Cooking: Fun with Olives

A bowl of kalamata olives.

Image via Wikipedia

I have never been a fan of olives.  They either ranged from too salty to not having any taste at all due to being canned.  However, my lovely wife would eat them every day.  She especially likes Kalamata olives which she picks up every time she goes to Whole Foods.  I figured it was time to do something with these olives.

Two thoughts came to mind: hummus and sauteing chicken with them.  The hummus was easy.  I used my basic hummus recipe with a few differences.  I substituted a half a cup of  olives for the olive oil.  I also put in only a fourth of a cup of tahini.  I also put in less garlic so it wouldn’t overpower the hummus.  I then placed this on the plate as it would serve as the bed for the chicken I was going to put  on the top.

The chicken was easy.  Just slice the chicken, season with basil, oregano, pepper and a about a tablespoon of lemon juice.  Saute them for a little until you don’t see any pink any more.  Then I added some slice olives and mushrooms.  Saute them for a little longer and then place them on top of the hummus.

Now, I like olives.

Cooking: Hummus

Cusinart 11 Cup Food Processor from Bed, Bath and Beyond

My trusty food processor

I keep trying to remember the first time I tried hummus. I’m pretty sure it was at Casablanca in Metairie. The two things I do remember were the texture and the fact I didn’t really know what a chickpea was. I wasn’t sure if I liked it. Since I wasn’t sure if I liked it, I kept eating it till I knew I liked it.  Now, it’s my favorite snack.

Now, it’s my favorite treat to make when we are in the mood for a snack mainly because it is so easy if you have the right ingredients: can of chickpeas, ¼ cup of olive oil, ½ cup of tahini (the maybe hard to find ingredient), juice of a lemon, 2 cloves (or more) of garlic), and whatever seasoning you want. Put it into a food processor or a blender and blend. Add water from the can and/or olive oil until you get the consistency you want. Make this on a Sunday and you have a couple of healthy mid-week snacks. Of course you can make this using fresh chickpeas, but often I’m too lazy too.  However, I only make it with no salt added chickpeas.

Rambling: Lactose Intolerance, Coffeenerdness, and Super Bowl Hangovers

Even though Cristina’s first 29th birthday was actually Tuesday, we waited till Saturday to celebrate with friends by going to Superior Grill. Again, I’m not the biggest fan of Mexican food due to being lactose intolerant. I’m even a lesser fan when I order a steak sandwich with no cheese and get it with cheese even though I mention I’m lactose intolerant. It’s just a small hiccup that I’m used to. However, I’m not sure most people go there for the food. I really think they go for the margarita’s. I know my party, which was a party of 14, talked more about the drinks than they did the food. People didn’t complain about the food at all, but it wasn’t the focus.  One thing I really do like about Superior Grill is that it not only seems like it can handle large groups of people, but it seems to specialize in it.

My attempts to get the crowd to go to Sucre were futile. Our friend Eric promised wine and fresh coffee at his house. Eric is a coffee fanatic. He is the kind of coffee drinker that can tell the amount of humidity outside by the way his coffee beans grind.  In fact, I’m sure he is offended that I haven’t called him a barista in this paragraph yet.  I love hearing him talk about coffee because the coffeenerd in him sometimes transforms to coffee snob. It’s a fine line, my friends.

Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday. A friend of mine ruined it before the game. As a Saints fan, he said the Super Bowl used to be a mythical event that would always be out of reach much like the Holy Grail. Then, the Saints won it. Now, the only thing that will make the Super Bowl truly magical again is another trip to the Super Bowl. This is not a complaint. It just made the day different.  So it was a quiet day at home. I pan roasted some tuna steaks and made some homemade hummus (both recipes from How To Cook Everything).

Last week, I cooked every evening but Saturday. I loved it. In fact, when I made the hummus I had a terrible headache that went away once I got in the kitchen. I may not be good as I want to be at it yet, but I sure do enjoy it.