I love chickpeas. In the spring, at the restaurant, they had them fresh and we shocked and blanched them before adding them to a vegetable cassoulet. Fresh chickpeas are bright green, delicious, and spoiled me silly. As part of my final cooking exam at culinary school, I made a chickpea curry. Chef Elliott called it “surprisingly complex – in a good way!” That dish will always have a special place in my heart, as will Chef Elliott.
Last night after coming home from 11 hours in the kitchen at the new job (more on that later), I was craving comfort food. So, I stopped by the store and made Moroccan-Style Chickpea and Vegetable Stew for dinner. (I think the fact that I had the energy and inspiration to make dinner after my day is a good sign that I have chosen the right, although second, vocation.) Loaded with vegetables, this stew is hearty and really tasty given the spices – cumin, coriander, paprika, tumeric, and saffron.
I served it with some tortilitas topped with a cucumber yogurt mint sauce. For the tortilitas, mix 1/2 cup cornmeal with 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and a teaspoon of salt. Add water until it takes on the consistency of pancake batter. Stir in some chopped scallions and any extra chopped parsley and cilantro you have from making the stew. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and make like pancakes. For the cucumber yogurt mint sauce, simply take some fat free plain yogurt and mix it to taste with grated cucumber (skin, seeds and all), chopped mint, minced garlic, a splash of red wine vinegar, and salt. Serve the tortilitas hot with a dollop of sauce on top. Comfort food indeed.