With a herb gravy
Suddenly realised last night, after responding to Anne’s comment on my previous post (that I’ll just call Disasters 1 – 3, shall I), where I was going wrong with this. So, today I kept the sauce or gravy separate and went with a dry crumble. Of course, any time I’ve baked a dessert crumble any liquid is always reduced to a syrup. Because of that the fruit is nice and moist and the crumble stays crunchy. Hah! I’ve got that sorted, then. Not quite! Regardless of this tasting so much better today I’m still not keen on the combination. Besides, the texture wasn’t dissimilar to eating warm muesli. And I can’t figure what side would go with this. I tried pan-fried broccoli (even though I’d wanted broccoli and peas – forgot the peas!), a dish I have on a regular basis, but that certainly didn’t work. In the meantime I’m going to wait for Kiki to see if she will come up with a far better combination than mine. Incidentally, I’d completely forgotten it was Kiki’s post that gave me the initial inspiration to try a savoury crumble. Do have to apologise for that. My memory is so bad these days I’m not even the proverbial goldfish in a bowl any more – my memory is getting to the stage where that should be the goldfish floating on top. Anyhow, Kiki has more knowledge than I do about pastry and baking. So I’m going to leave it up to those of you who know what they’re doing. Having said that at least I’ve tried and tested this. However, like my trials with celeriac (celery root) fairly recently this isn’t working in my favour. And I have to admit, whilst training to be a chef, anything to do with pastry or baking wasn’t my forte – at all. Think I’ll stick to shop-bought for that sort of thing!
For the chickpeas (garbanzo beans):
- olive oil
- 1 x 410g or 246g drained weight (14.46 or 8.67 oz drained) can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), thoroughly rinsed
- 1 x dried bay leaf, split
- 2 x medium garlic cloves, root end cut off, peeled and crushed or minced
- 3 x small round shallots, about 50g (1.76 oz), root end cut off, peeled and finely grated or chopped
- 200ml (0.21 US pt lqd) x water
- ½ x organic very low salt vegetable stock cube
- 1 x small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 x tsp dried oregano
- ¼ - ¹/3 x tsp cayenne pepper
- single/light cream
- 2 x rashers per person either streaky bacon pan-fried until crisp and broken into bits when cool or 2 x kabanos sausages per person, cut into chunks and pan-fried to render off fat (any spicy sausage would do)
- 1 x dst olive oil
- 1 x dst plain (all purpose) flour
For the crumble:
- 100g (3 .52 oz) x self-raising flour (all-purpose flour with baking soda)
- 30g (1.05 oz) x butter, at room temperature
- about 2 x level dst olive oil (use half first, incorporate fully, then add more)
- handful of flaked almonds, enough to cover the crumble liberally
- about 8 hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
For the chickpeas:
- Put a large heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 2 (out of 6) with a glug of oil and bay leaf. Get the chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in and evenly coated in oil. Pan-fry, shaking the pan occasionally, to get them nicely golden. Reduce heat to No 1 before adding the finely grated shallots and crushed garlic, pushing the chickpeas to the sides. Take off heat if necessary as neither the shallots nor garlic should change colour.
- In the meantime prepare the stock by adding the water to a small saucepan with the half cube.
- Put a small pan on heat No 3 with a little oil. Add the chopped kabano, if using, and render those off their fat. When needed remove with a slotted spoon unto kitchen paper or tissue. Add to the chickpea mixture when it’s cooked.
- When the garlic and shallots have cooked without turning golden pour in the stock, sprinkle over the cayenne pepper, parsley and oregano. Up the heat to No 3 if necessary to reduce sauce slightly. Pour in some cream to personal taste. Take off heat. Using a slotted spoon transfer the chickpea mixture into a suitable ovenproof casserole.
- In a small saucepan add the olive oil and flour. Put on heat No 1 for several minutes, stirring often. If any bubbling occurs take off heat and allow to cool. Repeat this process to cook out the flour two more times. When needed add sme of the roux to the stock after the chickpeas have been transferred to the casserole dish. Put on heat No 2 and stir often to prevent lumps from happening. This should be a gravy like consistency so do add more roux if necessary.
For the crumble
- Preheat oven to 200°C, 400°F or Gas 6
- Cut the butter (at room temperature) into small cubes. Add flour to a large suitable bowl and add the butter. Either with your hands or with a pastry blender blend the mixture until it starts to feel like lumps of sand. The proper way is to get this completely combined with no lumps but I prefer a crunchy crumble.
- Add less of the olive oil and keep working the crumble, keeping it light. This really doesn’t need to be overworked at any stage. When nicely mixed cover the chickpea mixture with the crumble and place on the second shelf up if using an electric oven.
- After about 20 minutes, and especially if there is any evidence of bubbling occurring switch off oven and put on grill/broiler to preheat. Once it’s ready carefully remove the crumble and scatter over the nuts. Do not put directly underneath grill. Keep on the second shelf down as the nuts can burn quickly. And do not leave the grill at any stage. Keep checking them and when the almonds start to turn golden switch off grill.
- As long as the herb gravy is ready, serve.
All photographs within Feed the piglet:
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