Monday, November 17, 2008

Paprika Toasted Chick Peas

Sometimes it's difficult to come up with something interesting to eat. I guess I could be one of those women. You know the kind: Monday is Spaghetti, Tuesday is Meat Loaf....

There's nothing wrong with that. It's just not enough for me. I need variety. I need creativity. I need excitement.

So I read foodblogs galore. I read foodie magazines and cookbooks. I read online recipe banks like allrecipes and epicurious. And I watch tv chefs and cooks preparing various meals.

Rachel Ray is a local girl who made good. Her magazine is displayed at every grocery store, her product line featured, and her recipes are the stuff of frequent conversation. She created a veritable movement: kitchen accessibility for the most hurried home cook. I watched her show, 30-Minute Meals, back when it first started and enjoyed some of her ideas.

I've always said, "delish," but now I kick myself when I hear it escape my lips. She stole it and made it hers; it's not mine anymore. Her cutesy catch-phrases aren't cute anymore, and if I hear "Yum-O" one more time I might scream. Once I saw her make a dinner salad with sliced hotdogs on top, well, I just couldn't take it any longer. Enough was enough. I stopped watching.

I did, however, recently watch her 'Thanksgiving in 60 Minutes' special and I'll admit she really hustled. You can't fault the woman--she's got energy. But the Ray-Ray time warp must be considered: 60 minutes for her is more like 90 to 120 minutes in normal human time.

Once I was able to overlook the several times she uttered the phrases "let the flavors develop," and "niiiiiiice," one recipe caught my attention: Paprika Toasted Chick Peas.

It's very basic. You drain & blot dry canned chick peas and toast them in a dry skillet. The problem I found was that these little beans are incredibly moist--after they steamed dry, they really just started to dehydrate. I could not possibly have continued cooking them for the recommended 10-15 minutes. To avoid an inedible result, I stopped at 5 minutes and seasoned them generously with salt, pepper and sweet hungarian paprika (I don't have the smoked variety).

We love chick peas anyway, and we liked these--though I had hoped for a tidbit with a crunchy exterior. While this recipe did not deliver that particular result, they were still very good.

Next time I'll be looking for another recipe, but we did love the flavor of the paprika on these; it was a great accompaniment to a late supper of oven-roasted chicken and a salad.

I suppose we all have our favorite TV chef/cook personalities. Whom do you love to watch, and whom do you loathe?


Michele@FineFuriousLife said...

I love Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. NOT the American version on FOX, which is in itself a nightmare, but the British version. (The production values could not be more different.) You have to look it up on youtube and watch an episode. Yes, he's an asshole, but everything he says makes perfect sense.

Also look up his five-minute meals series on youtube. He's very inspiring, esp. when he uses his amazing skills to make gloriously simple things.

I do like the look of those chickpeas, but damnit, I don't like watching Rachael Ray. I don't hate her the way some people hate her, or disapprove of her cooking--our personalities just don't mesh. She's definitely savvy and a person to look up to, though, if only for sheer business acumen.

Amanda said...

You are so right about Gordon Ramsay on BBC. We do tend to prefer the BBC versions to the American ones. I agree, too, that GR uses some... colorful... language to get his point across, but he's a successful businessman and his advice should not be overlooked.

Mary said...

I can't stand Sandra Lee of Semi-homemade. She drives me nuts.

I have however developed a fondness for Ina Garten. She's no fuss, no drama.

And those chickpeas look great! I don't mind RR. She does get to be a bit much though.

Amanda said...

Hi, Mary.

I know a lot of people who don't like Sandra Lee. I definitely don't like a lot of the canned & prepared stuff she uses--but other than that her personality doesn't bug me at all.

I've been a long time fan of Ina. Her recipes are always spot on, classic and company-worthy.

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