March is a Good Eats month. Three new episodes all airing in March. The first which aired last night, entitled Pantry Raid XIII - Destination Chickpea. Alton's goal was to bring flavors from far away lands, right into your home kitchen. The episode contained several recipes, but before we dive into those, let's look at some chickpeas facts
Facts About Chickpeas
1. They are not peas. They are beans.
2. We believe they were first culivated in the area of Turkey or Syria.
3. There are about 20 different colors of chickpeas.
4. The two types of chickpeas are Desi and Kabuli.
5. They are high in fiber.
6. They are high in protein, and when combined with sesame seed paste in hummus, you have a complete protein (which means it contains all the essential amino acids.)
7. Other names for chickpeas include: Pois chiche (French), Kichererbsen (German), Garbanzo (Spanish), and Ceci (Italy).
8. The state of Washington leads the United States in the production of chickpeas.
Methods of Preparing Chickpeas
During the course of the show, Alton gives three methods for preparing the chickpeas for culinary use. The slow cooker method takes from 4-8 hours. It produces extremely creamy chickpeas. This is the method you want when making hummus. The next is the pressure cooker method. This is used when you want to keep the chickpeas whole, like in a salad. The last in the overnight soaking method. This is used in his recipe for roasted chickpeas and Falfals.
Hummus | Click here for my full review
One of the most popular uses for chickpeas is hummus. Slow cooker chickpeas are used. They are processed in a food processor with garlic, sesame seed paste (Tahini), lemon juice, and salt. Hummus is great for dipping pita bread, veggies, or whatever your heart desires.
This seem to resemble those hush puppies that I always threw out whenever I ate at Long John Silver's. Alton says they are better than that. You will need a meat grinder to grind the chickpeas along with some seasonings and baking powder. You then form that mixture into a ball and deep fry it. Click here for the recipe.
This is a concept I have never heard of before and one we might try in our household. Before roasting you add flavor to the chickpeas in the form of red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, and olive oil. Alton roasts them in the oven and then eat them as he would roasted peanuts. If they taste good they would be a nutritious snack. Click here for the recipe.
Alton did an excellent job with this episode. One of the best things about Good Eats is learning multiple ways of how to use an ingredient. Alton came up with 3 very different recipes using chickpeas. And with all their health they are very worth of being a pantry stable.