Friday, October 14, 2011

Chickpea and Spinach stew

I was surprised to see that this dish was entered into a contest for meals costing less than $10. For my menu this week, it was a perfect way to finish up the no-knead bread that I baked earlier. Plus it used the spinach from LPO and looked quick- if I used canned chickpeas.

Makes 4 servings
2 cans chickpeas
6 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
1/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces sliced bread, with the crusts removed
2 tablespoons pimenton (Spanish sweet paprika) OR 1 1/2 T paprika and 1/2 T smoked paprika
1 pinch Spanish saffron (Optional)
2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar OR red wine vinegar
1/2 pound spinach, washed and cleaned
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and white pepper to taste

Combine the chickpeas and cumin in a saucepan (this will be your final stew pan) and set aside.

In a small saute pan over medium to low heat, brown the garlic in 1/4 cup of the olive oil. When the garlic is browned, after about 3 minutes, remove from the pan and set aside. Add the bread and brown on both sides, about one minute each side. Remove the bread and set aside.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Add the paprika and saffron (if you are using it) to the saute pan, and the sherry (or red wine) vinegar immediately afterward to prevent the paprika from burning.

In a mortar or bowl, smash the reserved garlic and the browned bread to make a very thick paste.

Bring the chickpeas to a low boil and add the spinach. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the paprika mixture along with the garlic and bread paste, to create a thick, stewy sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
 **Very easy to put together. The smoked paprika added a nice touch. If it gets too thick, add more water. Very nice dish!

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