Cornmeal crusted pies with roasted chickpeas

Roasted chickpea pies with cornmeal crust

I had a dream the other night about chickpeas roasted with thyme. I could pretend that this represented something else. Say the chickpeas represent my sons (in truth, when they were born we called them chickpea-head, because they had such lumpy little bald heads they looked like chickpeas!) and thyme represents time, which is running and passing, running and passing. But let’s face it, in reality I just dream about food! The nice thing about dreaming about food, is that if you wake up and can’t get back to sleep, you can think about how you’d make the food in your dream. A good way to take your mind off the more stressful goblins you can’t help chasing down dark and winding alleys at three in the morning. So I thought about chickpeas roasted with thyme, and thyme is part of the jerk spice family, so I thought I’d add some allspice and cayenne (don’t have scotch bonnet peppers!) And then I thought I’d add something green, like spinach, and something fresh, like parsley, and put it all in a cornmeal crust. (I had to resist the urge to use masa harina again! I can’t use it every day, can I?) Not hard to make, and tasty and fun to eat. And that’s all I’m going to say about that, because I have to be at work soon.

Here’s The Clash with Long Time Jerk, to go with the jerk seasoning. It’s strange, I’d never really listened to the lyrics to this before, but I just did the afternoon before I made this dinner. They seemed so strange and beautiful to me! About memory and desire and time passing.

CRUST

1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
1/2 t salt
1/2 t tumeric
black pepper
6 oz butter – frozen

Mix the flours, salt, pepper and tumeric in a bowl. Grate in the butter. Mix till you have course crumbs. Add enough ice water to form a workable crust. Start with 1/2 a cup and add more till you’ve got it! Mix well, knead for a minute or two, and set in the fridge to chill.

FILLING

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and very well drained
1 shallot – minced
1 clove garlic – crushed or finely minced
1 t thyme
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t. cumin
olive oil to coat
1 t balsamic
3-4 cups baby spinach, washed and very finely chopped
1/2 cup parsley, washed, plucked from the stems and finely chopped
1-2 cups grated sharp cheddar (depending on how cheesy you like it!)
salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine the chickpeas, shallot, garlic, olive oil, herbs, spices, olive oil, and balsamic on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Mix well, then roast for about 20 minutes to 1/2 hour, till the chickpeas are starting to brown, and the shallots seem brown and caramelized.

In a large bowl combine the spinach, parsley and cheese. Stir in the chickpeas while they’re hot. They should just wilt the spinach and melt the cheese. Add salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.

TO ASSEMBLE

Break the dough into six pieces. Roll each (one at a time) into a circle about 1/8th inch thick. Put a heaping handful of filling in the middle of each. (About 3/4 cup, I’d guess) Fold the dough up all around the sides. Press the middle to seal, and then put it seam-side-down on a lightly buttered baking tray. Repeat with all six balls of dough until the filling is all gone.

Prick each on top twice with a fork.

Bake at 425 for about 1/2 an hour, till they’re starting to get a bit golden, and look a little crispy.

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4 thoughts on “Cornmeal crusted pies with roasted chickpeas

  1. Ooh, those look great. I bet they’d be a perfect instant dinner to keep in the freezer and pop into the oven after a long day. :)

    • I haven’t tried freezing them, but I don’t see why it shouldn’t work! Nice meal with a bowl of soup or a salad though!

  2. Just made the chickpea part of the filling. Once it started cooking and the flavors started to mingle, the smell was amazing! Don’t have everything for the rest of it, but just eating the chickpeas with some rice or bulgar would be delicious.

    • Good idea! You know, I bet it would be delicious as a salad, if you just did the chickpea and spinach part! If you added bulgar it would be a meal!

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