I found myself in quite the pickle a little bit earlier today. I was hungry. Not starving. Not I-haven't-eaten-since-8 a.m.-voracious, but 4-p.m.-hungry. Not hungry enough to leave the apartment on an unseasonably cool day, but hungry enough that I couldn't do much (or anything) else until my hunger was sated. I must admit something - the state of my kitchen is shameful right now. It's not that it's filthy, it's that it's understocked. I just have nothing. Alright, that might be a bit of an overstatement - I'm not really talking freshman-year-dorm-room-understocked. I have a few canned goods and a loaf of bread and some eggs. That's better than three cases of ramen (right?). These cans are mostly full of beans of various shapes, sizes and textures. As I racked my brain for ideas, I decided that I wanted something fun to eat that preferably was not labor-intensive. One among my line-up of beans was a can of Garbanzos. And then it came - epiphany.
I drained the chickpeas and laid them out in one layer over a paper towel to allow them to dry. I put them in a mixing bowl with about two teaspoons of olive oil, some cracked red pepper, garlic powder, dried basil, salt and pepper.
I spread them out over a baking sheet and placed them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 and 15 minutes at 425. The timing will vary slightly and they should be watched carefully towards the end so that they don't burn.
In the end, I had the perfect snack. Some of them looked like Corn Nuts. Damned if I could tell you if they tasted like Corn Nuts. I've had Corn Nuts a mere once in my life, quite a few years ago, so the taste is not something to which I often find myself offering comparisons. The look is unmistakeable though:
They were simple, yet they were so many things: nutty, crunchy, spicy, healthy. That last aspect was an afterthought (I suppose a 'non-thought' is a more accurate description), but it's always a good feeling when you can shovel something into your mouth and not feel too badly about it.
They reminded me of wasabi peas with their crunch, though the flavor profile was obviously different. These would also be good with a curry spice blend or a hot and spicy blend. The combinations are likely endless. I'm not sure how these are going to hold overnight, but I am going to put them in a baggie and hope for the best.