Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chanukah Recipe #4.... "Do we have enough food?"

White Bean Tahini Dip 

The completion of this post will find me squarely halfway through my post-one-recipe-for-each-of-the-8-nights-of-Chanukah plan.
What? That sound? Oh, that's just me, heartily clapping myself on the back for a job well done.  Go team!

Um, you wanted a recipe with the self-congratulations too?
Sure.  I'd like to dedicate this one to my girlfriend, who impressively channeled both myself and my mother last night.  About an hour into our Chanukah party last night, she turned to me, eyebrows raised in concern, and asked "Do we have enough food?"  (Says she while indicating the table strewn with some 10 dishes plus a pot of soup, and the side table groaning with desserts. )  I'm so proud of you babe! It's nice to not be the only one around with a raging inner-Jewish mother.  "Do we have enough food?  Would you like more to eat? Should I add another dish?"

But, because those mantras of mine are so constant and always present in my inner monologue,  I'd already had that discussion with myself before the party.  (And "before the party", I mean, 40 minutes before guests were due to arrive, 7 minutes after I'd walk in the door from work, and 1 minute into preparing the evening's feast.)

Thankfully, my answer was no.  Because I started chopping any available vegetables into crudites and realized the horror of serving raw vegetable sticks without a dip.
"Is the tahini still good?"
"I don't know, that's your department!"

Well, I hope it was good, because I've been eating it for the last 21 hours now.
I took the tahini and did with it what I always do when in need of a dip, spread, or easy thing to bring to a party.  I mix together some delicious staples and mash in some drained canned beans.  Tahini, or sesame seed paste, is the essential ingredient in hummus so it fared well paired with white beans and the usual hummus duo of lemon and garlic.  However, I went significantly heavier on the tahini.  The beans were actually an afterthought when I realized that an all-tahini dip might be just a tad rich.

Yes, yes we had plenty of food, but I'm still glad that I whipped this up.  It's helping me survive work this morning and it added extra zest to an already rockin' Chanukah party!

How's your Chanukah going?  Do you have some decent-quality chocolate chips or bars around?  If not, grab some and check back with me tomorrow.  Everybody needs a little dessert!  Happy Chanukah and Shabbat Shalom! 

White Bean Tahini Dip for the inner-Jewish Mothers and other last-minute chefs 
1/2 cup tahini  (stir well before measuring to mix the oil back in)
Juice of half a lemon
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 can white beans (I used cannelini)- other beans would sub in just fine), drained and rinsed

1) Put the tahini in a large or medium bowl and thrown in the lemon juice, garlic, and a pinch of salt.
2) 1/4 cup at a time, add water until the mixture is easily stirable, about the consistency of soft peanut butter.
3) Add the beans and mash with a potato masher or large fork.  (Or get fancy with a blender, immersion blender, or food processor.)
4) Taste.  Add more salt and lemon as desired.  Add more water if it feels too thick in your mouth.
5) Serve with pita, pita chips, crackers, raw vegetables, or you know, an old shoe.  Tahini makes everything  taste good.

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