Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Simply Spiced Fried Chick Peas

First a confession. I ate a whole batch of these in one sitting! They are wholly addictive! I'm not sure if the nutritional benefit of chick peas is completely offset by the fact that they are deep fried, but I'm going to cling to thinking that this is a healthy snack. I like to keep chickpeas around the house to make hummus - being allergic to sesame means I can't buy it already prepared at the store. But, I enjoy that so much I end up eating way too many pita chips. Sigh.
When I stumbled upon the inspiration for this snack, I was excited to have another use for the pimenton my sister had given to me as a gift a few years earlier. The first place I tried substituting it was in a Chicken Paprikas dish, and it was not a good idea. Waaay too overpowering when it was the primary spice. But, for this salty bar snack, the pimenton is perfect.

Simply Spiced Fried Chick Peas

One 15 oz can chick peas, or equivalent amount of dried beans
1 Cup canola oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 - 2 teaspoons pimenton

1. Thoroughly rinse, drain and dry chick peas by setting over colander with paper towel for several hours, or overnight. If you are in a hurry, as I often am when the urge strikes to make this snack, spread chick peas in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in 250 oven for about 20 minutes.

2. Heat oil in small, deep sauce pot over medium high heat. Add a single chick pea to the oil as it heats up. When the chick pea begins to sizzle, you'll know the oil is at the right temperature.

3. Add half of the chick peas to the oil and fry for ~10 minutes. Keep a close eye to avoid burning. Remove (with a high temp safe utensil!) and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining chick peas.

4. Toss hot, drained chick peas with salt, pepper and pimenton. Share with friends if you can keep from eating them all yourself!

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