Archive for the 'snacks' Category

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 | 5 Comments »

Apple or Peach Fritters

Apple fritters 6 Apple or Peach Fritters

The apples are coming. The peaches are here.

I know it’s early – someone said August is like the Sunday afternoon of summer – but bins of apples are arriving in farmers’ markets alongside late summer peaches – and both make me want to eat fritters. This colossal Sundaynightitis and the mere suggestion of shorter days and cooler nights triggers my need for comfort food something fierce.

Apple fritters 2 Apple or Peach Fritters

These photos should be out in an orchard, on a rustic wood board with apples that still have their stems – and maybe an ever so slightly curled leaf – for optimal effect. But it’s one of the last of the vintage dinette tabletops – the pink and blue so many art directors I know shudder to see peeking out from under my food – and at the bottom, a scrap of the material that’s now on our ceilings. And I’m getting all sniffy at the thought that the table might not be going back – I’m thinking a big slab of butcher block will warm up the room and be nice to shoot on.

Sniff.

Apple fritters 1 Apple or Peach Fritters

All good Canadians are familiar with the apple fritter – one of the most popular doughnuts at our biggest doughnut chain – but if you haven’t tried a peach fritter, you must. Just make sure you let them cool a bit – juicy peaches tend to retain their heat longer than apples.

Apple or Peach Fritters

If you’re feeding a crowd, this recipe can be easily doubled.

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup apple cider or milk
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. melted butter or oil
1 tart apple or ripe peach, finely chopped (don’t peel it)

canola or peanut oil, for frying
icing sugar or cinnamon sugar, for dusting

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the cider or milk, egg and melted butter and whisk just until combined. Stir in the chopped apple or peach.

In a heavy medium saucepan, heat a couple inches of oil over medium-high heat. When a scrap of bread sizzles when you dip it in, drop a few small spoonfuls of batter at a time into the oil, without crowding the pan. Flip as they turn golden, and continue to cook until golden on the other side. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Douse in cinnamon sugar or icing sugar while still warm. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

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August 26 2014 | breakfast and snacks | 2 Comments »

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