Intro: Vegan Mediterranean Taquito
Who says vegan doesn't mean junk food? You don't need animals to deep fry things, and here is a fun example of that. Simple simple dish of a lemony/garlicy hummus wrapped in a basil leaf and deep fried.
Whole fresh basil (biggest leaves you can find)
2 - 15.5 ounce cans of chick peas
Whole head of garlic
Step 1: Confiting the Garlic
Break up an entire head of garlic, but leave the paper skins on the cloves. Then gently poach the garlic in about a cup or so olive oil on very low heat for about 30 minutes. You don't want to fry the garlic, so if it seems to be cooking to quickly reduce the heat even more. What you want to do here is take the harshness out of the garlic while simultaneously flavoring the oil. If the oil is too hot, both it and the garlic will burn.
When you think the garlic is properly soft, test one by sticking the point of knife though the skin. If it goes in smooth, they're done. If not, let them cook for a few more minutes. When they're cooked remove the garlic from the oil, set them aside to cool and remove the skins.
The oil will be used to fry the taquitos later, so remove it from the heat and save it until you are ready to do that.
Step 2: Making the Hummus
In a food processor or blender, add the two cans of drained and rinsed chick peas, the confited garlic, 1 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/3-1/2 cup of tahini, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.
If it isn't reaching your desired level of smoothness, add a little water or a little more olive oil. Taste it often to adjust seasoning and flavors. Feel free to add more lemon juice or tahini to your liking.
You don't necessarily need to make this much hummus unless you're making dozens of these taquitos. But it's so easy to make, and so cost efficient, why not have a little more (or a lot more) lying around. Too much hummus is rarely a bad thing.
If you don't want to make your own hummus you can just buy a store bought plain hummus and add the garlic and lemon juice.
Step 3: Essembling the Taquitos
Remove a basil leaf from its stem and slice the bottom at the stem, and the top at the tip to make more of a rectangle shape (doesn't have to be perfect)
With the dull side of the leaf facing up spread a small amount of the hummus on the leaf. You don't want to over stuff the basil, but you do want to spread the hummus as evenly as you can. You do need some hummus at the very edge of the leaf or it won't stay together when you roll them.
Gently roll the leaf into a tube form. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be relatively even and sealed shut.
You can do this with any sized leaf you want, but the bigger the leaves the easier they are to work with.
Repeat this step with as many leaves as you like.
When you're done rolling, put the taquitos in the fridge for at least an hour, or even the freezer for about 25 minutes. If the hummus isn't really cold it will leak out when you fry it, so make sure you get it as cold as you can without completely freezing it.
Step 4: Frying and Finishing the Taquitos
When the taquitos are cold and firm, use two toothpicks and impale two similarly sized taquitos, leaving a good amount of space between the two. This step will ensure that the taquitos don't unravel while frying.
Heat the olive oil that you confited the garlic in to about 275 degrees. Olive oil will smoke and burn at really high heats. These only need to fry briefly, so no need to have the temperature any higher.
In batches of 3 to 4 pairs, carefully drop the taquitos into the oil and fry for 30-45 seconds. Flip and fry for another 30-45 seconds. Remove the taquitos from the oil, spread on a paper towel or draining rack and sprinkle some fine salt on them while their still hot.
Let cool for a few seconds, remove the toothpicks and serve immediately. The basil should be crispy and the hummus should be warm, but not too hot. If you let them sit for too long they can get soggy and pretty unpleasant.