Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chickpea Chili

More balls: this time, tiny ones. Otherwise known as chickpeas. And/or pixie testicles.

The very kind Roxanne took the time to email me this recipe, after reading me whine about the stupid boring tomatillo recipe I made a few weeks ago, and she assured me that the recipe she sent would put my tomatillos to MUCH better use.

And boy was she WRONG WRONG WRONG!!

Just kidding, Roxanne. Veganmofo!

Actually, I was rather surprised at how wonderfully flavorful this recipe was given the ease of preparing it. Mainly, all it requires is roasting a bunch of vegetables, blending them, and then throwing them in a pot with some chickpeas. How easy is that?

And the end result: DELECTABLE.

Now, I didn't use this chili in anything taco/burrito-ish the way the original recipe does. I just took it for lunches for the week as is. But I *DEFINITELY* think this would make a fantastic addition to a burrito.

Regardless, this chili is sweet and interesting and flavorful and yet somehow tastes healthy (probably because it is). It also smells FANTASTIC in every step of the recipe--from the roasting vegetables to the simmering chili. As I was cooking it, N-A kept commenting on how good it smelled, and once I tasted it, I forced a bite upon him as well, and he agreed that it was really quite tasty.

I don't know that I'd serve it up as plain ol' chili to friends or anything, since it moreso seems like a recipe that you'd add to ANOTHER recipe (and it doesn't make a whole helluva lot). But a big hell-yes to serving it at a party with some tortilla chips. Or on top of some nice plump burritos.

And also cool is the fact that this is actually a fairly forgiving recipe. And by that I mean: I have no clue whether I had remotely close to 2 lbs. fresh tomatillos, but it didn't matter. It was damn tasty regardless.

Roxanne also offered me these tips, which I pass along to you as well:

- Why strain the tomatillo mixture? Skip that unless you feel the need.

- Add a small Spanish onion, julienned or sliced thinly, to the pot with the chickpeas. Simmer until soft. It gives more texture.

- Just keep in mind that since the jalapeno seeds aren't removed, it can be pretty spicy. But I think that's part of the charm.

So thanks, Roxanne. And remember: You don't have to put on the red light.

  • 2 lbs. fresh tomatillos, washed and peeled

  • 2 jalapeno peppers, stems removed

  • 1/2 c. roughly chopped Spanish onion (1/2-inch pieces)

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • kosher salt, to taste

  • 1/4 c. olive oil

  • 1 (32 ounces) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 T. freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 T. chopped cilantro


Heat the oven to 500 degrees.

Place the tomatillos in a heavy-duty ovenproof pan or pot with the jalapenos, onion, garlic, kosher salt and olive oil. Place the vegetables in the oven and roast until they are soft and lightly browned, for 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the tomatillo mixture from the oven, pour into a blender and puree until smooth. You might have to do this in 2 batches. Pour the pureed mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, and pour the strained mixture into a saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat. Add the chickpeas, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the pepper and cilantro.

Makes about 6 1/2 cups.

(Original recipe--and complete burrito recipe--found HERE)

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