Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Moroccan Spinach and Chickpeas

It was a tradition on Corcoran Street to throw a very festive party to mark the anniversary of the day that Dick Cheney shot his friend in the face (also known as Valentine's Day). Rather than mark this day with the traditional chocolate and flowers, we celebrate with a big Moroccan feast. We transform Corcoran Street into an oasis with pillows and blankets on the floor for our friends to sit on and prepare spicy curries and other delicacies for them to enjoy. Our first year was a huge success so we decided to revisit the fun this year. It was another smash hit. Only problem is that I don't technically live there anymore, which made cooking there all day difficult. I cooked the food at my place and granny-carted it over there with the help of one very burly economist. Let me tell you, it was a sight to be seen, although not heard (many expletives were used to help me wheel my way over so those who are faint of heart should close your ears). The party was lots and fun and I hope we can keep this tradition going for many years to come! This makes a large serving so you could half the recipe if you are making it for 2-4 people.
Moroccan Spinach and Chickpeas adapted from Serious Eats
1 large slice stale bread or about 1/4 loaf of french
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. curry powder
red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 large can chick peas
2 packages frozen spinach
salt and pepper
olive oil

1. Slice the stale bread into 1 inch cubes.
2. Over medium heat, put 2 Tbs. olive oil in a pan. Saute bread, garlic, spices, and 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper for 4-5 minutes until the bread starts to gets crispy.
3. Add the wine and tomato sauce and allow to cook together for 4-5 minutes until everything is soft. 4. Puree the bread mixture in the food processor until slightly smooth.
5. Thaw and drain the frozen spinach. It will have a lot of water so you may need to leave it over a colander for an hour or wring it out in a clean kitchen towel.
6. In a large pot, put 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Add the chick peas and the spinach and allow to warm through and for any excess water to evaporate.
7. Add the spiced bread paste and mix through. I allow this to cook together on very low heat for an hour so that it is ready to serve. I actually transferred it to a small crock pot for service, which kept it nice and hot throughout.
Forgive the pictures, but it was a party after all!

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