Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chickpea "Fries"

Just because I'm on a crazy diet doesn't mean I can't have an urge for a burger and fries.  And because I'm highly motivated to satisfy my cravings while sticking to the parameters of the diet I made it happen in a weird and wonderful way.

For burgers we had the very hearty and healthy Quinoa and Mung Bean Burgers from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen blog.  They are the people whose elimination diet I'm on so I figured they knew what they were doing.  With some avocado and sprouts they did the trick though without citrus they were a little bland.  Apparently I need to come up with a citrus substitute that doesn't lead to migraines.  Hmm.

Since I'm testing chickpeas to see if they cause a reaction (so far so good...yay!) I found a recipe for chickpea flour "fries" that seemed way too interesting to not try.  They are a little labor intensive but as a potato substitute, it is well worth the effort.  Next time I would mix something interesting directly into the batter though because they were hard to season after cooked.

This diet also has had the odd side effect of me craving odd things like Brussles sprouts which I was never a fan of before.  So I threw together some pan braised Brussles sprouts with some butternut squash thrown in to make then even tastier.   This randomly chosen flavor combination is one I keep recreating week after week.  I even got the fella to eat one Brussles sprouts while calling me "mom,"  I don't even think he tried to feed it to the dog.

Chickpea Fries

2 cups water
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

oil for frying

Put 2 cups of water in a medium pot on the stove to bring to boil.

Grease a small baking sheet with a rim and set aside.

When the water is boiling turn heat down to medium low and, slowly begin adding the flour in a bit at a time whisking well so no lumps form.  Continue this process until all the flour is combined with the water and you have a very thick polenta like paste.  Stir in the oil and salt and pepper at this point, mixing well.  Keep stirring as you let the mixture cook for one minute.

Turn the mixture out onto the greased baking sheet.  Careful it's super hot! If you have what I call "barista fingers" that can handle the heat, begin flattening out the mixture until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick.  If you are like my fella  and have lily white programmer's fingers you might need to press this mixture out with a barrier (like a silicone mat or greased parchment paper) between you and the hot goop because you really do need to work with this while it is still quite warm.

When you have it flattened out into a sheet of chickpea goo place the baking sheet in the fridge for 30 minutes or over night. 

When you're ready to eat the "fries" take them out of the fridge and use a pizza cutter to cut them into your preferred shape, the recipe suggests triangles but I wanted mine to cook faster and look like fries so I cut them thin.  Pour about 1/4 inch of oil in the bottom of a frying pan and bring up to temperature.  Fry the pieces of chickpea batter in small batches for about 3 to 4 minutes.  When they are slightly golden brown on the edges remove from oil to a plate covered with paper towel.  While they are still warm, sprinkle with salt or rosemary for added flavor.

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