Monday, January 21, 2013

Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Roasted garbanzo beans are one of these things that everyone else on the internet seems to have mastered and yet I can never get them right. Every six months or so I try again, and every six months or so I fail. This is the closest I have ever gotten to victory, so I'm just going to post it while I'm ahead!

Now, here is the lore of the roasted garbanzo bean: it's so cheap, just a can of beans! it's so healthy, so much protein! it's so easy, just throw them in the oven and roast! Hmm.

From my failures, I have deduced a few things.
1. you MUST taste them. if they are still soft inside, they will taste ok when they are super hot, and immediately start tasting gross when they cool
2. put oil on AFTER you roast them, otherwise it keeps the water from evaporating and they don't get dry.
3. forget what everyone says about cooking times, watch these buggers like a hawk.

Now! here is what I did:

The Stuff
--1 can beans (easy there, cowboy, you probably think you can put in a few cans at once- this relates directly to a past failure, if the beans are all bunched up, they won't dry- they need space!
--1-2 tsp olive oil
--spices of choice: here I used smoked paprika and salt. you could also do cumin/corriander or some people even do cinnamon sugar

What to do with it
Drain the beans and rinse very very well, shake them out in a strainer. Then, roll them around between 2 paper towels and try to get rid of the little skins that come off. Sprinkle with spices. Put them on a cookie sheet and toss them in the oven at 400.

This will now take about half an hour, but you have got to keep checking, and towards the end will have to sacrifice one bean per check, so you know if they're crunchy. Once they're done, toss them with the oil, and any additional spices (to taste).

This was my first batch:
You will notice a large percentage of "very well done" beans. You don't want this. They do not taste good.

My second batch (made out of pure stubbornness) was much better.:

Now, what's the verdict? Well, I love smoked paprika and it gave it a nice barbecuey kind of flavor that was great. They were kind of crunchy, almost like corn nuts, which I also like. One thing to keep in mind is that it is very easy to eat a lot of these- the beans shrink up quite a bit so each can does not make a very big bowl (that is a cereal bowl in the picture). Because of this, it is entirely possible to eat an entire can of beans in a very short amount of time. Whether you want to eat an entire can of beans in a very short amount of time is a life choice you have to make for yourself. And if you were going to make these for a party or something, multiple cans would be required. Overall, they were pretty good, but they take so long to cook and were so finicky, now that I've actually conquered them, I'll probably never make them again (in this way they bear a similarity to the whole dulce de leche fiasco a few years back). Ah well.

Anyways, if you are really craving something crunchy, have plenty of time on your hands, and are dying to get rid of some beans, this snack is for you!

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