Skillet Fried Chickpeas with Garlic and Herbs

One of the things I truly love is snacking. I could snack all day long, however I find that my snacking time is really only after work. My go to snacks are pretty much cheese, hummus, or kettle style chips. As the cheese and chips are not all that great for me, I decided to turn things up a bit and make some simple skillet fried chickpeas, or garbanzo beans.  Chickpeas after all are what I use to make hummus, and as I have roasted them in the oven in the past I wanted to do something a bit different with them this time. This is where a bit of oil, cloves of garlic, and a can of chickpeas came into play.

Skillet Fried Chickpeas with Garlic and Herbs
Skillet Fried Chickpeas with Garlic and Herbs

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and lightly patted to dry
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, skin removed, lightly smashed
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • salt to taste

Start by heating a skillet on medium-low heat. Add in the oil and let it come to temperature, a couple of minutes.

Skillet Fried Chickpeas with Garlic and Herbs
Skillet Fried Chickpeas with Garlic and Herbs

Next add in the chickpeas and garlic, and give this a good toss. Continue to cook, and toss at this temperature for about 20 minutes, or until they become nice and crispy. Once crispy, season with salt and thyme, giving them another good toss.

Serve immediately. The result is a great crispy exterior, with a creamy interior along with great garlic notes (feel free to eat the garlic), and a salty thyme flavor that have you going back for more. This is truly a great after work snack, and one that is good for you to boot! Hope you enjoy.

Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions

Every time I visit my local Mexican grocery store, I tend to shop around after devouring some tacos. I get the staples which typically include limes, cilantro, garlic, chilies, avocados, and tortillas. I my often look at the other great produce and always look at the great large spring onions. These are not your typical green onions that you find in most markets. These are the ones where the bulb is about 5 times larger than a standard green onion. They are known as spring onions, and as they look much like a scallion, they have just a bit more of a bite. This is when I decided to pick up a bunch and head home.

At first I was going to lube them up with some olive oil and salt, and toss them on the grill, but I figured my recent Mexican alambre had enough going on in terms of peppers, onions, and chilies, so I held off only to soak them in buttermilk and batter them the following day. These things were awesome, and now I know that I will be buying more of these spring onions!

Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions Recipe
Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions Recipe

Let’s get started:

  • 1 bunch of spring onions, tips and tails trimmed
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cooking oil

Start by adding the spring onions to a sealable bag. Pour in the buttermilk, seal, and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator.  Next, add the gochujang and mayonnaise to a small bowl, and use a fork to blend the two together. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready for use.

The following day, add the flour, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl. Give a good stir. Take the spring onions, draining them from the buttermilk, and add them to the bowl.

Give a good toss to make sure the onions are well coated, then heat up a skillet on medium heat, adding in the oil.

How to make buttermilk fried spring onions
How to make buttermilk fried spring onions

Once the oil comes to temperature, about 350 degrees, gently add in a few spring onions. Cook for a couple of minutes per side (if not fully submerged), until the batter is golden brown. Once golden, remove with some tongs and place on a paper lined plate to remove any excess oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Repeat.

To your serving plate, take the gochujang and mayonnaise mixture, and with a spoon smear it onto the center of the serving plate.

Line up the fried spring onions on top of the sauce, and serve.

My wife, who was hesitant of the mayonnaise mixture, was swiping that spring onion, and biting into the perfectly cooked onion. The onion was nice and crispy on the exterior, while warm and cooked through (not limp) on the inside, and well, the gochujang and mayonnaise mixture just took it one step further.

The only downside to this recipe is that I did not make about 4 bunches of spring onions. Now I know! Hope you enjoy!

Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, tips and tails trimmed
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the spring onions to a sealable bag. Pour in the buttermilk, seal, and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Next, add the gochujang and mayonnaise to a small bowl, and use a fork to blend the two together. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready for use.
  2. The following day, add the flour, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl. Give a good stir. Take the spring onions, draining them from the buttermilk, and add them to the bowl.
  3. Give a good toss to make sure the onions are well coated, then heat up a skillet on medium heat, adding in the oil.
  4. Once the oil comes to temperature, about 350 degrees, gently add in a few spring onions. Cook for a couple of minutes per side (if not fully submerged), until the batter is golden brown. Once golden, remove with some tongs and place on a paper lined plate to remove any excess oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Repeat.
  5. To your serving plate, take the gochujang and mayonnaise mixture, and with a spoon smear it onto the center of the serving plate.
  6. Line up the fried spring onions on top of the sauce, and serve.

