For New Year’s Eve, we decided to have a small group of friends over. Since our start time wasn’t until 8:30PM, we planned to have some lighter bites and drinks, with our guests likely to have been to dinner beforehand. It turned out though that we may have ovedone it a bit on the amount of food – but better too much food than too little, I say.
Recently I’ve been to a few restaurants which had crispy chickpeas as we waited for our meals. When I saw the recipe in Martha Stewart’s Fresh Flavors Fast cookbook, I thought they would make an excellent addition to the NYE line-up.
- 2 cans chickpeas (15.5 ounce cans)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (flavored olive oil would make a nice addition)
- 1.5 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of hot or sweet paprika
First, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Pour out your chickpeas. You will want to drain and rinse before using. Make sure to pat them off to remove any extra water.
Place the chickpeas on a baking sheet (use one with a rim to make sure none roll off during the baking process). Spread them out so they are flat across the sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until they are a deep, crispy brown.
Remove the sheet from the oven, and dust the chickpeas with the salt and paprika. Return to the oven for 2-3 more minutes. Remove the chickpeas from the oven and put them onto a paper towel-lined plate to allow them to cool.
The recipe is super easy, and yields around 2 cups of chickpeas. They end up cooking down considerably, so may be good to double for a party. The most labor intensive part is honestly rinsing and drying the chickpeas when they come out of the can. The recipe claimed these would last for 2 days in an airtight container, but ours lasted fine for a week.
Also popular was the below recipe for sweet and spicy almonds from the same cookbook. The sweet and spicy elements were a fun mix. Next time, I would up the cayenne a touch to make the spicy side more prominent. Another option would be to use a spicy honey, such as my favorite: Mike’s Hot Honey.
- 2 1/2 cups whole almonds (unblanched)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
Super easy as well. First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Using another rimmed baking sheet, spread the almonds out to a single layer. You want to cook them until you begin to smell them – which should be around 10 minutes. Be sure to toss them about halfway through.
Separately, combine the sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
Over medium heat, use a large skillet to combine the honey, olive oil, and water. Stir over the heat until the three combine (approximately one minute). Remove the almonds from the oven and add them into the skillet. Toss to coat them with the mixture.
Move the almonds into the sugar mixture in the large bowl. Do not scrape out all of the liquid mixture – just the almonds themselves. Toss to coat the almonds. Transfer the almonds to a wax paper-lined baking sheet and allow to cool.
You can also store these in an airtight container for around 2 weeks. This recipe will yield about 2 1/2 cups of almonds. After having these, not sure I will be so inclined to buy the pre-made cans. Fresh is so much better!