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baked CHICK PEA and CHEESE pattie cakes


The versatile, buttery flavoured CHICK PEA holds its own on the legume circuit.
Its delicate, structured consistency complements the adaptability of this 'pulse'.



Although, I almost reached for the Ricotta cheese to create this recipe, I resisted.  
Instead, Cottage cheese and aged Cheddar were going to complement the Chick Pea this time.  
The additions of capers, Dijon and my favourite 'Pindjur' condiment made these patties special.



Although, still very largely grown in parts of West Asia, India, and in the Mediterranean...
Canada has also joined the ranks to becoming an important producer of the CHICK PEA.
To be more exact, the Southern areas of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan take the honour.
When I heard this, I did wonder how this could be possible?!? 
Like most, I thought chick peas needed sub-tropical weather to thrive.  
Well, apparently not so.

Since learning about this, I admit to being both taken by surprise and joyous at once.
I don't remember the last time a bean had brought so much pride and excitement to my kitchen.



Did you know that NOT all chick peas can be called the 'Garbanzo' bean?
Only the very popular 'KABULI' chick pea holds that title.  
This larger variety with its cream-coloured coating is somewhat different from...
its smaller sibling 'DESI' with its distinct, dark coloured and thicker seed coating.

Interested in their distinctiveness?  Here's a little more.
The familiar Indian curries, as well as the popular Middle Eastern dishes of...
Hummus and Falafel has certainly played a key role in introducing us to this wonderful legume.
However, were you aware of Burmese tofu made from Chick Pea flour?
I sure wasn't.  It’s now on my continual curiosity radar.
I could only wonder about a similarity to an Italian solidified polenta-like paste called Panissa.

Although, the light, buttery flavoured 'Kabuli' (Garbanzo bean) usually takes center stage...
the 'Desi' variety also has its fans as well...especially with its higher fibre content.
Used whole, shelled or split, the 'Desi' variety is mainly milled to produce finely grounded flour.  
The Gram a.k.a. Besan or Chan flour is used to make a multitude of diverse recipes. 
Another Italian specialty of Panelle di ceci is certainly a memorable treat from my travels in Sicily.


All this from one small complex carb chick pea:
* PROTEIN and lots of FIBRE *
* An excellent source of...VITAMIN-B and IRON *
* Maintains an important amount of the FOLATE nutrient *
* Holds its own on a very LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX *  

What else?
. The Chick Pea is considered to be the most digestible of the legume family.
. If in need of an egg-replacer...mix equal proportions of water to chick pea flour.
. Finely ground Chick Pea flour along with water and yogurt can be used as a facial exfoliant
. During the late 1700s, as a substitute for coffee, Germany brewed ground, roasted chickpeas.

***
My usual Chick Pea based preparations have now taken a whole new meaning in my repertoire.


Stuffed pita pocket with Chick Pea patties and complemented with:
 marinated 'Oyster' mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, lettuce and a specially prepared yogurt sauce.


Here's my latest creation with the versatile Chick Pea.

baked 
CHICK PEA and CHEESE 
pattie cakes
makes 18 small patties

Click HERE for a PRINT version of this recipe

INGREDIENTS:
(American / Metric measures)
Part- 1
. 1 (19oz) can (540ml) Chick peas, rinsed, drained
. 2 cups (500g) Cottage cheese* 
. 1 large egg
. 3 Tbsp. (45ml) Pindjur** (optional)
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) Dijon mustard
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) capers
Part- 2
. 1 tsp. (5ml) each: sea salt and garlic powder
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) each: Marjoram, Sage, Tarragon
. 1/2 cup (50g) aged Cheddar cheese, grated
. 1/2 cup (30g) whole wheat bran cereal, crushed
. 20 pitted olives, sliced

* An excellent alternative to Cottage cheese is to equally replace it with Ricotta Cheese.
** PINDJUR: a Turkish condiment made of a blend of roasted red peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, onions, tomato paste, sunflower oil, vinegar, garlic, spices.  It is easily found in all Middle Eastern grocery stores. 







PREPARATION:






. In a food processor, add all ingredients from Part-1 and pulsate a few times before continuing to give it a continual processing until smooth.
. Take out this mixture into a bowl and blend in everything from Part-2...except the sliced olives.  Once it's well combined, gently add the olives until all seems evenly spread throughout the mix.  Cover and refrigerate the mix for as little time as 30 minutes or up until overnight if wanting to prepare this ahead of time.





...Assembly and Baking:
. Pre-heat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5 and position rack on the 2nd level from the bottom.  Also prepare a very large baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
. Remove mix from the refrigerator.  With a a large ice-cream scoop, measure each portion and pack it densely before extracting onto the baking sheet.   
. Once all mounds are evenly placed, press down and lightly flatten patties with the aid of the backside of a wet spoon.
. First, bake patties for 30 minutes.  Afterwards, temporarily remove the baking pan from the oven to gently flip over the patties for the rest of the baking process.  Continue for another 15 minutes until crispy on the outside, while remaining slightly soft on the inside.  Enjoy. 








The array of possibilities stemming from the Chick Pea are becoming increasingly appreciated at my table.  
With time, the ones which received great reactions, will be shared with you along our culinary journey together.

Flavourful wishes, 
Foodessa


Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com