Jen and I have been cooking fools lately, and I have been on a big Israeli kick thanks to Adeena Sussman’s Sabada Cookbook. So many of the foods from that part of the globe make my tastebuds happy. Spicy, earthy, sweet, sour – the complexity of the dishes are second to none and you’ll find yourself craving dishes you’ve never even heard of before.
HOMEMADE vs. STORE-BOUGHT HUMMUS
Hummus is pretty common on most Mediterranean menus, but one of the biggest questions I struggle with is to make it from scratch or grab some from the store. If you want your hummus to be insanely smooth, creamy and almost fluffy, the only way you will get this cloud-like substance is to make it yourself. None of the store bought versions will quite live up to this recipe.
However, if you enjoy store-bought hummus, I don’t think you’ll find making your own worth the time investment, unless you are making a special version you can’t find on the shelves like black bean hummus. I tell you this to let you know that Jen and I made the spiced meat for this recipe and bought the hummus. It’s a big time saver and we were having a crazy cooking day for our charcuterie and small plates table.
IRRESISTIBLY SPICY MEAT
In spite of a table overflowing with goodies, this recipe was the clear winner. The spiced meat is packed with flavor and our guests were intrigued by the idea of mixing meat with hummus. We served ours with some homemade naan and no one thought for a moment our hummus came out of a prepackaged tub.
PS: My husband Steve ate leftover spiced meat hummus for breakfast the next morning. He couldn’t wait to dig back in. Take that as you will.
Courtesy of Adeena Sussman’s Sabada Cookbook
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. 80/20 ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground sumac
⅓ cup beef or chicken broth
2 tablespoons pure tamarind paste, plus mpre to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 medium tomato, diced or 1 cip canned diced tomatoes in juice
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1 ½ cups hummus
¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts, for serving
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring until the meat has cooked through and has released its liquid, 5 to 6 minutes, Transfer the meat to a bowl, leaving 2 to 3 tablespoons of liquid in the skillet. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium, and cook until lightly golden and slightly softened, 8 to 9 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Return meat to pan and sti in salt, cayenne, cumin, sumac and cook stirring for 1 minute.
In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, tamarind paste, tomato paste, and lemon juice. Pour over the meat, add tomatoes, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the meat has absorbed most of the liquid, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in parsley.
Mound the hummus into a large bowl and top with meat mixture. Garnish with pine nuts and parsley.
We substituted Marcona almonds for pine nuts. Both are delicious!