Chickpeas, chorizo and cheeeeese

Food helps so much. It’s a blessing to come home, go for a run and then have everything come out right in the kitchen.

I saw a Mark Bittman video last year about stir-fried chickpeas with Spanish chorizo (not the loose-pack sausage of my South Texas childhood, but the drier preserved salami-esque chorizo). He served them with spinach wilted in the leftover juices, augmented with a little sherry, dusted with bread crumbs and then run under the broiler.

I went a slightly different route, with happy results.

The recipe starts with a splash of olive oil in a wide flat pan; when the oil is hot, put in cooked chickpeas (he calls for two cups; I used two cans, drained and dried off) and diced chorizo (four ounces; I used six). He salted his; I didn’t salt mine, and I should have. The chickpeas need salt or whatever you use as a salt substitute.

I followed Bittman’s directions about the sauté, and he’s not kidding about fifteen minutes. It takes at least that long for the chickpeas to start crisping up, but take care — mine were suddenly out of oil and almost going from browning to burning.

While they were cooking, I chopped some romaine and made a dressing with ranch dressing and lime juice (garlic would have been good, but I was out). The next time I make this dish, I will chop and toss the romaine in the dress an hour or so ahead of time and let it wilt a little.

Serve the chickpeas and chorizo over the romaine. If you have it, add cilantro and monterrey jack cheese. Olé!

Chickpeas and chorizo over romaine with cilantro and jack cheese

I had left over shredded jack cheese, so I made another recipe I’ve been wanted to try: cheese wafers made with pepper jack cheese. The recipe called for cubes of jack, but I had already shredded the cheese, and I figured it would melt into lacy wafers — a desirable thing — so I mounded up olive-sized haystacks of cheese on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and toasted them in a 400 degree oven until the cheese had melted to flat lace and the edges were browning. I didn’t time it; it was probably about ten minutes.

I had a teenager to keep a fascinated eye on it, so that works, too.

Jack Cheese Wafers

These would be really pretty and delicious floating on a cream of tomato soup. Next time … happy cooking, y’all!

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