommended)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup roasted tahini, room temperature (Kevala, Soom or Aleppo brands recommended)
3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika 
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What to do:
  1. In a large bowl, combine 8 cups of cold water, the chickpeas and 2 tablespoons of the salt. Let soak at room temperature at least 12 hours or overnight.
  2. In a large stockpot over high, bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil. Drain the soaked chickpeas, discarding soaking water, and add to the pot. Return to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium and cook until the skins are falling off and the chickpeas are very tender, 45 to 50 minutes.
  3. Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl and drain the chickpeas into it; reserve 3/4 cup of the chickpea cooking water. Let the chickpeas sit for 1 minute to let all liquid drain. Transfer to food processor. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, then process for 3 minutes (even if you think the consistency is smooth sooner, use all three minutes for a very creamy and light result).
  4. Stop the processor and add the tahini. Continue to process until the mixture has lightened and is velvety smooth, about 1 minute. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the processor bowl. With the machine running, add the 3/4 cup of cooking liquid and the lemon juice. Process until combined. Taste and season with salt.
  5. While still warm, transfer the hummus to a shallow bowl and use a large spoon to make a swirled well in the center. Drizzle the well with olive oil, then top with the parsley, cumin, and paprika. OR make the Kawarma (below) and too with that instead!

Spiced Beef Topping (Kawarma)
via Milk Street (Special Issue)
Makes about 2 cups
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What you need:
1/2 pound 90% lean ground beef
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Tahini, to serve
Optional toppings: toasted pine nuts, fresh mint, feta, pickled red onion
What to do:
  1. In a medium bowl, use your hands to mix together the beef, paprika, salt, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, cayenne, garlic and 2 tablespoons of water.
  2. In a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, combine the ground beef mixture, onion, and olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, until the onion is softened and the beef is no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add another 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water and cook, scraping the pan, until the water has evaporated and the mixture begins to sizzle, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Taste and season with salt. 
  4. Spoon over hummus, then drizzle with tahini (and add toasted pine nuts and fresh mint if you want to enjoy it exactly like we did).

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