Well, it has finally happened. I’ve put a face to the name. In many ways, it was like the time the Pioneer Woman got together with SmittenKitchen. In many ways, it wasn’t like that at all.
I guess I would be the Pioneer Woman, and Bridget from The Way the Cookie Crumbles would be Deb.
I mean, I am the one that lives on a farm (like Ree) with livestock (like Ree) and a husband that drives a tractor (like Ree).
Bridget is the one from the city (or, she flew out of a city?), who makes fancy foods, takes beautiful photos, and came to see me.
In many ways it wasn’t like the Pioneer Woman’s and SmittenKitchen’s meeting at all.
My food is nothing like Ree’s. I don’t have red hair. And I have an Omnivore for a husband, not a Malboro Man.
Bridget wasn’t pregnant (like Deb), doesn’t call NYC home, and didn’t really fly out to see me. She just happened to be on a work trip in a town nearby.
Those are details! I met The Way the Cookie Crumbles and aren’t you jealous!? I rode her around in my car (which is an SUV, which shocked her [how can she know so much about me?], but I redeemed myself with its hybrid status). I introduced her to my dear husband, and we all enjoyed a fancy dinner. I gifted her some pickled okra and hot pickled eggs (doesn’t that scream South Carolina?).
For appetizers at our fancy dinner, she ordered chicken liver pate. I ordered fried chickpeas. Fried chickpeas. Yeah, she was shocked too. They came beautifully golden and crunchy but bland. Tiny vessels of spices accompanied the peas but it would have been better if the salt and sumac had been cooked right onto the bean.
So, I recreated this dish at home, branny-fied it, and took it up a notch. The chickpeas are roasted, rather than fried. The spices coat the beans halfway through the cooking process instead of sprinkled on (dryly) at the end. The end result beats the original inspiration. Thank goodness Bridget came to town so that I could run across this delicious snack!
Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas (adapted from Cheap, Healthy, Good)
2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread chickpeas on a large baking sheet, patting moisture away with a cloth or paper towel if they are wet. Roast 15 minutes. Remove sheet pan from oven and roll around to redistribute beans. Roast 10 more minutes. Remove sheet pan from oven and toss chickpeas with olive oil and spices. Return chickpeas to baking sheet and roast 30 minutes more until crispy and browned.