It’s Super Bowl time and that always comes with some delicious, indulgent snacks….which brings me to a little food memory.
Super Bowl Then:
When I was growing up Super Bowl Sunday meant spending the day at my grandparents house with the whole family and LOTS of snacks! We had cheese and crackers and vegetables with ranch dip, and nuts and pretzels, but the family favorite by far was potato chips and “Clam Jam”. While the name sounds kinda awful, the dip is yummy!
The dip is a thick mixture of cream cheese and chopped canned clams seasoned with Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. The recipe is easy; take an 8 ounce block of cream cheese at room temperature and mix in one 6.5 ounce can of chopped clams, drained. Reserve the clam juice and add to the cheese/clam mixture until the dip is a creamy scoop-able consistency of your liking then season to taste with Worcestershire and Tabasco. Serve with sturdy potato chips and veggies. The dip can be made ahead and kept refrigerated until the game starts.
Super Bowl Now:
Ok, fast forward 30 years and eating big bowls of cream cheese is kinda off my radar…..my new fave for game day is Hummus and veggies. I am a big fan of cooking chickpeas in my pressure cooker. I put dry beans in the cooker and cover with a generous amount of water, at least 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of beans. Then pressure cook on high for 35 minutes. The beans will be cooked to a lovely softness, ideal for whirring up into a silky hummus.
A little side note here……do not overfill your pressure cooker or add baking soda to the beans before you cook them. Some popular recipes call for adding a pinch of baking soda to the beans to help the skins come off (this only works if NOT using a pressure cooker). When I put the beans and baking soda in my cooker, bad things happened, learn from my mistake, I urge you! The skins did indeed come off and one of them clogged the pressure cooker. Before I realized that the little rocking noise my old school pressure cooker makes when it is cooking, gently keeping the pressure steady as it cooks, had stopped (big warning signal!) the pressure valve did what it is designed to do and blew off! Suddenly 240 degree chickpeas were squirting violently out of the tiny hole in the lid of the cooker, spraying chickpea puree all over my stove and cupboards! This went on for many minutes until the pressure was released and all the chickpeas were coating my kitchen, ugh. If this happens to you (and I hope it never does) grab a kitchen towel and throw it over your pressure cooker to keep the beans from spewing out then carefully move to the sink and run cold water over the whole shebang until the drama is over. Then enjoy the opportunity to give your kitchen a thorough cleaning!
But aside from all that, cooking beans in the pressure cooker really will make a smooth, creamy hummus. So here’s my recipe for a great super bowl snack:
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained (you can use canned but freshly cooked are far better)
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and blend for 5 minutes. 5 minutes will seem like a long time but trust me, it will make a wonderful silky smooth dip. Taste the hummus and adjust the seasoning with more salt and/or lemon juice. Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving for a firmer dip. Serve with sliced cucumbers, carrot sticks, or pita chips. The hummus will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.