Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hummusing

Okay, that title didn't totally work -- I was trying to combine the words "hummus" and "musing", to show that I was MUSING about HUMMUS... but it came out looking more like some odd version of "amusing".

Which I guess this post might be to some.

As most of my friends know, I am no fan of mayonnaise. In fact, I consider it one of the most vile concoctions in the condiment field, and I have long resented the seemingly widespread assumption in restaurants that if you are getting a sandwich or a burger, OF COURSE YOU WANT MAYONNAISE ON IT!!! Sad experience with many a ruined meal has led me to train myself to tell the waitperson several times, and very clearly, that I do NOT want mayonnaise on my food item. And that seems to work, most of the time.

I dislike mayonnaise so much that when Jim Lawson and I published "Planet Racers", we called our publishing company "Zeromayo" (get it?).

The one place I can tolerate mayonnaise is in tuna fish salad. I think it has something to do with the fact that the tuna flavor is so strong, it can overpower the horrible taste of mayonnaise. But the flavor of the mayo can still come through, especially if the mixer of the tuna salad has gone light on tuna and heavy on the mayo.

So I was happy this past summer when I decided to try an idea of mine which had been percolating my head for a few weeks. I'm not sure why this occurred to me, but one day I thought that I should try mixing hummus in my tuna fish salad instead of mayonnaise.

(Hummus, as fans of the spread know, is basically a mixture of finely-ground chickpeas and tahini, along with some other spices and things like lemon juice. It's great!)

I think the thought came to me because I realized that hummus is, in some ways, sort of like mayonnaise. Not in its flavor or worthiness as a food item (hummus is far superior to mayo in those areas), but -- especially when very finely ground -- in its consistency. I thought that maybe, just maybe, hummus might blend nicely with tuna fish.

And it does!

I substituted hummus for mayo in a batch of tuna salad, and it was great. The taste was better, and the whole mixture held together even better than it did with mayonnaise. And it is clearly a healthier alternative. So -- no more mayo in my tuna salad from now on.

And yesterday, I decided to try something a little more unusual. I'd made a mixture of tuna and hummus, with some finely-chopped up sweet red peppers and green peppers mixed in as well, a couple of days previous. I woke up yesterday thinking that I wanted to mix that with some eggs and scramble it for breakfast.

I wasn't entirely sure that the hummus would mix well with the eggs, but it did, brilliantly. I whisked them together (three large eggs and about a cup and a half of the hummus/tuna/veggies mixture) with a fork and within a minute or so had a smooth mixture which cooked up very nicely in the frying pan, looking for all the work like regular scrambled eggs (with a slight color difference). And they tasted…

… well, I was going to say "great", but I should be honest and say "good". The tuna didn't really work. It wasn't horrible, but the next time I do this it will be minus the tuna fish. I am happy to know that hummus and eggs blend so well, though -- this could lead to some very interesting omelets! -- PL

10 comments:

mikeandraph87 said...

Call me inspired to try humus in my salad! I wil lseriously try it!

I can relate. I can't stand cheese on anything except pizza which I love. Waiters and others assume it goes on just about anything like mayo. A shame. Not a fan of mayo either for the record.

exscind said...

I also love hummus and hate mayo!

But I hate tuna too, so I guess the similarities stop there.

- Austin V

Anonymous said...

Zeromayo. That's AWSOME!

I can't stand mayo either. I'll have to go find some Hummus and try that with the tuna salad.

Stephan said...

I love mayo, but I also love hummus. I'm totally trying this.

FF said...

I may buy some hummus and try it is it good by itself?

PL said...

"FF said...
I may buy some hummus and try it is it good by itself?"

It's a great dip (veggies, chips, pita bread), or spread (a hummus, lettuce and tomato sandwich is one of my favorites). -- PL

Shell Presto said...

Especially for sandwiches, you should try mixing tuna with Newman's Own Honey Mustard dressing.

It is, hands-down, my favorite tuna sandwich. I generally use the chunk white tuna when making it, as it holds a nice texture. And the Newman's Own brand is important, because the seeds in it add to the texture nicely as well.

PL said...

"Shell Presto said...
Especially for sandwiches, you should try mixing tuna with Newman's Own Honey Mustard dressing.

It is, hands-down, my favorite tuna sandwich. I generally use the chunk white tuna when making it, as it holds a nice texture. And the Newman's Own brand is important, because the seeds in it add to the texture nicely as well."

That's an interesting option. I have always been a bit leery of honey mustard, as the types I have tried have tasted suspiciously like mustard mixed with mayonnaise. So I generally steer clear of it. -- PL

Summer said...

I use hummus when I make a vegetable salad. I chop and mix a variety of veggies then add 2 tablespoons of hummus to blend it all together. It's delicious (and much more nutritious than mayo or salad dressing.) I've never tried it with tuna, though, so that's something I will have to do.

I love that there are a variety of flavors too. I like the spicy ones the best.

AJ Hines said...

Hello Mr. Laird!

I never thought of trying hummus and tuna together before, but love both. I'll have to give it a try!

If you hate mayo (and I do, but I love Miracle Whip, which is basically sweetened mayo), then sour cream is another good alternative for tuna.