Chickpeas and Pork

Last weekend, some dear friends cooked us a local dinner and it was delicious. If you can get your hands on some dried chickpeas, use them in the dish below. I could have eaten the whole thing on my own.

Both of these recipes are from Mark Bittman. Check out his cookbooks and it’s really easy to find him on the NYT where he writes the Bitten Blog.

Grilled Meat Skewers and Bay Leaves
• 1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork or lamb shoulder, or beef tenderloin (filet mignon), cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch chunks
• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 15 to 20 bay leaves, preferably fresh
• 1. Start charcoal or gas grill, with the fire moderately hot, and the rack about 4 inches from the heat. If using wood skewers, soak in water while you prepare the meat.
• 2. Toss meat with oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Skewer meat alternately with bay leaves; if leaves break, jam between meat chunks.
• 3. Grill the meat 2 to 5 minutes per side, depending on the fire’s heat and how well done you like your meat. Remove and serve.

Fried Chickpeas With Chorizo and Spinach

• 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, as dry as possible
• Salt and black pepper
• 4 ounces chorizo, diced
• 1/2 pound spinach, roughly chopped
• 1/4 cup sherry
• 1 to 2 cups bread crumbs
• Heat the broiler.
• Put three tablespoons of the oil in a skillet large enough to hold chickpeas in one layer over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add chickpeas and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
• Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until chickpeas begin to brown, about 10 minutes, then add chorizo. Continue cooking for another 5 to 8 minutes or until chickpeas are crisp; use a slotted spoon to remove chickpeas and chorizo from pan and set aside.
• Add the remainder of the 1/4 cup of oil to the pan; when it’s hot, add spinach and sherry, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook spinach over medium-low heat until very soft and the liquid has evaporated. Add chickpeas and chorizo back to the pan and toss quickly to combine; top with bread crumbs, drizzle with a bit more oil and run pan under the broiler to lightly brown the top. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Yield: 4 servings.


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