 

Mexican Alambre

You know when you have that craving for tacos, or better yet fajitas? Yeah, I know, I pretty much have that craving all of the time! This dish, known as alambre, is a popular Mexican dish that should be on everyone’s menu, but is not. This Mexican alambre is a mix of beef, bacon, peppers, and cheese, topped with avocados and limes, only to be folded into nicely grilled flour tortillas. This feeds an army and is packed full of awesome flavors and textures, that I’m positive will have you making this more than once.

Mexican Alambre Recipe
Mexican Alambre Recipe

Alambre, in Spanish, literally translates to ‘wire’ and I suspect that it could be due to the fact that meats and vegetables were skewered and grilled before getting chopped up and folded into tacos. Regardless, I simply throw things on the grill to get a nice char before slicing and serving.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of bacon,  cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 whole white onion
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs bottom round beef, thinly sliced
  • 2 morita chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • flour tortillas, warmed
  • avocados, slided
  • 2 cups of Oaxaca cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • sour cream, optional
  • sliced limes, optional

Start by marinating your beef. I like to do this overnight, but 4 or more hours should be sufficient.

To a small sauce pan, add the water, the garlic, and the 4 chili pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pods are softened. Let the mixture cool. Take the pods, garlic, and about a cup of the water and blend until you have a fine puree.  Pour this mixture into a sealable bag, throw in a generous pinch or two of salt, and add in the beef, seal, and give the beef a nice massage to ensure the marinade penetrates the beef. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.

Mexican Alambre
Mexican Alambre

When you are ready to start making this, you have a couple of options. First is to grill the vegetables and beef (which is what I prefer), or you can cook everything in one big wok or skillet. (Hint: chose the grill)

Heat up your grill. I like to use a combination of charcoal and cherry wood as the smokiness really gets into the great flavor of the beef.

While the grill heats up, add the bacon to a large skillet, and cook on low heat, adding about 1/4 cup of water during the cooking process. You don’t want the bacon to be fully crisp as you normally might eat for breakfast, but somewhere between soft and crisp. Continue cooking the bacon on low heat, reserving some of the fat.

Next, add the whole bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno peppers to the grill, cooking over the coals. Your goal here is to get a nice char, while not fully cooking the peppers. Once you get a bit of the char, remove them from the grill, and take them inside to slice. Remove any of the seeds from the jalapenos if you don’t want this to be spicy.

Once you slice the peppers, and onion, add them to the cooked bacon, along with the sliced tomatoes and cilantro. Give this a good stir, and season with a pinch or two of salt.

Return back to the grill, and cook your beef until it is about medium. Don’t overcook your beef!

Take the beef inside, and slice into 1 inch strips, then add the beef to the bacon mixture, giving a good stir.

Top the mixture with the Oaxaca cheese, then cover, and remove from the heat. You want the cheese to melt into the mixture.

Mexican Alambre Recipe
Mexican Alambre Recipe

Now you are ready to serve. Uncover, and place the skillet onto some heat resistant pads on the table. Top with fresh limes and sliced avocados, along with a plate of warmed flour tortillas.

Take your tortilla, take some of the alambre, and fold it into the tortilla. Give a squeeze of fresh lime juice, lay on some avocado, and some sour cream if you prefer, and dig in.

This was a great meal to serve at the table. The kids loved the interactivity (and the rocking flavors), and it was a great conversation piece. My oldest, who typically does not like melted cheese (especially on tacos), nor peppers, was spooning this into about 4 tacos. I think he loved this Mexican alambre, and I’m certain you will to! Enjoy.

