Grilled Corn and White Bean Hummus

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GUYS. Grilled. Corn. Hummus. It’s summer and in classic basic b. fashion, I’m eating all the grilled corn I can because that’s who I am and I am totally okay with that.

I have to be honest, I was late to the hummus game. Like, I only started liking it–for real–in the last few years. I’d eat it if it was there, using it as a dip for a pita chip or crudite but, I always sort of felt like it was a shrug-worthy food. Then I had a few versions at Lebanese restaurants–silky smooth and so addictive scooped up with warm pita–that my mind was instantly changed. Store bought versions still mostly underwhelmed me (though there is a local version, chunkier and thicker than most, that I really love) and it took me FOREVER to make my own. The thing is, I kind of didn’t intend to make my own. I actually made Casper a chickpea-carrot puree that was basically hummus and found myself eating it out of the blender. DUH! Lightbulb-moment, guys.

But, now I have hummus in my life and this version is currently my fave because of the subtle sweetness and faint smokiness from the grilled corn. I used white beans just because that’s what I was feeling, but it’s excellent with chickpeas, too. This hummus is great with some pita but, I also really love it with cool cucumber slices for some crisp freshness. PS, it makes a great at-home happy hour snack beside a chilled glass of something to sip (#rosealltheway).

[recipe]

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Grilled Corn and White Bean Hummus

Adapted from Real Simple

Even though my favorite store-bought version is a little on the chunky side, I like my homemade iteration to be super silky, smooth, and almost pourable in consistency. To get this particular texture, I think a high-powered blender and a bit of lukewarm water take this hummus to the next level. It can be made in a food processor with great results, as well. And, of course, blend it with or without the addition of water to you specific tastes.

2 ears of fresh corn

1-2 tablespoons canola or olive oil

1, 15-ounce, can white beans–drained and rinsed

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons tahini

salt to taste

lukewarm water–if needed

chives, olive oil, flaky sea salt, and paprika for garnish (optional)

Preheat your grill or a grill pan. Remove the husks and silk from the corn, rub each ear lightly with canola or olive oil. Grill the corn, on all sides, until you have a few charred spots all over–this should only take a few minutes per side. Remove and place on a plate to cool a bit. Cut the kernels off the ears of corn and set aside 1 heaping cup for the hummus. Reserve the rest as a garnish.

In a blender or food processor add the drained white beans, garlic clove, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, and the 1 cup of corn. Pulse until smooth and blended–taste and season with salt to your liking. Add water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin to desired consistency–I like it to be just pourable. Place the hummus into a bowl and garnish with the reserved corn, snipped chives, some flaky sea salt, a sprinkle of paprika, and olive oil. Serve with pita or vegetables. [/recipe]

Easy Spicy Peanut Sauce

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Today I went somewhere I dread going on par with the DMV…the Apple Store. Specifically the Genius Bar, since my computer has been having a major issue with staying on when I’m using it. Rude. I’ve managed to avoid this trip for moths, but it was inevitable and I finally decided to deal with it. It was just shutting off at all kinds of random times and it turns out (as Sean predicted) the video card is failing. So, it’s with the good people of Apple, getting repaired and I wont see it again for a week. I have feelings about it being away, but it’s probably good for us. The heart grows fonder and all that stuff. I realize I may be being a bit dramatic, but I hate this stuff.

I know this isn’t really a problem (evidenced by the fact that I’m still able to type this up thanks to an iPad) so, I’ll stop talking about it and talk about something far more interesting. Something super delicious on all sorts of things and so easy to stir up. I’ll talk about this peanut sauce. It’s great with summer rolls, like the ones pictured in my Easy Vietnamese Pickles recipe. It’s also great with carrot or celery or cucumber sticks and with simple grilled chicken. I also think it would be great stirred into pasta and garnished with scallion and chopped peanuts for a cold noodle salad. The best part about this sauce, besides it being so flavorful, is that it comes together with ingredients you may already have in the pantry and refrigerator: zippy lime, salty fish sauce, nutty peanut butter, spicy sriracha, and sweet maple. A little water takes this sauce from a thick paste to a silky sauce, so don’t be worried if it looks like a strange consistency at first. It’s so good! So seriosuly, make it, dip it, mop it, pour it down your gullet (what? why? sorry). Whatever you’re into.

