Thursday, July 23, 2009

Check Out the Chickpea Chow

A great recipe is one that gives you many. This Chickpea Pan Pie was inspired by one of my favorite Culinary heroes, Mark Bittman. In one of his "go to" articles in the NY Times, he created a simple and healthy take on a Spanish Tapas from Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Flour, Water, a few shrimp and a handful of herbs. Since then, I've been using his ratio recipe over and over: equal parts chickpea flour and all purpose flour, add water till the mixture is like a pancake batter, then.... and that's where I have been going nuts! I've made this earthy, yet light and healthy, breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack Pan Pie with almost anything in my refrigerator. Once I had the batter made, I threw in onions, or fennel, chopped parsley, cilantro, dill or tarragon (just a little), or even sundried tomatoes. One night I had left over spinach so I threw that in with a few cubes of ham - my husband loved that one.

Chickpea this out; one cup of Garbanzos have 12 grams of fiber, 15 grams of protein and 80mg. of calcium. Those little nutty balls of heart-happy goodness work to lower your cholesterol, maintain steady blood sugar levels, and when added to brown rice or another whole grain can give you all the protein and complex carbohydrates of red meat, but without any of the bad-boy fats. Plus, if you make this with all Garbanzo Bean flour you even have a gluten-free dish.

These buttery marbles came from the Middle East, as did so many of our flavorful and healthy products. They're great in curries and hummus and baba ganoush - but my Southern California beach loving teenager will eat them like popcorn when I toast a sheet of them sprinkled with flavored salt or a spicy mix (use canned garbanzo's - drained and washed, then dried and spread on parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with favorite rub or spice mix, toast.)

The lovely luncheon entree above (that I barely got a picture of before I scarfed it down myself) was plumped full of wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, cilantro, parsley and garnished with whipped goat cheese and a wedge of a farmer's market golden yellow tomato. It took me all of 15 minutes to put this together and another 15 to heat and serve. Hope you have as much fun experimenting with this basic recipe as I have, lately. I'd love to hear about your Chickpea Chow.

CHICKPEA/GARBANZO BEAN PAN PIE w/wild mushrooms and onions.

1/2 small onion chopped
1/2 cup dried mushrooms
2 tbls. olive oil
1/4 cup of cilantro and parsley, chopped
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
salt, pepper

In a saute pan over Med. heat, warm the oil, then add the onions and slowly cook while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
In a cup of warm water, soak the dried mushrooms to reconstitute them (you can also use fresh).
In a bowl, mix both flours together with the salt and pepper. Add a bit of water and stir into a paste so the flours will not lump. Then, continue to add enough water until the batter is like pancake batter, just slightly thick.
Set aside so the flours can soak up the moisture while you drain the mushrooms, discard the mushroom water, and chop the mushrooms.
Add the mushrooms to the flour batter and stir to combine.
Pour the batter into the pan with the onions and stir until all ingredients have blended.
Leave the pan heating on Med/High until the center of the Pan Pie is not runny (about 3-5 minutes).
Carefully flip the pie over and continue cooking on the other side for about 3 minutes.
Slide the finished torte onto a warm plate and slice with a pizza roller.
Garnish with whipped goat cheese, and wedges of tomatoes.

1 comment:

Khali//Bandit and the Scene Stealers said...

Wow. That sounds amazing and easy. I am such a visual person so it really helps to see the photo (very nice) and see it written out. Sort of proof at how easy it is. I like mixing 1/2 cup garbanzo beans with 1/4 c sunflower seeds "and then"....that is where I go nuts. thank for this. can't wait to try.