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The Food Lab: Great Hummus and the Science of Smooth

Stashed in: Recipes!, Smooth!, Legumes, Beans!

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Science behind the smooth.  (Joyce could have written this recipe!)

I didn't realize smooth needs science!


I was happy with my results and all set to publish my recipe, when my buddy, chef John Fraser, dropped a brand-new technique on me. I was having dinner at his new place, Nix (which, for the record, is the best vegetarian/vegan restaurant I've ever been to), and was amazed at how incredibly smooth his hummus was. Compared to his, mine felt like the sludge water in the bottom of a Death Star detention-level trash compactor. I asked him how he got it so darn smooth.

"We do it in the blender," he told me. Because of their vortex action and high-power, low-torque blade motion, blenders can purée foods much more efficiently than a food processor can. The problem is that they don't work very well for pasty, viscous things like hummus; the hummus sticks to the side of the blender jar and never really comes in contact with the blade. So what was John's secret?

Blending it hot.

I never realized you COULD blend things hot. Brilliant!

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