Okay, so getting back on track with this blog has been a bit slower than I intended, but it is officially happening. So, I'm going to try not to be too hard on myself considering the fact that in the last year I've had a baby and moved across the country. Oh, and I have this food editor job that keeps me a bit busy.
As previously mentioned, we moved to Southwestern Illinois in mid-June (My husband was transferred to St. Louis, for anyone who is curious). Anyhoo, we bought this great Victorian house that we're both mad about. It needs a bit of work, but the previous owners did all of the boring projects like the electricity and plumbing. So, aside from the unexpected removal of an enormous diseased oak that is happening in a couple of weeks, we get to do things like, remodel the kitchen!
I am so excited about this. I've never owned our own home before, so I have been at the mercy of apartment kitchens and thrifty landlords. In other words, I've always had ugly kitchens that aren't built for real cooks. In the past, I've gotten by through the use of metro shelving and occasionally hauling out my metal restaurant prep table. Happily, my days of rigging up a workable kitchen are coming to a close. We've been saving for this for so long and on Thursday, a kitchen designer is coming by to measure the kitchen. EEK!
Anyhoo, in celebration of my new venture I want to share a recipe and my latest cookbook column with you. Cookshelf, my quarterly cookbook roundup over at CRAFT, is currently featuring some books that I just can't get enough of. Jerrell Guy's, Black Girl Baking, The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen, by James Beard Award winning chef and educator, Sean Sherman, and Korean BBQ, by Bill Kim are three of these four fantastic cookbooks. Be sure to click the link in the first sentence to learn why (Click the other links to read my Q&As with each of the authors!).
The fourth book, Yogurt by Molly Yeh is the freaking tops! I've been cooking out of it a ton. This tiny dynamo is filled with recipes like mujadara (spiced lentils with rice and crispy onions) with a volcano of yogurty, butter-filled goodness, a savory French toast, and directions to make labneh. A recipe that I am particularly thankful for after recently moving to Southwestern Illinois and no where near a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean grocery store.
Short Stack, the publisher of these spectacular little single ingredient focused books was kind enough to let me publish my favorite recipe from the book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did because these chickpeas ridiculously good.
Harissa-Braised Chickpeas with Feta, Grilled Lemon & Yogurt
Reprinted with permission from Short Stack Editions Vol. 22: Yogurt
By Molly Yeh, (shortstackeditions.com)
Photography by Chantell Lauren Photography.
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon harissa
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
1/2 cup dry white wine
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 thyme sprigs
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved
Whole-milk Greek yogurt, for serving
Feta cheese, for serving
Fresh herbs (a mix of cilantro, parsley and mint), finely chopped, for serving
Crusty bread, for serving
In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onion
and a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add
the garlic, harissa and anchovy paste (if using) and cook until fragrant,
1 to 2 minutes longer. Add the wine and simmer until it’s reduced by
half. Add the chickpeas, . cup of oil, the thyme, about 12 turns (about
. teaspoon) of pepper and a few good pinches of salt and bring to a
simmer. Cover and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until
the chickpeas are very soft.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and sear the lemon
halves, face down, until they get some nice brown marks on them. When
the chickpeas are ready, squeeze in the juice from the grilled lemon halves.
Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Place a dollop of yogurt in each
of six bowls, then use a slotted spoon to scatter some of the chickpeas on
top. Add some crumbled feta, a handful of herbs and a bunch of turns of
pepper to each bowl. Serve with crusty bread.