Besan flour–otherwise known as chickpea flour, gram flour or garbanzo bean flour–has become a coveted staple in my household. Almost every single day I make a quick meal using this versatile flour. Somehow, though, I missed the buzz about chickpea fries that seemed to be happening a couple of years ago… from folks like Mark Bittman, Martha Stewart, and even Oprah. Where have I been? I’m not sure either, but I promise I am never going back to that isolated place. Not after getting a taste of these crispy gems.
I admit, I’m not big on fried foods… really much at all. I have to eat fried stuff in extreme moderation because it jives badly with all the nutritious stuff (like raw veggies!) that my belly loves the most. But, if I ever have the craving for a few greasy french fries… I’ll probably reach for my bag of besan rather than my basket of potatoes.
These guys brings back memories of restaurant fries from my childhood: flavorful and crunchy with no need for dipping sauce. However, they do pair nicely with a blend of spicy mustard, a little Vegenaise and chili garlic sauce. Very nicely.
They are slightly more involved than your average fry, though. First you have to cook the batter and let it chill in the fridge until it firms up, almost like polenta. But after that, it’s smooth sailing. That is, if you’re not terrified of hot grease. In which case, it may be a tad more difficult for ya.
It’s great to make the batter and have it chilling in the fridge the night before so that you’ll have them ready to fry up the next day.
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, my google reader seems to be spitting out hundreds of recipes for Colcannon.
And for good reason. This Irish dish is not only easy to make, it is also quite tasty. It’s composed of two of my most favorite foods: kale and mashed potatoes. Sometimes the kale is replaced with cabbage (or is it the other way around?). It makes no difference to me… I am still smitten. Really, any cruciferous veggie mixed with mashed potatoes is sure to win my heart.
This recipe is just an elaboration on the popular dish. It’s basically colcannon topped with a whiskey marinated tofu, fragrant toasted walnuts, and a decadent mushroom gravy. Altogether, it makes a killer main course.
I’ve always been fairly indifferent to St. Patrick’s Day as celebrated here in the USA. I’ve never been much of a bar-hopper, and now that I have children, even if I had the urge to do so, I’d have to hassle with a sitter, and then we’d have a curfew–and well, it’s just much more fun for me to snuggle up next to my hubby and sip green beer in our cozy living room. Maybe watch Leprechaun or something.
Anyways, the whole time I was making this, I kept thinking how wonderful this casserole would be for a holiday dinner… like Thanksgiving. Or any holiday where there’s some sort of feast involved.
St. Patty’s Day? Yep, that’ll do.
So this year, I’m declaring Colcannon Casserole as our family’s official St. Patrick’s day celebration meal… complete with a few (gluten free) green beers. Now that’s a tradition I can get behind 100%.
It takes a bit of elbow grease* and a whole lotta ingredients to get this thing put together, but it’s well worth the effort if you’re a fan of the green stuff + mashed potatoes like I am.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Let me start off by extending a heart felt thank you to everyone who left comments and sent emails in support of my cookbook project. I have been working tirelessly on the darned thing and the support from you guys just makes doing it so much more worthwhile. ♥ In fact, some of the responses I received were down right tearjerkers… but I digress.
Tomorrow’s the very last day of VeganMofo… can you believe it?!
Sometimes (especially towards the end of the Vegan Month of Food) some of us (eh-em) tend to feel a bit lazy… but still need adequate fuel to get us through that last stretch. These simple rice noodles do just that- not altogether a complete powerhouse of a meal, but definitely a nice accompaniment to a larger dinner, or alone as a light lunch.
I had them midday today and am using the leftovers to accompany some sort of gingery tofu with a cucumber salad for tonight’s dinner.
Also, I really enjoy how this dish looks… kinda leopard-like, you know?