Hail Mary!

by Sarah on June 26, 2011 · 9 comments

Last week, I wrote this guest post for Leila @ Spinach & Skittles, and committed some sort of guest blogging faux pax by not letting you know about it so you could be directed to click over to her blog and “see” her (or me…at her place). If you get a chance, go on over and give her some love by way of a comment or two. If you visit my original guest post you can also see where she calls me a famous blogger. And you can laugh at that like I did. :)

P.S. I’m not a True Blood viewer, but I hear it premieres tonight, and if you are looking for a “blood” themed recipe, well…here you are!


Leila and I formed our blogger bond over a number of things: we’re both teachers, swear by our Contigo travel coffee mugs, love Arrested Development, spill things when cooking,* are generally awesome…and, most importantly, have a shared understanding of the greatness that is Trader Joe’s Horseradish Hummus.
*Although she throws them away. I may or may not, depending on the situation.
I first had this hummus at the insistence of my friend Erin when I lived outside of D.C. Not really knowing what horseradish was, but being generally scared of it for reasons I’m still not sure of,* I was hesitant to taste.
*It might have had something to do with the horse crossed with a radish on the label? Maybe?

But I fell in love.

Over Christmas last year, I returned to the East Coast and was able to once again taste the surprising yumminess that is this bizarre sounding (and scary to most people) hummus, and, after endearing my father to it, declared that I would one day recreate it. Seemed easy enough, right? It couldn’t be more than horseradish and a can of chickpeas mixed together.
But I suffer from middle-child, “Look at me! Look at me!”* syndrome, and I can never settle for a simple. I have to take it over the top. So that got me thinking…where else does one use horseradish? And that logically led me to hangover cure for the masses, originated at the St. Regis in NYC and now found on brunch buffets the world over (and on most national and international flights): the Bloody Mary.
*Yes, that was a quote from 10 Things I Hate About You. Thanks for noticing.

I’m actually not that big of a drinker, so I have no idea how I knew to even associate horseradish with the tomato-based concoction, but I have since learned that its existence in the mix is actually a rather controversial topic. But I really couldn’t care less about that.What no one can argue is the need for a little Lea & Perrins (or your other, perhaps more inexpensively purchased, Worcestershire sauce) and tomatoes. As I intended to make hummus, there was also no denying the need for a can of garbanzos. Should you choose to use a different white bean, you will no longer have my permission to call it hummus. Instead, you must call it (the yes, more alliterative) Bloody Mary Bean Dip. Hummus isn’t hummus without a chickpea.Cayenne pepper, minced garlic, salt, pepper, horseradish, and Worcestershire all go into the mix, along with an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce. Juice a lemon straight into the bowl for a little brightness to round out the flavor.Technically, I guess we should call this a Virgin Mary hummus, as I didn’t actually put any vodka in it. But I’m not stopping you from doing so. It might make your party all that much more fun. [Or your Tuesday night. Whatever.]The tomato sauce and the lemon juice make this a pretty smooth hummus. It’s not too thin for dipping, however, and it will thicken up with time and a little chill-out in the fridge.

[You can see that it will still grip the sides of a glass.]

Right now you might be thinking, “That’s all well and good, Sarah, but the one thing I know to be true is you can’t have Buffalo wings or Bloody Marys without celery.” Why, I couldn’t agree more.

OK, so this might not the be most practical way to serve it…it’s certainly fun, right? And all of your guests can bond over having to maneuver their hands and pita chips into the glass! Just think: it’s the new and improved “did my hand just graze yours in the popcorn tub” first date icebreaker!

Fine. Maybe not. But you should still make this anyway. Especially if you, like me, think that shrimp cocktail really just exists so that we can eat cocktail sauce.

Bloody Mary Bean Dip
(Makes 1 1/2 cups)

1 15 oz. can garbanzo or other white bean
1 8 0z. can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (reduced sodium preferred)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish, according to taste
3-4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
celery sticks, for serving

1. Rinse and drain beans.
2. Combine beans with remaining ingredients in a food processor.
3. Process until smooth. [Mixture will be pretty “loose” but thicken up if stored in the fridge overnight.]
4. Serve with celery sticks or chips.