Smoky Chipotle Hummus

I am in one of those unprepared mode...not mood, but I suppose that would also label it as such! I have not been photographing anything I have made since last week. The only thing that inspired me to actually photograph, is just one shot of the Chipotle Hummus that so inspired me by Alisha's hummus that she made!
@ The Ardent Epicure.

She made this most amazing Cilantro Hummus with Chipotle Oil Drizzle... that I could just not resist! She has such an amazing vegetarian blog, with all the gorgeous exotic fruits, and vegetables and legumes she uses to prepare delicious and healthy dishes, and appetizers.

I did not have fresh cilantro on hand, but I did have dry cilantro, which was not my first choice, but it did the trick, and it was actually a vibrant green color, because I keep my dry herbs in my freezer, and they last a long time, and stay fresh and that makes my foods taste a lot better.

So as you see, this is the beautiful dry chipotle peppers that I used. They were purchased at my local produce market, and, the price is very inexpensive. All you have to do is to put them into boiling water, and simmer them on med. low temperature, until they get soft, so you can put them in the food processor. Use some of the liquid from the water as well to make your sauce the proper consistency.

The recipe I used is something I found online, that I adapted from was on> All
Linking my Smoky Chipotle Hummus, to: Full Plate Thursday, 10-20-11
@ Miz Helen's Country Cottage!

The change I made in the Smoky Chipotle Hummus recipe, was that instead of canned chipotle, I used the homemade sauce to combine it with the recipe. I also omitted the canned roasted tomatoes, and the sundried tomatoes, as well.I didn't have fresh cilantro, so I had to use 1 teaspoon dry cilantro. Extra virgin olive oil was drizzle on the top, making a well around the center, to hold the oil, for easier scooping, and dipping. Serve with toasted pita wedges. Quite a change from the ordinary plain hummus!

Here's a helpful hint, how to dry fresh cilantro, a question asked by Laurie @ how my time flys.
As a rule, I freeze my dry herbs, and spices. They have a much longer life in the freezer, and every time I use them, they are always fresh, and potent, and not lose their aroma and strength. Even if you don't want to freeze them, at least refrigerate them, and you will get the same results. The only two seasonings that I don't freeze or refrigerate is the salt and pepper, which is always kept at room temperature!

How to dry fresh Cilantro

Cilantro, which originated in Greece, has been grown as an herb for thousands of years. Today, this annual is used in cuisine in countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. "Cilantro" is generally used to refer to the leaves of this plant. The seeds of the plant are usually called "coriander."

Growing Cilantro
You can buy cilantro as small plants from your local nursery and transplant them into the ground or into containers. These plants like the weather to be cool and sunny. Therefore, plant them where they can catch their rays during the morning and afternoon hours. Like us, these plants shouldn't be exposed to the sun during the mid-day hours.
If you want to plant your cilantro from seeds, you will need to do some groundwork before the seeds hit the soil. First, you have to crush each seed's husk a little. Then, the seeds should be soaked for one to two days before you plant them.
Plant seeds every six weeks or so during the growing season as cilantro is not a long lived plant.

How to Dry Fresh Cilantro: Leaves
Yes, you can buy dried cilantro at the store. Have you ever tried it? Dried cilantro has lost most of the attributes that makes cilantro "cilantro." While home dried leaves might be an improvement, these dried leaves will still leave much to be desired.
Your best bet is to wash the cilantro and remove most of the stems. Pat them dry with a towel and freeze individually on a cookie sheet. After the leaves are frozen, put them in freezer bags and place them back in your freezer until you need them.

How to Dry Fresh Cilantro: Coriander
When the seeds on the flower heads of your cilantro plant are starting to turn from green to brown, snip off the flower heads. Put the flower heads in brown paper bags and close the bags. Let the plant dry until the seeds fall off the heads easily.

Have a wonderful week...I will have more to offer in my next post!

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