[recipe]

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Easy Spicy Peanut Sauce

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

I have used both natural peanut butter and commercial peanut butter for this recipe with great results.

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

juice and zest of 1 lime

1 clove minced garlic

1 tablespoon sriracha

2 teaspoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 to 1/2 cup water

In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients, except the water. Whisk in enough water to thin to a consistency you like. I use closer to 1/2 cup of water. [/recipe]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Chicken Skewers and a Raw Spice Bar Giveaway

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I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but around here the weather has been amazing. Spring has sprung! I love this time of year for a lot of reasons, fresh produce, longer days, warm yet breezy days, and it’s the time of year we start firing up the grill with more frequency. I mentioned last week that we’re building a patio in our backyard for the ultimate lounge/grilling area, but this work-in-progress isn’t stopping me from grilling our dinners outdoors. I love grilling because it tastes great, it’s usually quick, and EASY. I love easy.

Even though I love dinner to be easy, I also love to experiment and try new things…which can be daunting at times, you know? I’ll read a recipe and sometimes shy away from it simply because it calls for a lot of ingredients and spices that I don’t want to commit to or just because I am hesitant to stuff one, or five, more bottles into my already cramped spice cabinet. Enter the genius people at Raw Spice Bar. They offer a subscription service for a mere $6 a month…chump change when you consider sometimes a bottle of a single spice can cost even more than that and will probably end up just expiring in your pantry (no, just me?). In the subscription you get 3-5 freshly ground spice blends from a single geographical region–enough to make about 3 dishes and serve several people–plus recipe cards, and possibly my favorite thing next to the spices, a little note on the spice blends, origins, and history. It feeds the nerd in me.

I really love the idea behind Raw Spice Bar–it satisfies my desire to try new things without the commitment of purchasing lots of stuff that will further clutter the cluster that is my pantry, PLUS it’s totally affordable. I also see this being a great gift and can already think of a few people in my life who would appreciate it.

I collaborated with Raw Spice Bar to bring you a little giveaway, a 3-month trial subscription of their spice boxes, in addition to this recipe using the Advieh Koresht from their Persian Spice Box from March.  I came to love Middle Eastern flavors when I was living in Michigan and these blends did not disappoint. They are so fragrant and flavorful. The Advieh Koresht contains a number of spices–including ROSE PETALS! plus, cinnamon, cardamom, angelica, persian lime powder, coriander, cumin, and black pepper. I paired it with creamy-tangy yogurt, lemon, and garlic in a marinade for chicken skewers that I then grilled. These were so easy to make and absolutely delicious. April’s box was a Japanese theme and I am so excited to try a few recipes with the spice blends.

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below about whatever–springtime, grilling, favorite spices, spice cabinet organizing. Easy, breezy. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only (apologies to my international friends!) and will end Thursday, April 30th.

Raw Spice Bar did provide me with a complimentary sampling of their spices, however I was not further compensated for this post. I just really think it’s a cool concept and wanted to share the giveaway with you all. As always, words and opinions are my own. Thanks, always, for visiting. 

[recipe]

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Grilled Chicken Skewers

2-4 servings

2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons of Advieh Khoresht spice blend (or other spice blend)

kosher salt

1 lemon

5 bamboo skewers soaked for 1 hour (or use metal skewers)

Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and sprinkle lightly with salt.

In another bowl, combine the  yogurt, garlic, Advieh Khoresht, a pinch of salt, and the juice of half of the lemon. Reserve the other half. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture in a small dish and set aside. Pour the remaining yogurt over the chicken and mix to coat the chicken pieces. Let the chicken marinate in the yogurt mixture for at 20 minutes.

Cut the remaining half lemon into think half moons. Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers, alternating with some slices of lemon. Prepare your grill and cook the chicken skewers directly over high heat, 2-3 minutes on all sides, or until the chicken in cooked through. Remove from the grill and allow to rest under a foil tent for 5 minutes before serving. Serve drizzled with the reserved yogurt mixture. [/recipe]