Tuesday, May 25, 2010

recipe: chickpea fritters

Is there anything the chickpea can't do? I have used them in countless recipes and purchased so many cans, that I finally got hip to the jive and started buying bags of dried beans instead. If you are afraid of dried beans, I am here to say: fear not. I make every bean (chickpeas, black, kidney) the same way. Empty the bag into the crockpot and cover with a generous amount of water. Soak for 8-12 hours. Drain water, put beans back into crockpot, cover with another, equally generous amount of water, and cook on low for another 8 hours. Let beans cool in the water, then place them into containers and freeze until you're ready to use. (I use smaller containers, just big enough for two cups of beans each). Easy as pie. Or beans. Anyway, you get the point.

That was quite the tangent, because this recipe doesn't even call for whole chickpeas. No, it calls for chickpea flour, which I had never cooked with. (I actually had to use Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Fava Flour, because that was the best Nacogdoches could do. Worked just fine!) This recipe was a pleasant surprise - savory, with a definite egg-like feeling, gluten free, and endlessly adaptable to any number of fillings (I'm already brainstorming what to add to it next). It's also a really quick, easy weeknight meal, so long as you remember to mix the ingredients and stick them in the fridge to chill before you go to work in the morning. We'll definitely be making this meal again - thanks to the No Meat Athlete for passing it along!

(Sorry about the super yellowness of these fritters - my oven light is not the brightest bulb in the box.) 

Chickpea Fritters
(from No Meat Athlete,  who got it from Clean Food by Terry Walters)
Serves 6 - 8 

2 cups chickpea flour (or garbanzo and fava bean flour!)
3 cups water
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1/4 red onion, minced
1 carrot, grated
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (I used one tsp of dried)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil for frying (I fried in my cast iron pan, which only required a spray of cooking oil)

 In a large pot over no heat, combine chickpea flour, water, salt, onion, carrot, rosemary and olive oil.  Whisking continuously, turn heat to medium and continue to whisk until mixture becomes quite thick (about 15 minutes).  Remove from heat and either whisk by hand or with a handheld blender to smooth out any lumps.

Oil 9 x 12-inch glass casserole and spread mixture evenly across the bottom.  Cool slightly, cover and refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours).  Remove from refrigerator, cut into thin strips and gently remove strips from casserole.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat large saute pan (cast-iron gives a nice crispy outer crust), cover the bottom in oil and fry fritters 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove from heat and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.  Keep fritters warm in the oven while you fry up the remaining strips.  Serve immediately.