Friday, July 22, 2011

Chickpea Croquettes

A family friend recently told me about this amazing site: The concept is simple. You enter ingredients you have lying around the house. Then you can add ingredients you don't like or prefer to stay away from. Click "enter" and up pops a load of recipes, complete with grocery lists, amazing pictures and descriptions. The last two nights, I have found my dinners on here. The best part is I feel like I am actually using everything in my fridge. An added bonus is that most of the recipes come from random food blogs, so not only am I finding good food, but I'm finding great new places to peruse online. Three cheers for more excuses to waste time on the computer!!!

Anyway, this recipe is amazing. Super easy and healthy and so full of taste you can hardly stand it. It is also friendly to our vegetarian buddies and family members. It's definitely something that will be crossing my table (on the way to my belly) again.

Chickpea Croquettes
recipe from here

1 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c hot water
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 t ground cumin
1 1/2 t salt
15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained well
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 habanero or jalapeno, minced (optional, no thanks for me)
3 garlic cloves , minced
2 T chopped cilantro leaves
3 T olive oil

I started by mixing together the flour, water, cumin and salt. (I was also supposed to add the lemon juice at this point. I did a few minutes after taking the picture once I realized my mistake.)

I then did all of my chopping: garlic, scallions, bell peppers, and cilantro. I also rinsed the chickpeas and patted them dry and then dumped everything into the bowl. I stirred for a few minutes or until everything was combined together. The dough-like substance is very wet. Don't worry, that's ok. Also, one other note. I had a mix of red, orange and yellow bell pepper slices left over from my curry dish, so I just used those rather than only red bell peppers.

Next, I heated up about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and then made 4 patties using my hands and dropped them in the hot oil. I was very inconsistent with my patty sizes (boo me), but basically you want to make a cup with your hand and for the dough to not quite fill up the palm of your hand. Very scientific I know.

I experimented with the best way to cook these guys (because you have to do two batches, or 8 patties), but I found the best way to be as follows. Drop your sticky patties into the oil and let them cook for about a minute until the bottom forms a solid surface. Then flip them over and using a large spatula, flatten the patties until they are about a 1/2 inch thick. Let the second side cook for another minute, then flip again. Let the first side cook for about 3-4 more minutes, then flip and let the second side cook for 3-4 more minutes until both sides are nice and crispy. I know it seems like a big hassle to do so many flips, but it's impossible to shape the patties in your palm because they are so sticky. This way, the patties seemed to cook evenly and were the right thickness.

Once the patties were done (about ten minutes per batch), I placed them on a paper towel-covered plate to absorb the excess of the oil.

I then served the croquettes with sour cream and corn on the side. Bf also had some salsa and red pepper flakes on his patties and said the combo was delicious. Next time, I'd probably choose a greener, leafier vegetable, but the meal was delicious either way.

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