I know I’ve done a lot of complaining of late- West Virginia, being homesick, living in a hotel room. Yes, yes. I know. I’m a right old bore when I’m working on a show.
But the thing is, I haven’t really finished my moaning yet. Sorry- it’s all I’ve got to give you tonight. I’ve just worked three sixteen hour days in a row- that’s six working days for the price of three for any normal person out there. Six! And it’s only Wednesday. And if forty-eight hours by Wednesday isn’t bad enough, which frankly, it is- there’s another unlucky sixteen hours to come- starting at oh, about about 4 am tomorrow. And another sixteen everyday for the next ten days. Oh geez, will this two weeks ever end! I’m certainly not getting paid enough for all these hours. Note to self- must be a better negotiator for day rate on next job.
So please, tread carefully around me- I’m feeling a little overworked. A little under-inspired and every so cranky. I hate not having time to write- not feeling inspired to write not being able to get in my kitchen so I have something to write about! It’s quite the predicament I’m in.
Okay, okay moaning over. Lets talk hummus. On long days shooting when I find myself eating three four meals a day at work, standing at a counter, it’s hard to hold back the temptation not to attack the crew snack table with those amazing doughnuts with the chocolate glaze dripping off the sides. So, I take hummus- and lots of vegetables- it’s healthy, it keeps those sugar cravings at bay and it’s the perfect food for grazing on when mealtimes cease to exist. I’m not going to lie, hummus is no match to a fresh chocolate glazed doughnut but it’s a tasty way to fill your tummy up and it won’t make your blood sugar crash.
When I first moved to New York, I was thoroughly disappointed with the hummus I could find. Actually, lets be honest, I’m still thoroughly disappointed but now I just make my own. Only, it’s different. I gave up trying to make it like it is in the UK- (if somebody could tell me how they make it so deliciously tangy I would love to know the secret) and now I spice it up with my basil chermoula pesto. You can use any other white beans, but I just adore chickpeas. If I open up a can I’ve gobbled half a dozen before they’ve even made it in the blender or hummus, or this curry or this salad. Lets be honest, some days they don’t make it in the blender- I just pop ’em in my mouth like peanuts. On days that they do though (make it in the blender that is), I make this dip. it has a spicy, herby, citrusy note to it and you can make it as smooth or as chunky as you like. And seeing as I don’t have much control over the hours I work, having control over the consistency of my food is important.
The recipe below makes enough chermoula for two big batches of hummus- because if you’re going to go to all that effort of pressing buttons on a food processor then you may as well make a big batch. And trust me after sixteen hours working, turning the blender on is an effort. Plus, for me it means it lasts all week and on occasion I’ll share it with my colleagues. But now I must get some sleep. My veggies are chopped, my hummus is prepped. Sixteen hours, you say? Pah! Bring it on!
Makes 3 cups
For the Chermoula
2 large bunches basil (picked leaves = 150g)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne (depends on how hot you like things!)
zest & juice 1 lemon (2 tsp zest & 2 Tbsp juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp kosher salt
100ml/ generous 1/3 cup good olive oil
For the hummus:
2 x 400g tins of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
75ml/ 1/3 cup water
50ml/ 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
zest & juice 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/ First make the chermoula. Blitz all of the ingredients except for the oil in a food processor until fairly smooth. Gradually add the oil and continue to process until smooth. Taste for seasoning. Transfer to a storage container or measuring cup.
2/ To make the hummus put all the ingredients into the bowl of the food processor and add 125ml/1/2 cup chermoula. Blitz until fairly smooth.