Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Roasted Chickpeas

There are some food experiences in life that change the eating game forever. 

Like when you dunked that first Oreo into some cold milk and realized - you will never not dunk again.  Or the first time you were brave enough to take that little bottle of Tabasco and shake some onto your fried egg - the scales fell away from your eyes and the whole world seemed more beautiful, more vibrant and you wondered how you ever lived before. 

This is one of those moments. 

So we all have these lurking in our pantry. I like them well enough. I actually like them a lot, but besides putting them on salads and in cold pasta - I don't really do much else with them. I don't make my own hummus because I am strongly apposed to having my own jar of tahini in the house - that's just TOO far. 

But back to cans of chick peas - do yourself a favor... make two. 

Open your cans and drain them. I rinse mine (because they weren't low sodium and bean juice can make me feel weird. Then you dry dry dry them off.  You can rub them between two dishtowels. 

I made a brilliant move of "covering" my colander with a paper towel and shaking them. - My kids laughed so hard when the beans came flying out and went rolling all over the place. Genius Move, Mom! 

Then you coat the beans / peas in olive oil.  You don't want to be skimpy here, this is what is going to make them crispy. Aim for a ration of 1TB oil to 1 Can of chickpeas. 

You could probably be super professional and put them in a bowl and mix them up, or in a baggie, but that would just be another dish to wash in my life, so I put them on my roasting cookie sheet, poured the oil over them and then rubbed them all around with my hands. (I really didn't want to do another dish)

So once they are all oiled up and laying so nicely in a single layer on your roasting pan, put them into a hot 400 degree oven and roast them for 20 - 30 minutes.  You'll want to stir them around after about 10 minutes. (The timing will depend on how dry you got them - you'll want to wait for them to darken a bit - and I promise you -- They'll start to look "crispy")

Sprinkle the spices over the chickpeas and stir to coat evenly. A few chickpeas may pop – that’s normal.

You don't want to season them before you roast them, because the spices won't "roast" they'll burn and burnt spices are just gross and you'll think that I told you a lie about how fabulous these are. 

 Serve while the chickpeas are still warm and crispy. They will gradually lose their crispiness as they cool, becoming addictively chewy.

Since this was my first test-run. I stayed pretty safe with the seasonings.  I used sea salt, some garlic powder, pepper, chili powder and a tiny bit of cayenne pepper. 

I have since used - curry (OH SO GOOD!), taco seasoning (yup), ranch mix (don't judge). My kids want to try cinnamon and sugar, but we'll see - I am on such a roll. 

I even made these babies - which are my roasted chick pea masterpiece... My boys go crazy for these awful super spicy tortilla chip roll-up junk of chemicals and Bright Bright Redness. It horrifies me that they eat these, actually. But they insist they are delicious and they crave them - so I totally MADE them. 

So I roasted 2 cans of chickpeas, and when they came out, I doubled the seasonings. Instead of using 2-4 tsp seasonings for 2 cans. I was easy at 5-6 tsp.  I used garlic salt, (but no regular salt), chili powder, smoked paprika, and then a ton of cayenne... like hurt my nostrils a bit amount - and then (the secret!) Lemon pepper. That is what gave it the citrus zing. All 4 of my teenagers stood around the counter and at them until they were gone. I rescued this small amount for a photo - but it was immediately consumed too.  

These are going to change your snacking life.