Show of hands: How many of you remember the Halloween Haunted House party of youth? The one where blindly reaching into bowls of cut-up grape eyeballs, spaghetti brains, and whatnot was beyond cool? While I’m not knocking fun games and treats for the kiddos (’cause how cute are these?), there comes a certain age when food needs to at least hint at sophistication. (Don’t take me too seriously, here. I love Peeps, remember?)
Paging through Dash Magazine, I stopped at the last recipe on the last page for a closer look. At first glance, the feature–on ways to use canned beans–seemed average. Dip, chili, been there, done that. But the recipe for lime chile-roasted chickpeas got me thinking. Roasted chickpeas (aka garbanzos) intrigue me as they seem a healthy way to get a crunchy salt fix satisfied. You’ve even found roasted chickpeas here before.
I had limes, spices, and chickpeas on hand. Clearly this recipe needed to be made.Instead of using canned chickpeas, I cooked up dried as that’s always my first choice. (better texture!) Though instead of simmering for hours, I dusted off my pressure cooker. Worked like a charm–after a two-hour “quick soak” (combine dried beans and lots of water in a covered pot, bring water to a boil, turn off heat, soak 2 hours, drain), the pressure-cooker treatment took only about 30 minutes of stovetop time. (The beans cooked in only 20 minutes, but it took time to build pressure and also release at the end.)
Besides the way-better texture of beans cooked from scratch, I prefer to cook them myself for the broth. Ladling the cooking water into ice-cube trays and freezing gives me plenty of “broth” cubes for future soups, sautés, and the like.
Instead of using only the traditional brown chickpeas, I also threw in black garbanzos, which I finally purchased after seeing them repeatedly here in the blogosphere. I used 1/2 cup each brown and black and cut the cayenne in half just to be safe. Next time, I’ll add the full 1/2 teaspoon as the heat was less intense than I’d expected. Once the dish was done, I realized I had a snack perfect for a Halloween party as it looks a bit messy and dark. Pebbles and dirt anyone? Candy corn stir-in optional.