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Smokey Roasted Chick Peas

This weekend was a little crazy. With a sick kid, a new session of music class, a play date with some new friends and the first dinner party at our new place, we had a few things on our plate.

Also, did I mention that the dinner party was for TWELVE?
(At least six were kids, so they didn’t eat as much or care if my napkins matched the table runner.)

To keep things easy and kid-friendly, I made a big pan of baked ziti and some crock pot sauce with meatballs. I picked up some crusty bread and wine and asked friends to bring a salad and dessert. Easy peasy! I’ve got this thing down, I thought to myself, though it wasn’t exactly the stylish, gourmet dinner party I day dream about hosting.

Of course, this moment was exactly when the loose ends started to show themselves.

The cleaning wasn’t done yet. I needed a nap. And, more importantly, I realized I forgot to pick up anything for appetizers. With six kids of different ages and different schedules, we needed something for people to snack on. Not to mention that appetizers are a crucial part of my daydream dinner parties, so not having one would be a blow to any fantasy I had of my lame little Sunday Dinner turning into a glamorous, family-friendly cocktail party. That can happen when you make ziti, right?

We we rummaging through our cabinets (something of a recurring theme in my life, apparently) and came up with two cans of chick peas. I knew I could whip up a super quick app in just about 20 minutes with these and a few spices, so I cranked the oven up to 400 degrees and got to work. I’d roasted chick peas before for a quick and healthy snack or an easy, no-fuss appetizer option. This time I gave the recipe my own spin, using some smoked salt, cracked pepper and smoked paprika.

Smokey Roasted Chick Peas
Ingredients:

2 15 ounce cans of chick peas

1 tablespoon of smoked salt

1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

2 teaspoons of smoked paprkia

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

*I really just eyeballed this, but these are my best estimates!

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drain and rinse the chick peas, then transfer them to a kitchen towel and dry them off. This is one of the most important steps to getting a deliciously crunchy outside, so take a little time with it, being careful not to smoosh them. Transfer to a baking sheet in a single layer an coat with olive oil and spices. For easier seasoning, you can also toss the drained-and-dried chick peas in a gallon-sized zip top bag along with the love oil and spices. Seal, shake and dump onto your baking sheet. Try lining the baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.Toss in the oven for 30-40 minutes, giving the baking sheet a shake after about 15 minutes. Watch carefully at the end, as they can quickly turn from crunchy and crisp into charcoal. Let them cool slightly before you transfer to a serving bowl, so they don’t loose their crisp from the steam!

That’s its. Super simple and easy enough for even little kids to help with the cooking.

Not to mention that everyone loved them. The flavor was actually pretty subtle but had great depth. They are great for a healthy snack with your lunch or as a starter at your Super Bowl party. They don’t keep well and will loose their crisp, so it’s best to eat them the same day. I assure you that this will not be a problem!

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