Monday, March 20, 2017

Chickpeas Part Four

Spring has not quite sprung. Asparagus and rhubarb--traditional tonic foods--are dribbling into markets still stocked with winter squashes and greens. So this transition moment seems ripe for another around the world meditation on that little black dress of the kitchen: the always perfect chickpea. I still have more recipes like these, and haven't even begun to talk about the tasty treats to make with ground chickpeas (think falafel) or chickpea flour (think socca)!

Lebanese Fatteh
This is basically hummus deconstructed into its parts.

2 c cooked chickpeas, drained and heated in 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 cup water
2-3 lg garlic cloves, minced with a pinch of sea salt to a paste
1 ½ c plain thick (Greek) yogurt
¼ c chopped fresh mint leaves
Freshly ground black pepper to your taste
2 whole wheat pita breads
1 tbsp butter
¼ c pine nuts
lg pinch Aleppo or cayenne ground red pepper
 Preheat oven to 450º.
In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, mint and garlic paste. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
 Halve the pita breads horizontally and put on a baking sheet cut side up. Bake until they start to get crisp and turn a light brown. Remove and cool.
 In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the pine nuts until they’re golden, stirring so they don’t burn.
 In a large shallow serving bowl, break the pita into pieces and top with the warm chickpeas plus 1 tbsp of the lemon water they were cooked in to soften the pita. Top with the yogurt and then pine nuts. Garnish with more mint leaves and the red pepper to serve.

Moroccan Chickpea Soup

Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
1 med red onion, peeled and diced
¼ tsp caraway seed
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp fresh ground or cracked black pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp chopped tomatoes in their juices
1 tbsp tomato paste
juice of ½ lemon
pinch of saffron
2 sm potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 cup when done)
1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¼ cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped
1/8- ¼ tsp salt to taste

Heat oil in a medium casserole or soup pot over medium high heat. Add onion and caraway seed and sauté five minutes until onion is soft.  Add garlic and all spices and continue to sauté 30 seconds. Add broth, stir in
tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, lemon juice and saffron. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes, chickpeas and parsley.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in salt. Serve hot with lemon wedges and, optionally, a dollop of harissa, Tunisian chili sauce, or similar.

Punjabi Chole
serves 3-4
this is the easiest version 

1 15 oz can chickpeas (drained)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp oil
1⁄2 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp chaat masala*
1⁄4 tsp amchur powder (mango powder)
1⁄2 tsp red chili powder
lg pinch salt
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
2 tbsp water
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, green chilies and then onions. Sauté until onions turn golden and translucent. Add garam masala, red chili powder and amchur powder.
Sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add chickpeas and salt, cook another 2-3 minutes. Add 2 tbsp water, cover the pot and simmer 10 minutes. Uncover and add diced red onions and tomato. Cook 5 minutes.

*you can approximate this by roasting a few coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns and ajwain seeds, then grinding them with a pinch of rock or sea salt.
Eggs with Chickpeas
This is a riff on Shakshuka from Ottolenghi in London, for 4-6

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 tbsp harissa
1 13 -14 oz can chickpeas, drained
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
1/3 c Pernod (or Arak)
1 3/4 c chopped tomatoes (boxed or canned is fine)
1 3/4 c vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 eggs
3 oz soft goat’s cheese, broken into roughly 1" pieces
Dill, roughly chopped
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan for which you have a lid, on a medium-high flame. Fry the onion, carrot and fennel 15 minutes, stirring a few times, until soft and golden brown. Add the harissa, chickpeas and spices, stir through for a minute, then add the Pernod. Let it bubble for 30 seconds, then stir in the tomatoes, stock and a 1/2 tsp salt. Return to a boil, turn the heat to medium and continue to cook 25-30 minutes, stirring a few times and crushing some of the chickpeas, until the sauce is thick and rich.
Take off the heat, make six indentations in the mix, then crack an egg into each gap. Sprinkle the eggs with a generous pinch of salt, dot the goat’s cheese around and about, then cover and return to the heat for five to six minutes, until the egg whites are set and the yolks still runny. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with dill and serve.

Turkish Chickpea Patties
 serves 4

1  14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed and drained
4 tbsp olive oil
1 sm red onion, diced
2 tsp cumin seeds, crushed if possible
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Aleppo pepper or else paprika
1 sm bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 sm bunch dill, finely chopped
1 lemon, rind only finely chopped
1-2 tbsp white flour for dusting
salt and black pepper to your taste

For Serving
4 tbsp thick Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 med red onion sliced into rings, rings sliced in half for half moons
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 lemon sliced

Either process the chickpeas in a food processor or pound with a potato masher to make a paste out of them. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to make a paste. With a wooden spoon, beat in the onion and 3 spices. Add the parsley, dill and lemon rind, salt and pepper. Blend well. The mixture should be thick enough to handle.
Pick out enough chickpea mix to make a golf ball, then flatten it in the palm of your hand into a thick patty. Continue until all the mix is used up. Dust the patties slightly with a little flour.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a nonstick fry pan over medium heat. Put in as many patties as will fit in a single layer and fray them 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. These can be served hot or later at room temperature.

In a small bowl, beat the yogurt with the garlic and salt to your taste.
Arrange the hot chickpea patties on a serving platter and garnish with the half moon onion rings,  parsley and lemon slices. Drizzle the yogurt over them.  You can also tuck the patties, garnishes and yogurt into a pita for a variation on the falafel sandwich.

Persian Lamb and Bean Soup
serves 6

2 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs stewing lamb (leg or shoulder) in 1" chunks
1 lg onion, quartered
6 oz tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 limes, thickly sliced
1 tbsp bulgur
2 cups cooked chickpeas (14 oz can will due)
2 cups cooked red kidney beans
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper or lg pinch of cayenne
lg pinch ground cinnamon (1/8 tsp)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste
3 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
0ptional: 4 cups beef broth

In a med soup pot or large saucepan, heat butter and oil. Brown the meat and onions. Mix the tomato paste with 8 cups of water or 4 cups beef broth and 4 cups water and pour over the meat. Add bay life, limes and bulgur. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 1 1/2 hrs or until meat is just tender.

Add chickpeas, kidney beans, hot pepper, cinnamon, salt, pepper, potatoes and turmeric. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. (This is imperative.) discard the limes after squeezing them into the soup.  Serve with lavash or pita.

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