Roasted Chickpeas with Chili & Lime

roasted chickpeas 1 Roasted Chickpeas with Chili & Lime

Amid a flurry of baking – I have another book manuscript due in a week – I decided that we should have something that’s not a scone/cookie/cinnamon bun to nibble on (crazy, I know), and I’ve been meaning to make another batch of roasted chickpeas since having the very best ones I’ve ever eaten at Rostizado in Edmonton. I could have happily eaten their crunchy/spicy/tangy bar snacks all night, and when I asked what made them so crazy good, they showed me a bottle of a Mexican spice blend that as far as I could tell contained merely chile powder, salt and lime.

I could do this.

roasted chickpeas 2 Roasted Chickpeas with Chili & Lime

Roasting chickpeas is really easy – all you do is drain a can really well and pat them dry as best you can – moisture is what keeps anything from getting nice and crispy – then sread them out on the darkest baking sheet you own (it will conduct heat more efficiently than lighter ones) and drizzle with oil and salt. Sometimes I add chili powder and cumin, but this time I added a squeeze of lime, then let them sit in the lime juice for a bit and patted them dry with paper towel before dousing in olive oil, chili powder and sea salt. Some weren’t quite as crunchy as usual, but I loved the flavour of the lime. Next time I’ll try leaving out the juice and just adding lime zest – I like a good crunch – and report back.

So you roast them at 425F for 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice, until they’re nice and golden and crunchy. This is the sort of snack that you have to serve right away – if you put them into a container and pull them out the next day – say to munch on the airplane – they might have developed the texture of wet paper towel.

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November 23 2014 | beans and snacks | 4 Comments »

Sausage Smothered in Red Cabbage with Cranberries

smothered sausage Sausage Smothered in Red Cabbage with Cranberries

Here’s a quickie for ya – this was one of those impromptu meals I had no intention of documenting, until it turned out as delicious as it did. It was a means of chipping away at the contents of my freezer in order to transfer everything to the new fridge, and a garlic sausage was the first to make its escape.

When Mike and I were younger – newly married and past the novelty of Eggos and Hamburger Helper (the things my mom smartly denied my sisters and I as kids) for dinner, I decided that since he was of Ukranian descent, I should make him big panfuls of kielbasa and cabbage. Though he had grown up on nothing of the sort (think KD and Twinkies – his family didn’t even like peroghies) he loved it (must have been in his blood), but at some point I got distracted and forgot how delicious it was.

And then my friend Elizabeth went on a trip to Poland, came home inspired and with a couple extra bottles of potato vodka, and invited us over for pickle soup (if you’re a fan of pickles, try this – I crave it now) and a big potful of bigos. Since then I’ve been craving a big, warming, eastern European sausage stew of sorts – something smothered with something else – and ’tis the season for cranberry sauce and cabbage, and simmering everything together so there’s only one pot to wash.

Sausage Smothered in Red Cabbage with Cranberries

canola oil, for cooking
a dab of butter
1 lb. kielbasa or garlic sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small head red cabbage, shredded
1 small onion, chopped
1 apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup cranberry sauce (or to taste)
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large, heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil and a blob of butter over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until it starts to brown.

Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until it softens. Add the cabbage and apple and cook, stirring often and covering with a lid, until soft. Add the cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar and continue cooking, stirring often, until thickened and softened.

Season with salt and pepper and serve warm. Serves 4.

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November 20 2014 | one dish and pork | 8 Comments »

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