Kingsford charcoal had a cool competition on their website Grilling.com. They asked readers to post a five ingredient challenge recipe just like the BBQ teams did in the Kingsford Invitational BBQ competition. The only catch was that you could only submit 5 ingredients! For my entry I did a Bacon Habanero Cheddar Stuffed Slider.
The guys at Kingsford asked me to pick through the couple hundred entries and select a 5 ingredient "one bite challenge" recipe that really stood out to me. My job was to recreate the recipe with step by step photos to post on their website.
The five ingredient challenge recipe that caught my eye was from Tom W, in Allston, MA. The five ingredients that he submitted were: Grilled smoked almonds, grilled garlic, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. A smoked almond hummus! Challenge accepted. Here we go:
If you aren't familiar with hummus it's just a simple spread that is popular in the Middle East. It's usually made from chickpeas, blended with tahini (sesame seed paste), oil, lemon juice and some garlic. Hummus is commonly eaten with a flat bread such as a pita. The bread is dipped into the hummus the same way a chip goes into salsa. Hummus can also be used as a spread on a turkey or chicken sandwich. This recipe is unique because chickpeas are replaced with almonds!
Rather than smoking plain raw almonds I decided to soak them in a salt brine overnight. The reason for this is twofold: sneak some salt into the recipe (which would have been the 6th ingredient) and to soften the almonds. We are making hummus after all. The brine is simple: 2 cups of water plus 1/4 cup of salt. Add your almonds to the container and let them sit covered overnight. Technically ingredient #1 is now smoked "salt brined overnight" almonds.
The next morning drain the brine from the nuts. You can pour it off or use a strainer. Set up your smoker for a higher heat smoke, about 275-300 degrees F.
Lay a piece of aluminum foil down and form an edge so the almonds won't roll off. Drizzle olive oil over top of the almonds before they go on the smoker.
Smoke the almonds until they are nicely roasted, about 45 min to 1 hour. I smoked these over direct heat on my Ugly Drum Smoker with apple chunks. The temperature was about 290 degrees F the whole time. I kept all air intake valves wide open during the smoke. When the almonds are almost finished head inside and tend to the garlic.
Take a few cloves of garlic and remove the peel. Drizzle some olive oil over top of the garlic and put it in a small foil sheet. Then fold the foil up around the garlic. This little packet of garlic will sit over direct heat for about 10-15 min. You can do this on a grill, or just throw it on the smoker.
Once the almonds and garlic are finished (try not to snack on the almonds too much!), let them cool for a few minutes. Into a food processor add the smoked almonds, 1 cup of tahini (sesame seed paste), 3-4 cloves of grilled or roasted garlic, the juice of one whole lemon, and 4 T of olive oil. Pulse until the mixture becomes a soft spread.
This is a real nice recipe Tom! Thanks for sharing. While I only dunked some crackers into the hummus, I'm going to slather it on a turkey sandwich next. I bet that will work well! A buddy of mine had a cool comment about this recipe. He said it tastes like smoked peanut butter.