Fried Chickpeas with Chorizo and Spinach

Umm.  Sorry about the picture, dear reader. I should probably sign up for one of the “Introduction to Food Blogging” events at SXSW this week.  I bet they heartily endorse the idea of photographing your meal before you’ve eaten the whole thing.

This is another recipe from Mark Bittman’s Minimalist column.  If you’ll recall, I recently made and raved about his Ginger Fried Rice. This hybrid Spanish-Indian chickpea dish is another winner. It was dead easy, too- it probably took 20 minutes, start to finish.  My dear friend Molly joined Andy and me for dinner and the three of us devoured it. So either we are all healthy little eaters, or this recipe doesn’t really make 4 servings.  We ate it with bolillos from La Mexicana bakery (39 cents each!) and had ourselves a real good time.

A note about the sherry in this recipe.  Bittman calls for a sweet one, like an Amontillado, but I used the traditional dry one, and it came out great. A new bottle is like $11 and it’ll last for months in your refrigerator.

Fried Chickpeas with Chorizo and Spinach

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, as dry as possible
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 ounces chorizo, diced (the dry Spanish kind- look in your deli section, not the fresh Mexican kind)
  • 1/2 pound spinach, roughly chopped (don’t chop if you use baby spinach)
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1 to 2 cups bread crumbs.
  1. Heat the broiler.
  2. Put three tablespoons of the oil in a skillet large enough to hold chickpeas in one layer over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add chickpeas and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until chickpeas begin to brown, about 10 minutes, then add chorizo. Continue cooking for another 5 to 8 minutes or until chickpeas are crisp; use a slotted spoon to remove chickpeas and chorizo from pan and set aside.
  4. Add the remainder of the 1/4 cup of oil to the pan; when it’s hot, add spinach and sherry, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook spinach over medium-low heat until very soft and the liquid has evaporated. Add chickpeas and chorizo back to the pan and toss quickly to combine; top with bread crumbs, drizzle with a bit more oil and run pan under the broiler to lightly brown the top. Serve hot or at room temperature.
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