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chickpea fries, and 7 years

June 24th, 2013 | 5 Comments »

It’s hard to keep writing a food blog for seven years, which is how long my little spot on the Internet has been around. Began in June of 2006, when food blogs raised an eyebrow of question rather than a simple nod of understanding, I never anticipated that this place would become the launching pad for so much enrichment in my life. Or so much frustration.

And with such an intense saturation of food blogs, with clamoring voices, ubiquitous styles, and everyone trying to find a way to stand out, my page just keeps plugging along in the only way I know how. It’s just me and my food.

I’m not sure what to think sometimes about this genre I’m in; nowhere have I found such community, but at the same time, such cutthroat and undermined competition, with everyone trying to shout from their platforms about the latest and greatest and most delicious and unique recipe they can conjure up. There is a great deal of wonderful food out there to find, and I love the fact that so, so many blogs focus on whole foods, with good health through eating. I love to experiment with foods, to try everything at least once and cook foods differently than normal to find out what I can fall in love with and eat forever, and what I don’t need to try again. Because when you’ve been a total food nerd for as long as I have, reading obsessively through news sites, magazines and the like for inspiration, you stretch a great deal in your kitchen. And my love for reading about food in every manner has led me down a few amazing paths with my food. Sometimes long before others even get a glimmer on their radar.

Right now, as people are roasting spring radishes and crowing about how wonderful it is to discover this new way to eat them, I think back to 2011, the amazing Roasted Radish & Caramelized Onion Tart that I enjoyed, and I’m glad that I thought to stick a pan of them in the oven and see what happened. Do try that tart. It’s incredible. I bet you’ve got a bunch of radishes in your kitchen right now.

And it was way back in 2008 that I discovered Robin Asbell’s Whole Grains Cookbook, and began an exploration of these grains that I often had to search high and low for to complete the recipes. The binding in that cookbook is long broken, and the pages fall open to favorites and now, everywhere, these grains are deeply loved and explored and widespread (and also, SO MUCH cheaper than in 2008, thank goodness. I think the first time I bought quinoa it was well over $10/pound) I dance with joy for that. That cookbook changed my life, and it’s fascinating, and exciting to have watched the explosive growth of these powerful nutritional foods become so mainstream.

It’s way harder now to try and put something unique and unusual on my blog, but that’s a good thing. I love the sharing we all do. Information is best when passed hand to hand, and from one home cook to the next so we can all take our own personal means of re-creating it. I don’t understand those who hold their recipes too tightly, who refuse to allow anyone to use them and spread the word about how wonderful they are. Photos, sure; that’s a no-brainer. But good food, with pure ingredients and a simple hand to prepare is one of life’s best and most satisfying pleasures. Food blogging is the new millennium means of chatting over the back fence. We need to spread the love more.

These Chickpea Fries were a wonderful discovery, and with the readily available purchase of garbanzo bean flour, it was so easy to put forth. A bit like polenta, after it’s chilled, cut and seared in a pan, these Chickpea Fries are a great snack, appetizer or side dish for anyone. They’re gluten free and simple to make, even easier than polenta itself. They just need time in the refrigerator to chill before you cook them. Make them in the morning for your dinner, or late afternoon snack. The recipe from Steve Raichlen was first published in Food & Wine magazine way back in 1998. Let’s get this terrific and delicious recipe moving through the Internet a bit more, shall we??


Chickpea Fries

2 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. olive oil
2 c. chickpea flour (about 1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (I added thyme and oregano as well; my favorite trifecta)
2 garlic clove, minced fine
1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Prepare an 8×8 baking pan by spraying with cooking spray. Make a sling from parchment paper to cover the bottom and drape over two sides, then spray the parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, sauté the garlic in a drizzle of olive oil over medium-low heat until fragrant and soft, just a minute or two. Add the water, the 1/4 cup olive oil, fresh herbs, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the chickpea flour until fully incorporated (it will become very thick, very fast- have a good heavy spoon). Remove from heat and scrape into prepared pan. Using a piece of plastic wrap over your hand, spread the dough out evenly in the pan and smooth the top.  Press the plastic wrap over the dough to seal out any air and place in refrigerator for up to six hours, or overnight, to chill.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 425°. If you have a pizza stone, you can use that for extra crunch on the fries. Place it in the oven to heat.

Remove the chickpea dough from the pan using the parchment sling, and gently place it on a cutting board, peeling away the paper. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into strips, then cut again in to desired shape for fries. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over them and spread it on the fries with your hands. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt, if desired. Place one by one on hot pizza stone.

{{Alternately, if you have no pizza stone, place the fries on a baking sheet and drizzle with the oil}}

Bake the fries for 30 minutes, turning them over halfway through baking time. Serve with desired dip.


Steve Raichlen’s original recipe found HEREThis blog post was written and modified with a different cooking method,
HERE on this site

5 responses to “chickpea fries, and 7 years”

  1. So glad you posted this recipe. I had some chickpea fries from a food truck in Austin recently, and I have been wanting to make my own.
    Congrats on seven years on the blog!

  2. […] (above); honey-ginger rhubarb crisp; chickpea fries; raspberry cinnamon rolls (vegan); black velvet apricot upside-down cake; lime and coconut pie; […]

  3. Love! I also love that their French name is Panisse. That means you have great Panisse Panache, Kate 🙂

  4. I’m so glad you posted this recipe, I’ve been thinking about it since seeing it on instagram!

  5. Mellissa says:

    Congrats on 7 years! That is quite a feat.