Mexican Alambre
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 whole white onion
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, cored, and thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs bottom round beef, thinly sliced
  • 2 morita chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • flour tortillas, warmed
  • avocados, slided
  • 2 cups of Oaxaca cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • sour cream, optional
  • sliced limes, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by marinating your beef. I like to do this overnight, but 4 or more hours should be sufficient.
  2. To a small sauce pan, add the water, the garlic, and the 4 chili pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pods are softened. Let the mixture cool. Take the pods, garlic, and about a cup of the water and blend until you have a fine puree. Pour this mixture into a sealable bag, throw in a generous pinch or two of salt, and add in the beef, seal, and give the beef a nice massage to ensure the marinade penetrates the beef. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.
  3. When you are ready to start making this, you have a couple of options. First is to grill the vegetables and beef (which is what I prefer), or you can cook everything in one big wok or skillet. (Hint: chose the grill)
  4. Heat up your grill. I like to use a combination of charcoal and cherry wood as the smokiness really gets into the great flavor of the beef.
  5. While the grill heats up, add the bacon to a large skillet, and cook on low heat, adding about ¼ cup of water during the cooking process. You don’t want the bacon to be fully crisp as you normally might eat for breakfast, but somewhere between soft and crisp. Continue cooking the bacon on low heat, reserving some of the fat.
  6. Next, add the whole bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno peppers to the grill, cooking over the coals. Your goal here is to get a nice char, while not fully cooking the peppers. Once you get a bit of the char, remove them from the grill, and take them inside to slice. Remove any of the seeds from the jalapenos if you don’t want this to be spicy.
  7. Once you slice the peppers, and onion, add them to the cooked bacon, along with the sliced tomatoes and cilantro. Give this a good stir, and season with a pinch or two of salt.
  8. Return back to the grill, and cook your beef until it is about medium. Don’t overcook your beef!
  9. Take the beef inside, and slice into 1 inch strips, then add the beef to the bacon mixture, giving a good stir.
  10. Top the mixture with the Oaxaca cheese, then cover, and remove from the heat. You want the cheese to melt into the mixture.
  11. Now you are ready to serve. Uncover, and place the skillet onto some heat resistant pads on the table. Top with fresh limes and sliced avocados, along with a plate of warmed flour tortillas.
  12. Take your tortilla, take some of the alambre, and fold it into the tortilla. Give a squeeze of fresh lime juice, lay on some avocado, and some sour cream if you prefer, and dig in.

 

Jalapeno Stuffed Lumpia

Gosh, I do love jalapeno poppers, don’t you? I love the actual surprise, not only with the piping hot cheese but the uncertainty if the jalapeno is going to be on the mild side, or the hot side. I prefer the hot side. With that said, Filipinos are notorious for making really awesome egg rolls, what they call lumpia, or lumpia shanghai.  My wife introduced me, or should I say her family introduced me to these styles of egg rolls. Their wrappers are crispy, and inside is an array of things such as ground pork, potatoes, small shrimps, and green beans.  This is how my in laws make them, and one that I often make for my family, only with this exception. The exception being the fact that I had four large fresh jalapeno peppers on my cutting board, just staring at me and wanting me to do something with them. That’s when I figured I would try out some new egg roll, or lumpia wrappers, and instead of going the classic lumpia way, I decided to stuff some and fry them up. Were they excellent? You bet your butt they were.

Jalapeno Stuffed Lumpia Recipe
Jalapeno Stuffed Lumpia Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of egg roll wrappers
  • 1 lb ground pork, cooked and cooled
  • 4 jalapenos, stems removed, cored and seeds removed
  • 1 russet potato, skins removed, cubed and cooked until just tender
  • 2 cups of cooking oil (I use canola)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste

Gently fold the cooked, cubed potatoes into the cooled pork mixture. Season with salt and pepper, and give a gentle stir.

Take one cored jalapeno pepper, and using a small spoon, stuff the meat mixture, gently packing it in, into the jalapeno. Fill it to the top, and repeat with the remaining peppers.

Reserve the remaining meat mixture for making more lumpia, or use more jalapenos and repeat the process with however many you would like. Again, I only went with four as I knew I would be the only one eating the ones with peppers.

Next, take one egg roll wrapper and lay out with the point in front of you, can towards you.

Place the stuffed jalapeno pepper, about a quarter way, in the middle, closest to you. Fold the sides over, take the point closest to you, and begin to roll, bringing in the sides if necessary. Refer to this image if needed. Roll just about 90% to the top, then brush the point with the beaten egg. Roll and seal.

How to make Jalapeno Stuffed Lumpia
How to make Jalapeno Stuffed Lumpia

Do the same with any remaining pork mixture, using about 1/2 cup per lumpia.

Heat the oil in a small pan, and bring to a medium heat. Once heated, add a few of the lumpia and cook until the wrappers are a golden brown.

Remove the lumpia with some tongs or chopsticks, and place them onto a paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil.

Continue cooking the remaining lumpia.

Let these cool for a few minutes before digging in. I plated mine on a bed of lettuce, sliced in half to expose the delicious pork, and showered the plate with some roasted peanuts.

Grab a cold beer or glass of wine, and dig into these jalapeno stuffed lumpia. I hope you enjoy!