Roasted Beet Hummus

Roasted Beet Hummus recipe

Photo Credit: PhillyVoice.com, 2017

 

Did you know that the very food known as “Hummus” was derived from the Arabic  word meaning “chickpeas”, and the complete name of the prepared spread in Arabic is ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna which means “chickpeas with tahini”.  Hummus is basically  a Levantine dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or a mixture of other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.  It is popular in the Middle East and in Middle Eastern cuisine around the globe. It can also be found in most grocery stores anywhere in the world.

The chickpeas used in hummus make it high in fiber, protein and iron, and when lemon is added, offers your body a boost of vitamin C and antioxidants. What’s more, a thick spread of hummus will never threaten your waistline, but tahini has been known to be anti-inflammatory and lower cholesterol.

Yes, you can buy hummus at just about any local grocery store these days, but it so much better if you make for yourself at home and so easy to do as you can follow this recipe basic recipe with a few tips from Inspired Taste.

For some people, hummus is like the comic relief at an awkward dinner party. Everybody’s yearning for it, and it’s a universal pleaser. This light, savory snack is the perfect hors d’oeuvre as it  slides smoothly onto your chip, pita, pretzel, bagel, carrot or cucumber slices and rarely leaves a mess. And it is perfect for Super Bowl Parties

But for a change of pace, we switched it up a little to liven up a party in presenting this quick and easy roasted beet hummus which is a light, savory snack that will make your mouth pop with flavor.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 medium roasted beet, cooled, peeled, and quartered (Directions Follows)
One 15-ounce, can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons tahini (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Dash salt and pepper
Water, to thin as needed
Optional spices: dried sage, cumin, paprika

Directions:
In a food processor, blend roasted beet until smooth. Add remaining ingredients to blend, reserving olive oil and water. Drizzle in olive oil while hummus is blending. If too thick, thin out with water until you have the desired consistency.

Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, as needed.

Place in a bowl and serve with vegetables , crackers or whole grain pitas of your choice.

Directions for Roasting Beets
 Option 1 
1. Preheat oven to 400 º F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. If buying whole beets with stem, remove leaves and stalk.
3. Peel beets and dice.
4. Lay on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried sage.
5. Cover baking sheet with foil and bake beets for 1 hour or until tender.

Option 2
1. Preheat oven to 425 º F.
2. Scrub, wash, and remove leaves/stalk from beets.
3. Place whole beets on aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and salt.
4. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes or until tender.

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Strawberry Vanilla Jam

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Photo Credit:  www.Napidoktor.hu,  2015.

Making your own jam is a great way to use your slow cooker in the summer. It’s also a delicious way to use up overripe fruit.

Makes About Four 8-pints

Ingredients:
2 pounds of strawberries
1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups sugar

Directions:
Wash the strawberries and drain in a colander. Remove the stems from the strawberries and cut in half. With a small, sharp knife, halve the vanilla bean lengthwise. Add strawberries and vanilla halves to a slow cooker along with the lemon juice and sugar. Stir well, cover, and cook on low for 2 hours.

Uncover the slow cooker and stir the jam. Continue cooking, uncovered, on low for an additional 2–3 hours or until the jam has thickened, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry if it is a little runny; it will get thicker as it cools. If you want a smoother consistency, use a potato masher to break up the fruit.

Discard the vanilla bean and ladle the jam into four  1-cup plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids. Allow to cool, uncovered, then cover and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Jam will last 3 weeks in the refrigerator and up to 1 year in the freezer.

Cook’s Notes:
Try swirling a spoonful of jam with plain Greek yogurt for breakfast or dessert.

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Thank you so much!

 

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Croquetas de jamón Cubano

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Photo Credit: The Heart of Homemade, 2014

These Cuban-style ham croquetas are everything a croquette should be: smooth, flavorful, and delightfully crispy. Croquetas are found at Cuban food stands as well as birthday parties, weddings and quinceñeras. Croquetas are also very popular at restaurants, walk-up counters and bakeries all over Miami, Florida, where I first discovered them. There are countless versions  where you can also use chicken, fish, potato or cheese as a filling,  so feel free to adapt to your own tastes.

 

Makes 12 to 24 Croquettes

Ingredients:
For the filling (masa):
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion, minced fine
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1   1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon dry sherry
1 Tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1 pound smoked ham, ground
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground  black pepper, or  to taste

For the breading:
2  large eggs, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
1 cup dry bread crumbs, mixed with 1/4 cup  all purpose flour*
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying

 

Directions:
Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan, add the onions, and sauté until translucent.

Whisk in 1/3 cup flour to make a roux ;  add more butter if necessary to make a smooth roux. Gradually whisk in the milk to form a smooth sauce. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens. Whisk in nutmeg, sherry, and parsley. Fold in the ground ham and one cup bread crumbs.

Let the filling mixture simmer for five minutes on low heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. NOTE: The ham probably has enough salt already.

Spoon the mixture into a baking pan and refrigerate until well chilled for at least one hour. NOTE: The mixture needs to be firm enough to form into rolled “logs”. If your mixture is too soft or sticky, add some additional bread crumbs.

Shape the ham mixture into logs about 3/4-inch thick and three inches long.

To set up the breading station:
Make an egg wash by beating the eggs with water until frothy in a small bowl.

Combine the bread crumbs and flour in a second bowl; add salt and pepper.

Dip the logs in the egg wash and roll the logs in the seasoned bread crumbs. Dip a second time and re-roll in bread crumbs.

Place the croquettes in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper and cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. NOTE: You may also freeze for the croquettes for later use.

In a Dutch oven, or a deep fat fryer, add enough oil so that it will cover the croquettes. Heat the oil to the frying stage at about 360 to 375º F. Fry the croquettes in small batches,for about three to four minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Always let the oil come back to 375ºF between batches. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

Cook’s Notes:

* For a lighter crispier breading, you can use about 1  1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers,finely ground in food processor or blender. Another option is to use 12 ounces of  cracker meal in place  of the bread crumbs when making the breading.

For a variation, an equal amount of  COOKED chicken, can be substituted for the ham. Grind the cooked chicken in a food processor. Add a dash of fresh lime juice to the ground chicken. In omitting the parsley, add a handful of chopped cilantro to the ground chicken for a nice flavor twist.

The breaded croquettes can be frozen in plastic wrap or aluminum foil indefinitely. Just thaw them before frying.

The traditional way to serve croquettes is without any sauce, but some restaurants serve them with a cilantro garlic sauce for dipping. They are also good dipped in ketchup!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor