One of the things I miss the most about living in America is the snack food. The options here in Germany are highly unimaginative and (mostly) unappealing. There are only so many bags of paprika potato chips and cans of peanuts that one can eat, and that’s about as good as it gets outside the bread-and-sausage box.
I’ve only found a few types of crackers, and the only place I’ve seen (plain) hummus is real,-. Want some pita chips with that hummus? Forget about it. One can’t even find pitas but once in a blue moon (and they’re rather gross – thick and reeking of preservatives).
So, what’s an expat girl to do? Why, make her own dang snack foods of course… and then share the recipes with you.
My absolute favorite hummus in the whole entire big wide world is Sabra Roasted Red Pepper. It’s divine – completely creamy, sinfully smooth – and don’t even get me started on that well of flavorful peppers nestled in the center. The recipe I’ve come up with below doesn’t match exactly (how could it?), but it’s a very good alternative given the ingredients and equipment at hand.
If you are used to chowing down on plain hummus, be prepared for a massive flavor party in your mouth. And please-oh-please-oh-please don’t let all that garlic scare you. Roasting the cloves takes the bite out and leaves a mild, pleasant taste that really complements the red peppers. No after snack mints required.
Lucky for you and me, making hummus is totally easy. If you’re short on time, you could make plain hummus, omitting the red peppers and garlic. But adding these two ingredients really makes the snack special; and, honestly, it really doesn’t take that much longer.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
1 whole head of garlic
1 red bell pepper, washed and patted dry
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 lemon, washed and cut into wedges
2-4 Tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Cut the very top off the head of garlic. Place it in a square of foil, bring the edges of the foil together, and twist together like a piece of candy. Place it in the oven to roast while prepping the red pepper.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with oil (sunflower or vegetable, but not olive oil). Remove the stem, seeds, and ribs of the red pepper. Cut into four large strips and break the curved ends to allow the pieces to lay flat. Put the pepper pieces on the baking sheet, and place it in the oven next to the garlic (or put the garlic on the baking sheet with the peppers if your oven is small like mine).
Juice the lemon in a small bowl, and remove any seeds.
When the skins of the red peppers are blistered and black, take them out of the oven, but leave the garlic to roast a little longer. Place the roasted peppers in a zip top bag or plastic container with a lid. Leave them to sit for 5-10 minutes to soften the skins. Remove as much of the skin and burnt bits as possible.
Check the garlic, and remove it from the oven when soft and fragrant. Allow to rest until cool enough to handle.
Place chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor. Squeeze the soft garlic cloves out of their skins and into the bowl along with the red peppers. Add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice and olive oil to taste as well as the salt.
Puree until smooth. If your hummus is dry, add a bit more oil or a tablespoon or two of water.
Keep the hummus in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Hummus can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Enjoy with pita chips or these homemade Wheat Thins!