You may remember my New Year’s food resolution to break culinary boundaries and mix up ingredients and flavors that are a little out of the box.
This recipe fits that bill — it’s a simple, stovetop version of mac and cheese but it uses chickpeas in place of the pasta. I saw it while scrolling online; it was inspired by a Melissa Clark mac and cheese recipe. The version I saw used heavy cream and did not include any seasonings beyond salt and pepper, so I tweaked it to reduce the fat and add some spice. The results were excellent and, best of all, dinner was on the table in less than 10 minutes.
I used half-and-half, which was plenty rich, but you could lighten it up with milk.
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
1-2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
¼ cup half-and-half or milk
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
Salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Take ¼ cup of chickpeas and coarsely chop them. Heat the oil in a small skillet and add the chopped chickpeas sprinkled lightly with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Cook them over medium heat until crispy.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the milk and add the cheese, stirring constantly to melt. Sprinkle the cheese mixture lightly with spices and add the remaining whole chickpeas. Stir to coat. Pour the cheese mixture into a bowl, and top it with crisped chickpeas and fresh parsley. Enjoy.