My tribute to the Fakih Family for the time I spent working at their Lebanese Restaurant, Almaza.
In 2008, I took a break from the Las Vegas Strip hustle of casino life. I had just finished 7 year stint with the then Caesars Entertainment with most of my time spent at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and short few months at the famous Caesar's Palace. Turns out, I never got to cook for Caesar.
Instead of preparing meals fit for a king, I spent a few months working at family owned Lebanese restaurant and hookah lounge. I learned the art of pita bread, rolling grape leaves and how many different ways I could use Za'atar spice. I also learned some Kibbeh recipes and made my first Falafel's. Possibly my first and last ones too...
I know hummus is a dime a dozen, it's everywhere. There's a million variations too. So, let's keep this simple and use it as a base for whatever crazy ideas you come up with to make this your own. It's the technique that I think makes the difference
2 cans Garbanzo Beans (yes, the same as chick peas)
1 tspn Baking Soda
Dump the garbanzo beans with its own liquid into a sauce pot on the stove. Add the baking soda and boil the beans until they are mushy soft. This will help puree the beans to a very smooth consistency.
6 each Garlic Cloves, chopped fine
1 whole Lemon, juice only
4 tbs Tahini, sesame paste
3 tbs Ground Cumin
2 tbs Avocado Oil
What To Do
Strain the boiled beans off and retain a small amount of the water. Add the beans to a food processor and blend them until they are very smooooth. Use some of the strained water to adjust the consistency if needed to make a soft paste. Next, add the tahini and make sure you stir it up first so it's emulsified like a peanut butter would be. Add the remaining ingredients and puree again until everything becomes incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. Season with salt. Blend again. Add more cumin if necessary. It should only be a flavor enhancer and in the background. Adding too much will make it taste like a sweaty locker room with a bunch of BO. Depending on how juicy the lemon is, you may want to add more to cut through all of the oil from the avocado and the tahini. I like it served warm. So, do that.