Sunday, May 03, 2009

Chickpea Fries

So, I think my photographer is on strike.

It's not like I haven't been cooking. It's not like some of the meals weren't beautifully plated on my sage green dishes from Vintage Heaven. They weren't all beautiful, to be sure, but surely some of them were? Surely.

Sigh. Guess not.

In light of that I have a few options. Let the blog languish until the walkout ends, renegotiate the terms and conditions or slog on without photos.

No photos it is.

So. Chickpea fries. So odd. I first saw them here and thought I can make those. But the recipe isn't exactly clear. Water. Chickpea flour. 2-1. But if you read the notes it's not clear which is the 2 and which is the 1. It could work either way. It could flop either way. So which way is it? Not sure so I made both.

And it turns out C liked them both. In fact, I rather think he liked the 'wrong' ones best.

Experiment I

1 cup water
1/2 cup chickpea flour

Whisk together. Add some ground pepper, salt and olive oil. Cook, stirring constantly until the dough turns into a ball. Remove from heat and punch out on plate so that it's relatively flat. Chill. Realise that this looks nothing like the custard promised in Bittman's recipe. Refuse to be defeated, or throw something out. Continue with recipe. Cut into frie-like sticks and pan fry. Sprinkle with salt and eat as a snack whilst C prepares thai fishcakes (excellent).

Experiment II

Make dip: one finely chopped onion and 8 cloves of garlic, gently cooked in olive oil over low low lowest of low heat until golden and fragrant. Squish and mix with salt and pepper into Greek Yogurt. Set aside.

1 cup chickpea flour
2 cups water

Whisk til smooth. Add pepper, salt and a glug of olive oil. Turn heat on low and mix like crazy with a spoon (not a whisk it will get glumpy. Glumpy is the technical term. Look it up.) until the batter is the consistency of thick pancake batter. Pour it quickly into your cooling pan (I used a roasting pan with baking paper in it) and leave it to cool and firm up in the fridge. An hour or so later, take it out, cut into shapes (If I'd had cookie cutters I'd have used them here) and fry in olive oil until goldeny- burnt. Eat with prepared dip.

Experiement I was dry and almost cracker like. Experiment II was definitely what Bittman had in mind- custardy inside- and quite delicious. C liked both but my clear favorite was II. Will definitely make these again. Especially as I have more chickpea flour and not many more uses for it.

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