English Mac and Chic
This is from the English cook Nigel Slater.
3 tbsp olive oil
2 med onion, 1 chopped and 1 cut into very thin rings
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups (1 box) chopped tomatoes
1/2 stick cinnamon
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4-1/3 c macaroni or other small pasta
1 c light cream
1 small green chili pepper (jalapeno, Serrano) seeded and sliced into very thin strips
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over med heat until the onions start to brown, maybe 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, Aleppo pepper or crushed chili flakes, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper to your taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes.
Fill a pasta or soup pot halfway with water, bring it to a boil, heavily salt it and add the macaroni. Cook until tender. Time depends on your shape but probably 8-9 minutes. Drain. Drain the chickpeas and rinse them. Stir them and the macaroni into the simmering tomato sauce and add the cream. Blend everything well. Remove the cinnamon stick, keep on low heat until serving.
In a small frying pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the sliced onion and green chili and cook over medium heat until they are crisp. Add the chopped parsley. Remove from heat. Serve by dividing the macaroni mix between 2 or 3 deep bowls and top with the fried onion mix.
I found this in a collection of recipes from one of the world's most fascinating places, at least for me: the mysterious world of Samarkand, Tashkent and Bukhara. This bit of home-cooking from the rich Fergana Valley that includes Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is an easy and delicious way to taste it all.
1 lb beef stew meat, cut in cubes
1 tbsp all purpose flour
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp ghee
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 cups strained tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
2 c beef broth or water
1 14 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained well
1 bunch cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp coarsely chopped basil leaves
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves or 1 tsp dried (Turkish would be most authentic)
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 lemon, juice
Put the flour in a small bowl and toss the beef in it. Season the beef with salt and pepper while in the bowl. In a large heavy gauge casserole or Dutch oven, heat the ghee and brown the beef, in batches if necessary to have each piece touch the bottom of the pan. When it's browned, add the garlic, stir and cook 60 seconds. Add the tomato, bay leaf and 2 cups cold water or broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, voer the pan and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Cook til the meat is tender. Stir in the chickpeas, herbs and lemon juice. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve with a sliced chili pepper to add at the table.
Turkish Chickpea Stew
2 tbsp ghee or 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 sm red onions, halved and sliced into thin strips
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cumin seed, crushed with the back of a knife
1 tsp fennel seed
2 tsp ground Aleppo pepper
2 tsp sugar
2 14 oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
14 oz chopped tomatoes (boxed or canned is fine)
1 sm bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 lb baby spinach leaves
salt and pepper to your taste
To serve: 1 lemon, the juice
1/4 c thick yogurt (4-5 tbsp)
In a medium size heavy pan, heat the ghee or oil/butter over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and spices and cook until the onions begin to brown. Lower heat if anything is burning. Stir in tomatoes and sugar. Add chickpeas and brown them lightly. Add parsley, salt and pepper. Heat thoroughly. Toss the spinach leaves on top, cover the pan, cut off the heat and let the leaves wilt in the steam, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the stew to a serving bowl, add the fresh lemon juice and serve with a dollop of yogurt for each person.
Spanish Chorizo with Chickpeas
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, as dry as possible
4 oz. chorizo, diced
½ lb. spinach, roughly chopped
¼ cup sherry
1 to 2 cups bread crumbs
Heat the broiler.
Put 3 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet large enough to hold the chickpeas in one layer and get it hot over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until chickpeas begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add chorizo and continue to cook 5 - 8 minutes until chickpeas are crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chickpeas and chorizo from the pan and set aside.
Add the remainder of oil to the pan. When it’s hot, add the spinach and sherry, salt and pepper to your taste. Over med/low heat, cook spinach until it’s very soft and its liquid has evaporated. Put the chickpeas and chorizo back in the pan and toss quickly to combine everything. Top with breadcrumbs, drizzle with a bit of oil over them. Put the pan under the broiler for 30 seconds to lightly brown the top. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Chard and Chickpeas
2 1/2 lbs chard, stemmed and chopped
4 tbsp good quality olive oil
1 med onion, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 tsp Aleppo or chipotle chili powder
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1/2 c dark raisins or currants
2 c (15 oz can) cooked chickpeas, drained
1 lemon, cut in wedges
Put 2 c of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add chard and push leaves into the water so they all cook evenly. Lower heat to low and cook until leaves are tender, 5-6 minutes.
In a medium skillet, warm the olive oil and over medium heat sauté the diced onion until it's translucent and soft, maybe 5 minutes. Don't burn. Stir in the tomato paste, then the cilantro leaves, Aleppo pepper, walnuts, chard, raisins, salt and black pepper to your taste. Blend well. Gently stir in the chickpeas and cook just until everything is hot. Serve with lemon wedges.
Persian Lamb in Bulgur with Chickpeas
This can be made ahead and reheated.
serves at least 4
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp corn, canola, safflower or any veg oil
3 med onions, diced
2 lbs lamb shanks, trimmed
2 c beef broth or water
1 1/2 c large bulgur, rinsed
2 c (15 oz can) cooked chickpeas
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste
To Serve: thick yogurt, chopped cilantro and tomato wedges
In a medium nonstick saucepan, melt butter. Add oil. Add onion and sauté over med/low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add lamb shanks. Roll them in the butter and brown them on all sides.
Add broth/water, bring to a boil. cover and reduce heat to med/low again. Cook 90 minutes or until meat is almost falling off the bone. Remove the lamb to a cutting board. Remove the bones, trim off excess fat and cut the meat into bite-sized chunks.
Measure the liquid remaining in the saucepan and add enough water to have 2 3/4 cups liquid in the pan. Add bulgur, chickpeas, spices, salt and pepper, then the lamb. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat to low, over and cook about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, keep covered and let it steam/rest 10 minutes.
Serve in a large bowl garnished with cilantro and lemon wedges and serve with a dollop of yogurt on top.