Friday, June 18, 2010

Market Find: Fresh Chickpeas

Here's my hierarchy of Food gods--
  1. Thomas Keller ranks number 1, the Ra
  2. Jean-Georges Vongerichten, one of the most celebrated chef on the planet, the Horus
  3. Anthony Bourdain, the foodie bad boy, whom I fondly call boyfriend, the Seth
  4. Alton Brown, who makes food dorkiness cool, the Thoth
  5. Bobby Flay, the cooking god with the cutest boyish grin, the Osiris

I own and have read all of Thomas Keller's books from cover to cover. His recipes are my go-to when I want to cook-to-impress, and I try my best to integrate his "bright ideas" in my daily kitchen adventures. I love how he treats and prepares food with respect and love. Heck, I will go work with him at the French Laundry for just room and board if he'll take me!

I was just going through his book, ad hoc at home, the other day and flipped to page 177, fried fresh chickpeas, and made a mental note to look for fresh chickpeas next time I am in the market. Much to my surprise, I found it at the market today! I was so elated I took a picture of it with my phone and posted it on Facebook to share with my friends. It was definitely a market find-- my friends loved it!

Fried Fresh Chickpeas
Thomas Keller's ad hoc at home

Peanut or canola oil for deep-frying
Fresh chickpeas in the shell, rinsed and patted thoroughly dry
Ground sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat about 2 inches of peanut oil in a large deep pot over medium high heat to 350 F. Add a handful of the chickpeas to the pot, not more than will fit in one layer; the chickpeas will rise to the top and the moisture in them will cause them to pop, so stand back. If you have a splatter screen, use it. Fry for 2-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas stop popping and are golden brown. With a skimmer or a slotted spoon, transfer the chickpeas to a paper towel lined cooling rack to drain. Sprinkle immediately with salt and pepper. Fry any remaining chickpeas in batches, and serve while they are still warm. Eat them as you would edamame, removing the green chickpeas from the pods.

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