Wednesday, March 3, 2010

That'll Fix Her Up - Fried Chickpeas with Spinach & Chorizo

This past Saturday I slept late for the first time in recent memory. When I was finally able to drag myself out of bed, I enjoyed a lazy morning inside. I made myself a cup of coffee and turned on the TV to find that Julia Child's The French Chef was on. Julia was having an "omelette party" in her living room, cooking up dozens of omelettes on bunson burners. She listed her guests, and the kinds of omelettes she planned to create for them. "Oh there's my husband, spinach and cheese for him...there's so and so, ham and cheese for them," she said in her singsong voice, and then I heard her say, "And OHHHhhhhh here comes my Mother-in-Law, I'll give her a liver omelette, that'll fix her up."

I laughed so hard that coffee shot out my nose.

Oh, Julia! So enjoyable. I actually just finished her book, My Life in France, which was a birthday present from my sister. I loved it. It was amusing and entertaining. I couldn't believe I hadn't read it before. I highly recommend it.

On another note: thank you all so much for the words of encouragement after my post on knife skills. It's sometimes shocking to realize people actually read and recreate from this blog. It makes me very proud, and I'm always so happy to hear when people have enjoyed something, or have something to say about what was posted. And also, a huge thank you to Wendy. I opened up my blog email the other day to find a gift certificate to "Kitchen on Fire" from her. It was such a touching and thoughtful gift. Thank you so much, Wendy! It will be put to good use!

This Mark Bittman recipe caught my eye in The New York Times the other day: "Fried Chickpeas with Spinach and Chorizo." A totally affordable, quick and easy dish. I made it this weekend, and again tonight. I think it's going to become a regular around here. I tweaked it just a bit to my liking by increasing the amount of spinach called for, and also by adding lemon at the end. I think the lemon in particular adds some much-needed acidity to the dish. The best part of the whole thing? It's a one pan meal. Nothing better than that!

This recipe is easily amenable to for vegans /vegetarians. Just use soyrizo instead of chorizo. You can find it just about anywhere these days.

Fried Chickpeas with Chorizo & Spinach
adapted slightly from Mark Bittman

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, as dry as possible
Salt and black pepper
1/2 cup chorizo, diced
1 pound spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sherry
1 to 2 cups bread crumbs.
juice of 1 lemon

Heat the broiler.

Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet large enough to hold chickpeas in one layer over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add chickpeas, season with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until chickpeas begin to brown, about 10 minutes, then add chorizo. Continue cooking for another 5 to 8 minutes or until chickpeas are crisp; remove chickpeas and chorizo from pan and set aside.

Add the remainder of the olive oil to the pan; when it’s hot, add spinach and sherry, season with salt and pepper, and cook spinach over medium-low heat until very soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add chickpeas and chorizo back to the pan and toss quickly to combine; top with bread crumbs, drizzle with a bit more oil and run pan under the broiler to lightly brown the top. Once the top is browned, remove from the oven, and generously drizzle with the fresh lemon juice. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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