Spanish Chickpeas

I made this for our Saturday night gathering recently and it was a hit. It is based on a recipe I found in Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates. I adjusted a couple of ingredients and written the recipe up in my own words.

Spanish Chickpeas
Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 lg. red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine the tomatoes, lemon juice, soy sauce, Sriracha and paprika in a blender. Puree until smooth and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium size sauce pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened.
  3. Add the tomato mixture and the chickpeas. Stir to combine and heat for about 10 minutes. You want the chickpeas to be warmed through.
  4. Taste, adjust seasoning as desired, and serve.

Notes:
I used Meyer lemons on my first attempt at this dish. It look 7 Meyer lemons to make 1/2 cup of juice. For regular sized lemons I’d normally need 2-3. Since regular lemons are more acidic than Meyer lemons I might add a tablespoon of honey to the puree mixture.

I prepped the tomato mixture an hour or more before cooking the dish and stashed it in the fridge. It made things less hectic at dinner time and, I suspect, gave the components in the sauce a chance to mingle.

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Easter dinner – 03/27/2016

My family joined Ted and I for a late lunch today.

We started with a cheese platter and some Bacon Jam and Brie Phyllo Cups while the family gathered and we put the finishing touches on dinner.

Menu
Baked Ham
Gratin Dauphinois
Roasted Asparagus
Roasted Cauliflower with Browned Butter and Parmesean
Homemade sweet bread (my family always calls it bull)

Hot-cross Buns
Fruit salad (from my nephew)
M&M cookies

Notes under the cut

Turkey Cutlet with Worcestershire-Mustard Sauce

I had planned on serving the cutlets with a salad however the salad greens turned out to be rather nasty once I got around to prepping them for dinner. I decided a quick pan sauce could serve in place of the vinaigrette I had planned to make however when I searched for the usual pan sauce ingredients I came up bare. This improv sauce came out quite nice and will certainly make a return appearance.

Turkey Cutlet with Worcestershire-Mustard Sauce
Servings: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 turkey breast cutlets
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Pat turkey cutlets dry with paper towels. Season top side with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12″ skillet over high heat until the oil shimmers. Place the cutlet, seasoned side down, into the skillet. Sprinkle the unseasoned side with salt and pepper. Cook until the cutlet easily lifts from the pan, about 5 minutes. Flip the cutlets over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. When they reach 160°F on a instant-read thermometer transfer them to a plate and cover with foil.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and drain any remaining oil. Add the Worcestershire sauce and water; scrap the pan to remove any fond that has developed. Whisk in the mustard until the sauce is smooth and has thickened.
  4. Taste, adjust seasoning if desired, and serve sauce turkey cutlets.

Bacon (Fat) Gravy

This is a simple gravy, really. In place of fat rendered from a cooking roast I’m using something we always have on hand, bacon fat. It makes a flavorful gravy that goes great with lean pork such as a loin roast.

Bacon (Fat) Gravy
Servings: about 2 cups
Prep time: 1 minute
Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. bacon fat
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. potato starch
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups broth (chicken, pork, veggie, or just water)

Directions:

  1. Mix the flour, starch and pepper in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Melt the bacon fat in a small saucepan over medium heat. When melted sprinkle in the flour and whisk it until there is no dry flour remaining. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  3. While whisking add the broth in a steady stream. Whisk until the roux is incorporated. Lower the heat to low and allow it to come to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for a least a minute to allow the thickening power of the roux to activate. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.

Notes:
If you have drippings or juices from resting meat feel free to add them to the gravy either with the broth or just before serving.

I like a peppery gravy so I added more freshly ground black pepper at the final tasting. Salt wasn’t really necessary as there’s a fair bit in the broth and probably some in the bacon fat.

Beans and Greens

Some years back we were watching Aarti Sequeira’s show, Aarti Party, on Food Network and she made Greens ‘n Beans. I made it once following her instructions and decided after that I wanted something a bit different. Here’s my version:

Beans and Greens
Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. kale leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup “red matter” (or 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot)
  • 2 red Fresno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 29-oz. can small white beans (habichuelas blancas is what I get), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. In a large dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the “red matter” (or shallot) and pepper along with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat with oil and cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the kale, which will likely fill the pot. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Dump the rinsed beans on top, add the water and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Using tongs give the kale and beans a stir. Taste a piece of kale; if it is done move on to the next step. If not recover and cook for another 5 minutes. If the pot looks a bit dry add another 1/4 cup of water.
  4. When the kale is done sprinkle with the vinegar and stir. Adjust the salt and pepper and serve.

Notes:
I buy a 1 lb. bag of pre-cut kale as I hate removing the kale from the stem. There are few pieces of stem in the bag however they seem to cook up in the same time as the kale.

“Red matter” is a guajillo and caramelized shallot jam that my husband makes in large batches a couple of times each year. It turned our dressing a festive red. A shallot can be substituted.