The problem with me and cookbooks, however, is that I tend to get too excited to wait and try an actual recipe. I flip through the pages, skimming the ingredients and looking at the pictures, until my impatience and food fervor takes hold of me and I am compelled to do some improv cooking with what I have at hand. It's sort of my way of welcoming a new cookbook into my life.
So, this snowy morning, drawing inspiration from Ana, I cooked a pot of chickpeas, mixed a spice blend of my own, and made a salty, addictive snack food that will knock those old wasabi peas right off your shelf!
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
3 whole cardamom pods, outer green shells removed
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
2. Set a dry saute pan over high heat. Once hot, add the cumin, coriander, cardamom and peppercorns. Swirl the pan around until the seeds are fragrant but not toasted or burnt. Remove to a spice/coffee grinder, let cool, and grind to a fine powder.
3. Add the spice mixture to a small bowl and mix in the turmeric, olive oil, and salt.
4. In a large bowl, mix the chickpeas and spice paste until the chickpeas are evenly coated. Pour out onto the baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring the chickpeas every 10 minutes or so to ensure they roast evenly. Enjoy these as a garnish for a grain pilaf, or on their own as a healthy snack.
I want to know: What's your favorite spice mix?