Tuesday, May 17, 2005

For adults only: Five-spice glazed chickpeas and apples

I've been wanting to whip up something using apricot preserves for quite some time. I've also wanted to use my Chinese five-spice powder in something other than my "fire and spice" mixed nuts (I'll have to post that soon).

What I ended up with was this dish, which incorporates many ingredients that I like to use: Chick peas, red onion, the five-spice powder and couscous. It isn't really Indian or Middle Eastern, but it certainly contains flavors from that region.

And, if you're going to follow this recipe fairly closely, heed the "adults only" warning. The cayenne and five-spice powder give it quite a kick!

Five-Spice Glazed Chick Peas and Apples
If you want, use cubed and fried tofu in place of the chick peas. Also, feel free to substitute rice for the couscous.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 red onion, chopped into biggish pieces
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, and cut into chunks
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
salt to taste
1/2-1 cup apricot preserves
2 cups couscous
2 cups vegetable broth or water

Pour oil into medium skillet and heat over medium heat. Add onion and apple chunks and cook until softened slightly. Add chickpeas and then cayenne pepper, five-spice powder and salt to taste. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add apricot preserves to skillet and stir until preserves melt and coat vegetables. Taste and add spices and/or salt if desired. Add more preserves or a little broth if you'd like more of a sauce.

Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil in a smallish saucepan. Remove from heat, add couscous and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff couscous grains with a fork, and serve topped with chick-pea mixture.

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