DIY Hummus

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Very easy dish to whip together… although it’s not one that I happen to make regularly since Owen is not a huge fan of it. In the past, I would use my “magic bullet” rip off and whiz it up in batches… but found that method to be quite tedious. This time around, I decided to simply use a potato masher!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbs tahini paste
  • 3-5 crushed garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup (~60ml) water
  • 100ml olive oil

Pop the chickpeas, cumin, tahini paste, garlic and lemon juice into a bowl and start mashing until combined. Add the water and mash again. Once that’s combined, drizzle in the olive oil and mix until smooth. Then you can serve it up with your dippers of choice… carrot or celery sticks, crackers, or Turkish bread.

拍黄瓜 – Smashed Cucumbers

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This is one of my favourite veggie side-dishes, and it was one I would consistently order when dining at most restaurants in China. Pai Huang Gua literally translates to Smashed Cucumbers… but as I learned while trying to prepare this dish, if there’s too much smashing involved you will end up with most of the cucumber going everywhere.

Ready 1 cucumber (I’m using a continental cucumber for this) and a utensil that will be appropriate for smashing. I usually use the end of my knife as pictured, but you could we a rolling pin or meat tenderiser. Anything with a bit of weight will do. With your tool, you carefully bang on one end of the cucumber until you see it crack open slightly. Once that happens, you continue to smash with the same amount of force along the rest of the cucumber… spreading the cracks down to the end. It should look similar to the picture below once it’s done. Then I cut it in half lengthwise and chop into small pieces. Then throw it all into a bowl. Mince 2-3 garlic cloves and throw that into the bowl… I just use a garlic crusher. Add 1 tablespoon of brown vinegar (malt vinegar or Chinese dumpling vinegar) and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, followed by a generous drizzle of sesame oil. Since my son usually eats this with me, I don’t add any chilli oil to it… but I find this is a nice touch. I really enjoy the garlic/vinegar/soy/sesame oil combination and will generally use this as a salad dressing. Feel free to add onions, tomatoes or lettuce to it.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

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It’s been a while since I’ve had the freezer space to whip this together… but managed to make some room recently. As you can see in the photo, I poured the ingredients into a recycled 2-litre ice cream tub and just mixed it in there… previously I would use a large mixing bowl, but always found it got messy. Although this doesn’t require much effort on your end, you will need to be hanging around the kitchen for at least 4 hours to complete this recipe.

All you need is:

3 cans of coconut cream

1 can of sweetened condensed coconut milk (which I wasn’t able to get this time… so just used a bog standard sweetened condensed milk)

I popped 2 cans of cream into the fridge the day before… I could have popped all 3 in, but at that time I was still deciding whether the 3rd can would be cream or milk… I ended up going with the cream with the intention of making it creamier. I then dumped the contents of all the cans into the tub and, using a hand mixer, blended the ingredients for about 5 minutes. Once time was up, the tub was covered and placed in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then you need to go through and repeat this process for the next 3 hours…. mix for 1 minute and freeze for 30 minutes (initial mix once, then 6 more mixes for 1 minute). Once you’ve completed the 3-hour cycle… allow the mix to freeze for an additional hour before you dig into it.

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I went by memory to whip this up, and it turned out quite well… although after finding the original recipe online, I realised I used an extra can of cream. It worked out for us though because A) it made enough to fill the tub to the top and B) we don’t like it too sweet. I needed extra time to freeze this batch though… and realised my freezer wasn’t set cold enough! Next time it’ll work out.