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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Chickpean Smash


Have you ever had a moment when you realized how easy it is to make something you never made before and you want to slap your palm up to your forehead?  Making this chickpea smash was one of those recipes.  I cannot believe I never thought of this before. And it happened almost by accident.  I was cooking a batch of chickpeas to make with brown rice and I cooked them down a bit too much until the cooking liquid had nearly evaporated.  When I went to stir the batch, the chickpeas started to get smashed.  It was then that the idea came to me, why not smash them down into a sort of mash/smash, kinda like a "refried" bean consistency?  Voila! My smash was created.

While it is more economical to use dried beans and cook them yourself, I will tell you, cooking garbanzo/ceci/chickpeas from scratch is not that easy.  They are the one bean you absolutely MUST soak overnight.  They take forever to cook too.  So I use canned chickpeas, they generally are always meaty, never mushy.  I prefer the Goya low-sodium variety especially since I tend to use the canned liquid as part of my cooking to create a "gravy" of sorts.  

This recipe comes together with only a handful of ingredients and a minimal amount of time in prep and hands on cooking.  A blend of salt-free Italian seasonings, some roasted garlic if you have it or fresh garlic that you saute.  Olive oil.  2 cans of chickpeas and the secret ingredient, smoked paprika to give it a deep, smokey infused flavor.  A bit of diced sun-dried tomatoes work well in this recipe too, if you like and are allowed to eat them.


Chickpea Smash Ingredients:
  • 2 Tablespoons Best Quality Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves - minced (roasted garlic if you have it made or raw to saute)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Salt-Free Italian Seasonings (or seasonings of choice)
  • 2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika - divided
  • 2- 16 ounce cans chickpeas - with their liquid
  • Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Directions:
  1. In a medium (3-4 quart) sauce pot,  heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers.  Add in the garlic and saute until it is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  
  2. Add in the seasonings and paprika and saute for 1 minute to bloom the seasonings.
  3. Add in the 2 cans of chickpeas, with the canning liquid and stir to incorporate.  Bring the mixture to a boil the reduce heat down to a simmer and cover the pot.
  4. Check pot occasionally and stir the mixture.  Allow the beans to cook for half an hour to 45 minutes, or until the liquid has nearly evaporated.  You may have to remove or tip the pot lid a bit to allow the steam to evaporate.  
  5. Once the mixture has cooked down and the liquid has absorbed into the beans and evaporated, season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. 
  6. Using the back of a wooden spoon or a hand-held potato masher, smash the beans down until they are smashed but not completely smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, olive oil and smoked paprika as needed.  If you have any roasted garlic on hand, add in a tablespoon of the garlic to enhance the flavor.
  7. Serve hot or warm as a side dish instead of potatoes!  Server over brown rice and top with vegetables. 





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