More on that later. But in brief I went for spinach and fresh cheese. And the toasted chickpeas were a great success. so easy they have been tried in three more experiments.
Toasted chickpeas: easiest tasty side ever. Would also make a great if upscale bar snack. Heh. you know me, always in the bars.
Wash and drain a can of chickpeas. Put a little oil on them and put them in a lined baking dish so that they aren’t too crowded and at the very least in only one layer. Bake at about 425-450F for 25-40 (a little chewy early, crunchy later, cook them as you like them) minutes, adding your favorite seasoning after about 15. Shake every 10 minutes or so. We liked them best a little dry and crunchy on the outside but soft in the middle. I think this was at 425F for about 30 minutes. Delicious seasoning suggestions: Tony Chacheres Creole seasoning, meat rubs, basil/olive oil/salt, curry mixes, anything and cayenne pepper powder… And of mixed but definitely interesting results was covering them in a melted chocolate chip sauce and pairing them with strawberries and whipped cream.
Spinach and fresh cheese sauteed till brown in a pan are great together, end of story! OK, OK, follow your (new) favorite recipe for palak paneer. It’s probably in a book on your wall somewhere and they are definitely all over the intarwebs. I followed my favorite monk‘s recipe, thanks Pandit! Here it is:
Creamed Spinach with Curd Cheese – Palak Panir
(serves 3-4/cooking time 30 minutes)1 tsp chopped fresh ginger 1 fresh hot green chili minced 1 tsp ground coriander ½ tsp sweet paprika ½ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp turmeric 1 tbsp ghee or oil 2 large bunches spinach 4 tbsp cream fresh home made curd cheese from 2 cups of milk cut into cubes ½ tsp garam masala 1 tsp salt
1. place the ginger & chili in a food processor or blender and process with a few spoons of cold water.
2. add the coriander, paprika, cumin, & turmeric and blend to form a smooth paste.
3. heat ghee/oil in large saucepan over moderate heat.
4. when ghee is hot, add the spice paste and the spinach.
5. mix nicely and cook over full heat until spinach reduces in volume.
6. reduce heat slightly and stirring often, cook the spinach for another 15 minutes or until it becomes soft.
7. fold in the cream & add the cubes of panir, the garam masala, & the salt.
8. cook for an additional 5 minutes