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Cooking With Fire: Hummus

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Justin Cary
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When traveling people will often ask me about the cuisine back home in Wichita, and it never fails that they are surprised when I tell them about all of the wonderful Mediterranean restaurants in the city.

So when I started to look into the history of hummus I expected, as I suspect many would, that the dish was originally invented in Lebanon, but I was wrong.

But before I tell you where the dish got its start, let me say that both Israel and Lebanon claim to be the inventors of the dish, and in the end, they're both right... well, sort of.

You see, hummus was, as so much cuisine, it seems, originally created in what we now know as Egypt. The earliest written recipe for a hummus-type dish — one that consists of chickpeas, lemon and vinegar instead of the traditional tahini — can be found in a 13th-century Cairo cookbook.

During this time Cairo was at the center of the Mamluk Empire, which stretched from west of the Nile River to the east into the Levant, with portions of land that make up modern-day Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and, yes, Lebanon and Israel. So while it comes from land that sits in North Africa, hummus easily spread through the empire around the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, where it continued to take shape into the dish we know and love today.

In this episode of Cooking With Fire, it's all things hummus, including this delicious version of Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. Enjoy!

[audio pending]

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp basil, minced
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • kosher salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Roast the red bell pepper over direct high heat, turning to blacken all sides.
  2. Place in a zip-top bag and seal. Let steam 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove the peppers from the bag and peel the skin off of the flesh. Remove and discard the seeds and stem.
  4. Chop the flesh of the pepper. Place all remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
Josh Cary may be the eCommerce Director at All Things Barbecue during the day, but at night he takes on the mantle of an award-winning Pitmaster, who has cooked on the competition barbecue circuit under various team names including ATBBQ, Yoder Smokers and the Que Tang Clan.
All Things Barbecue Staff Chef Tom Jackson is a Kansas native, born and raised in Wichita. In 2008 he and his wife moved to Portland, Oregon, where he attended Oregon Culinary Institute. Tom studied both general culinary skills as well as baking and pastry while working as a cook in a variety of restaurants. After graduating from Oregon Culinary Institute he began working as a bread baker and pastry chef at the renowned Ken’s Artisan Bakery in northwest Portland. He spent more than four years honing his skills under James Beard Award winning chef and owner Ken Forkish. In that time he and his wife had their first child, and the draw of home and family grew stronger. Longtime friends of the Cary family, owners of All Things Barbecue, they returned to Kansas to help All Things Barbecue continue to excel in their cooking classes. Tom has been further developing and building cooking classes and private events at All Things Barbecue since March 2014.