I’m a loyal subscriber to Canal House Cooking by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer. It is one of my favorite…magazines? Quarterlies? Series of small cookbooks? I’m not sure what to call it, exactly; they publish three issues a year. Except when they don’t; they took a sabbatical last year to finish their cookbook.
I’m not the most patient person – it seems like it’s been over a year since I got an issue of Canal House. I’m starting to show signs of withdrawal.
Hamilton and Hirsheimer are back with Canal House Cooking Volume 8: Pronto!, and it was worth the wait. As usual, it is stuffed with simple, spectacular recipes (Why, hello, grilled butterflied chicken alla diavola. Where have you been all my life?).
Today, I was inspired by the combination of two ingredients – chickpeas and breadcrumbs – in one of their pasta dishes. Chickpeas and breadcrumbs sounded like a great combination. (Maybe too good of a combination – I didn’t bother reading the rest of the recipe and went straight for the bag of dried chickpeas in my pantry.)
Now, this recipe may seem like a lot of steps – pressure cook the chickpeas, saute the chickpeas, broil the breadcrumb crust. It’s not that bad, really – especially if you pressure cook the chickpeas ahead of time, like I suggest in the notes section.
I’m not a vegetarian, and I don’t pretend to that I’ll ever become one. But if I ever do, dishes like this are what will make it possible. The creamy chickpeas, salty Parmesan, and crunchy bread crumbs give me everything I get out of a good cut of meat.
No pressure cooker? No worries. See the notes section for stove top instructions. Or if you really want to cheat, see the notes section for canned bean instructions. I won’t tell on you, I promise.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Chickpeas with Toasted Parmesan Bread Crumb Crust
Inspired by: Canal House Cooking Volume 8: Pronto! by Hamilton and Hirsheimer
Cooking time: 75 minutes, fifteen minutes active time
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I used an electric Instant-Pot pressure cooker)
- Broiler safe 12 inch fry pan (I used a 12 inch lodge cast iron skillet)
Pressure Cooker Chickpeas with Toasted Parmesan Bread Crumb Crust recipe – chickpeas, cooked in the pressure cooker, sautéed on the stovetop – makes a hearty side dish or main course.
- 1 pound dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), sorted and rinsed
- 7 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (optional if you have soft water)
- 1 small onion, peeled and cut in half
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Parmesan and Bread Crumb Crust
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, Romano, or a mix
- 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or regular bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- Pressure cook the chickpeas: Put the chickpeas, water, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, baking soda, onion, and bay leaf in the pressure cooker. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes in an electric pressure cooker, 40 minutes in a stovetop cooker. Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure in the pot. Reserve 1/4 cup of the bean liquid, then drain the beans and discard the onion and bay leaf.
- Saute the chickpeas: In a large, broiler safe fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering, about 3 minutes. Pour in the drained chickpeas (watch out for splattering), and saute until the chickpeas are dried and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the chickpeas with the salt and pepper, drizzle with the lemon juice, and toss to mix.
- Broil the Parmesan and bread crumb crust: Pour the 1/4 cup of reserved bean liquid over the chickpeas, sprinkle with the Parmesan, and cover with an even layer of bread crumbs. Put the pan beneath 6 inches below a broiler set to high and broil until the bread crumbs are golden brown. Check the bread crumbs every couple of minutes – every minute would be better – and get the pan out of the oven as soon as they are browned. Bread crumbs burn in a heartbeat.
- Serve: Sprinkle the minced parsley over the top of the bread crumbs and serve. I served family style – the pan went on a trivet in the center of the table (be careful – the pan is hot!), stuck in a spatula, and let everyone scoop out their own servings.
For a detailed set of instructions on pressure cooking chickpeas, see my:br][Pressure Cooker Chickpeas recipe.
- No pressure cooker? No problem. Instead of pressure cooking, simmer the chickpeas in a dutch oven over low heat until tender, about 4 hours.
- No dried chickpeas? Substitute 2 (15 ounce) cans of chickpeas.
- If you plan ahead, soaking and brining the chickpeas is a great idea. Sort and rinse the chickpeas and put them in a large bowl or pot. Add 3 quarts of water and 3 tablespoons of table salt (or 6 tablespoons of kosher salt). Let them soak overnight, then drain and rinse before cooking. This will cut the time under pressure to 20 minutes (24 minutes electric PC).
- If you really plan ahead you can make and freeze the chickpeas. Finish step 1, then freeze the chickpeas in their liquid – I use 2 cup screw-top containers. Then, take the chickpeas out of the freezer, thaw them in the microwave, and continue with the “reserve 1/4 cup of bean liquid and drain the rest” part of the instructions.
- Please pay attention while the bread crumbs are toasting under the broiler. Look at the pictures with the toasted crumbs. See that mottled, extra dark section? I was distracted by a question from one of the kids, and seconds away from disaster. Burnt, bitter tasting disaster.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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