Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chichees w/ Garlic

One of my favorite simple foods is chichees, more commonly known as chickpeas or garbanzo beans. One of the first recipes I redacted and tried making for myself was chichees with garlic. I call them chichees because in medieval house receipts (where recipes got their start), that's what they were called.
Everyone loves this dish, and it couldn't be easier. Chichees were used quite often in the Byzantine Empire, and indeed, throughout Europe as well during the Middle Ages. It's said that chichees were the one bean the more wealthy people of Byzantium would eat. Still considered "poor food," beans of all sorts are packed with protein, inexpensive to make, and they are delicious alongside roasted meats and veggies.

What you need:

About a pound of cooked chickpeas- if you cook these from dry beans, be sure to soak them overnight in warm water. This will help bring out all the nutrients in the beans and shorten the cooking time! You can always use a can or 2 of them, drained and rinsed!

Several cloves of garlic (3-4 to just flavor, or several if you like to eat them cooked)- just cut these in half- don't mince them.

What to do:

Put the cooked beans in a saucepan and put in enough fresh, warm water to just about cover the beans. They don't need to be covered all the way.

Pour in enough olive oil that the beans and garlic are all submerged. I usually measure out about 1/4 inch or so over the beans. It's a lot of oil, but worth it.

That's it. Now put the pan on the stove, and simmer without a lid. I usually let it simmer for about an hour, but after 30 minutes, scoop out the garlic and chichees. You can separate the oil at the end and add some fresh chopped herbs and lemon zest, then use it to dip fresh bread!

Note: If you love garlic as much as I do, you can take a large head of garlic, cut off the pointed end down to just where the garlic is barely sliced through. Pour on a bit of olive oil, wrap in foil and roast for about an hour at 350 degrees. Use the roasted garlic instead of fresh in the chichees for a sweeter flavor! Keep a couple of cloves out to spread on your bread. Yum!!!

1 comment:

  1. My wife is a great over of garlic so I will put this idea where she can find it. My approach to garlic is as a seasoning not as a major food group as my wife and others seem to view it, but I am also a fan of Garbanzo beans. I think that perhaps I might add a handful of crumbled bacon to the recipe because I like bacon as much as the "cheechees!"


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