Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Lebanese are on to Something

Welcome to another segment of Those Quirky Cantwells: What We've Been Eating.

What have we been eating lately, you ask?

Well, I'll tell you.




I know, it sounds a little odd, considering the white-bread, All-American family that we pretty much are. It's like we've gone all middle-eastern or something. Nevertheless, I love them both, and they're both relatively nutritious, so what's not to like about that?

Eric is actually too good for Hummus, and only rarely indulges in the flatbread, but as you can see below, Heather is a big fan of both.

Smart kid, that.

And, just in case you're hankering to try some of this for yourselves, here are the recipes I've been using:

(which is sometimes called Naan, but I can't bring myself to call it that because even though it's really good, it doesn't even compare to the Naan that we can get at Tandoori Oven)

(I found the recipe here, and modified it ever so slightly)

(If you want to see some fun pictures of this recipe in process and then the finished product, click here, and then again here for the whole wheat version. Sheena, who writes the blog I'm directing you to is a professional photographer, and her pictures are so fun that I didn't even bother trying to take pictures of my flatbread in process, knowing that I'd just direct you there anyway.)

1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp. quick rise (also known as bread machine) yeast
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt (I use non-fat)
1 egg

In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. (I just dump it all into the Kitchenaid, and set the timer for 5 minutes)

Stir in the flour, salt, oil, yogurt and egg and stir, then knead until you have a soft, pliable dough. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size; about thirty minutes. (Again, I just add all the rest of the stuff into the Kitchenaid, turn it on for five minutes, then remove the dough hook, put a towel on the bowl and set the timer for 30 minutes)

Divide the dough into 6-8 pieces and on a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into a thin circle or oval. (I just grab a small bunch of dough and roll it out. I usually end up with about 8 pieces, but sometimes I end up with more.)

Cook each dough circle on a nice hot non-stick skillet until blistered and cooked, flipping as necessary. (When the surface has big blisters and is golden on the bottom, flip it over and cook until golden on the other side.)

Makes about 8 naan.

(I found this recipe on the label of the Canned Western Family Garbanzo Beans)

2 tsp. Minced Fresh Garlic (the minced garlic I use isn't fresh)
1 can Garbanzo Beans, drained with the liquid reserved
4 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (my olive oil isn't extra virgin)
4 tsp, Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Salt

Puree garlic, beans, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and enough reserved liquid (for me, it
's about 1/2 a cup, give or take) to reach the desired consistency.

(I use a food processor now, but before I had saved enough pennies to purchase this beauty from, I just used our blender. It worked all right. )

(To be clear though--the blender was fine. However, now I love love love my Hamilton Beach 70610 Big Mouth Food Processor. Just fyi.)

(Hamilton Beach--don't you want to pay me for that little ad I just did for you? Hmmmm?)

(What about you, Overstock?)

(Tandoori Oven?)

(Western Family?



Harmony said...

Mmmmm. I'm getting hungry just reading this! So does your flatbread puff up like pita bread? We do pita and hummus occasionally, but I hate turning on the oven this time of year. My hummus recipe is really similar, but I add a teaspoon of rosemary, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and a little pepper as well.

Charlotte said...

It puffs up pretty well, more like in blisters and bubbles though, rather than the whole thing. I.e, you can't separate it and make pockets the way you can with pita bread.

I'll try your hummus variations. I've been getting a little tired of my plain jane version.


Laura said...

Okay..confession here...I have a "hummus" issue. Once I start eating it, I have trouble stopping.
And this past weekend I was talking about whether or not it was worth it to buy a food processor....I think I might be checking out that one on Overstock.

Charlotte said...

Oh Laura--I have THE SAME hummus issue! That's why I wrote that it was "relatively" nutritious. The fact is, it's probably not all that nutritious if you eat it by the bucket like I want to.

My hummus obsession was the ultimate reason that I invested in the food processor as well.

So nice to have a partner in crime.

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