06 January 2010

I Didn't Think I Liked Chick Peas. I Was Wrong.

My New Year's Eve was a chill, lovely event which thank god did not involve being anywhere near Times Square. (I am not going to let this drop. It is a TERRIBLE IDEA.) It did, however, involved me being in the netherlands of Brooklyn as the designated cooker for a group that featured about zero decision-making impulses. All I had to go on was a request for chick peas and the fact that the only food-buying places (we're talking 9pm New Year's Eve, the not-so-gentrified part of Sunset Park) were a handful of bodegas. But I was unafraid - I've seen plenty of bodegas in Harlem and Upper Manhattan that actually have a selection of produce - and oddly inspired. Probably inspired by the few things I knew I could get in a bodega, like cilantro. (And, unless you have the genetic deficiency that makes it taste like soap, isn't cilantro just the best flavor in the world? There was also that time a few weeks ago that I thought I saw "cilantro chick pea soup" on a menu. Turns out I'd forgotten how to read, and it was a salad, but it was still super tasty.) This was like a super-ghetto Top Chef challenge, or Iron Chef Brooklyn, but it ended up being one of the most delicious things I've ever made, and I didn't even think I liked chick peas! Other than in hummus. Hummus is awesome. Make it yourself. But also, make this:

Chick Pea Bodega Thing
(all quantities approximate, other than discreet things like "one can")
2 small red onions (or 1 medium, or whatever), diced
a little olive oil - maybe a tablespoon? two?
1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
a bunch of cilantro, chopped
one avocado, diced
some kosher salt
hot paprika
one or two limes
little tortillas (optional)

1. Sautee the onions, slowly, in some olive oil and with a little salt. If you're feeling patient, go real slow and carmelize them. If you're in a rush or like things this way, cook them hot and get them a little crispy.
2. Once the onions are just about done, add the chick peas and a little more salt. Keep cooking until those are just about cooked. Add a few sprinkles of hot paprika, cumin, and black pepper, until things taste really good. (Don't be afraid of the cumin.)
3. Once everything's cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro and avocado, and the juice of the lime(s). Taste again for maybe a little more seasoning, just to be sure. Serve as is, over rice maybe, or wrapped up in hot little tortillas.
4. (optional, but not really) Spend the rest of New Year's talking about how amazing that thing you made with those bodega chick peas was. So amazing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

make this for me?