Continuing with the “On the Edge” series…

Sorry, The Well Fed Cyclist took the weekend off (Labor Day) to spend time with Cat, B and the lovely Jess doing an Octoberfest with Bratwurst, Weisswurst (and just about any other “wurst” you can think of as there was about 14 pounds of meat). I know this activity kind of flys in the face of this recipe series but sometimes you have to cut loose and roll with it.

Having spent the greater part of the last couple of weeks in the lab (well maybe not really a lab) or kitchen as the case may be, I found that creativity comes to those who dally while eating other things. In addition, I have also been contemplating what to do with the spaghetti squash that has taken up residence in part of my fridge while I figure out what to do with it.  There will also be a ceremonial “smoking” of a tri-tip steak as promised to Zach for his homecoming. (sorry you missed the Octoberfest)

Now let me tell you about the dallying part of my recent hiatus. I was eating at a local restaurant near where I work, thinking of the curry mixtures in a “Taste of Thai” box while eating a chickpeas and Acini de pepe (really tiny pasta) salad with paprika and other spices and began thinking that I needed to get the chickpeas and the curry together some way. Not knowing how to make curry and too damn stubborn to just go ahead and get a curry mixture or some curry powder and be done with it, I decided that I would try to make the stuff on my own. I looked at a curry powder can and took down the major components and figured that I could come up with something that was palatable and pretty easy to do. I began by putting together what I thought were the main ingredients and continued to add things in small quantities until it passed the “smell” test. (pretty scientific if you ask me) The result is the list of ingredients in the recipe. If you are wondering where the cilantro came from, it too is from the smell test. Parsley did not stand up to the strength of the curry aroma so it did not make the cut. I also had to come up with an alternative to coconut milk because I am deathly allergic to the stuff (I kind of stop breathing) Evaporated milk had the same consistency and I worked with the flavors, and my trusty coconut expert, my wife, to come up with something that became a pretty good substitute. I will be using a nice rice mixture so that there are a variety of flavours even from the rice.
You probably are wondering what I served as the main course for this side. I did salmon filets steamed in foil (you create a packet and it is wonderful but that will be a recipe for another entry) on the grill with onions, peppers, basil, garlic and cilantro. The vegetables for this meal were petite peas and sweet corn. You will notice that there are not a lot of carbohydrates in this meal and very, very low sugar but with huge amounts of good fats, oils and tons of protein. Also, you may notice that there is not a lot of salt because you would not want to mess up this fantastic array of flavors with too much.

Here is the curry recipe and stay tuned for the spaghetti squash recipe which will not be the normal “with marinara sauce” kind of recipe.

Curry Me Away
(Curried chickpeas with fresh cilantro)
(Serves 4)

Curry –
1 tsp – roasted ground coriander
1 tsp – ground cumin
1 tsp – ground cayenne pepper
½ tsp – ground nutmeg
½ tsp – ground Coleman’s mustard
½ tsp – ground black pepper
¼ tsp – garlic powder

Coconut milk substitute (if you need it) –
Note: You will only need to use 3/4ths of a cup of this mixture
12 oz – evaporated skim milk
3/4 tsp – vanilla extract
½ tsp – almond extract
1 tsp – powdered sugar

The rest of the stuff –
30 oz – chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) 2, 15 oz cans washed and drained well
2 cloves –garlic (minced)
2 slices –of a medium sweet onion (minced)
¼ cup – fresh cilantro leaves (fine chopped)
¼ cup – chicken stock
3 tbsp – canola oil

Construction Instruction –
Curry – In a small bowl combine all dry curry ingredients and with a fork mix until ingredients are evenly distributed through the mixture. Now it is time to make the coconut milk substitute. In a medium to large bowl combine the evaporated skim milk with the vanilla and almond extracts and the sugar and whisk together thoroughly making sure that the sugar has dissolved. After this is complete, slowly whisk in the curry ingredients until blended. Now set this aside for the time being. (The ingredients need time to get acquainted.)
NOTE: If you are doing this with coconut milk skip the coconut milk substitute part of the instructions

The Dish – In a large skillet, place canola oil in bottom and bring up to medium heat. When oil is ready (you should see a slight sheen), add garlic and onions along with the chicken stock and sautee until onions soften and turn translucent. Next, add chickpeas and toss until they are all coated. Slowly (I do mean slowly) add ¾ths of a cup of the curry mixture and stir until all chickpeas are coated with curry, add cilantro, toss one more time, reduce the heat to 3 or 4 (low medium) and simmer for about 15 minutes occasionally stirring to keep the chickpeas moving.


The Well Fed Cyclist


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