Thursday, 25 January 2007
HOT SPICED CHICKPEA DIP
After a very productive first blogging week, a few busy and pretty annoying days at work scuppered my ability to cook and post. Following a few uninspired days at the start of the week, on Wednesday I finally knew exactly what I wanted to eat that night - chickpea fritters with garlic and herb yoghurt in pitta bread. Off I went and bought tinned chickpeas, coriander, onion, garlic, a chilli, some Greek yoghurt and some pitta breads (I briefly toyed with the idea of making flatbreads but this was not the week for being elbow deep in flour). When I got home all of the fritter ingredients (chickpeas, fresh coriander, dried coriander, dried cumin, garlic, a large red chilli, and an onion) went into the food processor and then the mix went into the fridge to sit for a while.
In the meantime I stirred together the yoghurt with some minced garlic, sea salt, dried, and fresh mint and popped that back in the fridge. By this point, and clearly on a cooking roll, I had a remembered a dish of baked feta which we ate in a Greek restaurant a couple of weeks ago. I thought this would match the fritters nicely so took some feta out of the fridge (I always keep feta and halloumi in the flat), drizzled it with a little olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkled over some finely chopped red onion before wrapping it in a foil parcel to go into a medium oven. I checked on it a few times as I had no idea how long it would take to properly soften but it was eventually around 20 minutes. This was a definite success and will be repeated, probably more often than is healthy.
Now, with the frying of the fritters, we move onto the real point of this story. I carefully shaped little patties of the mixture, heated some oil in a large frying pan and dropped them in one at a time. At this they promptly started spitting so madly that I had to grab an apron and my oven gloves to be adequately protected from the very painful little drops of spitting spicy oil. Now fully gloved up, but wishing that I owned some protective goggles, I had to turn the fritters. The first one fell apart, then the second, then the third... by now I was trying to accept that my lovingly crafted mix was, maybe, a little too soft to hold together. I persevered and tried to keep them looking like fritters before admitting defeat and deciding to just scrape the contents of the pan into a bowl to see if it was at least still edible.
Clearly not the most attractive bowl of food but, joking apart, I may resurrect this semi disaster as 'hot spiced chickpea dip' as it was actually really tasty. We spread it on the pittas, topped it with the yoghurt and some salad and tucked into the feta on the side and decided that for a kitchen disaster it had turned out pretty well.
Thankfully Thursday evening required zero inspiration. It was Burns Night and so we celebrated with haggis (meat for him, veggie for me as I am not a fan of offal but 5 minutes ago just managed to hold it together to take the giblets out of a chicken to make stock so I am not a complete kitchen wimp), neeps and tatties - delicious.