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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Dried Lime Adventures: Part II

Impromptu Cast Iron Skillet Fry with Chickpeas and Broccoli Rabe

In Part I of our Dried Lime Adventures, we prepared one batch of chickpeas in bulk on a lazy Sunday morning to use in meals for the week.

Today I joined my good friend and mentor Thom Haller at Studio Q, his writing studio in Dupont Circle for an afternoon lunch date.

We didn’t have a particular recipe in mind. We choose our adventure in the moment using my Live Deliciously formula for easy, healthy meal preparation.

Don’t think recipes, think formulas…
When I cook, I follow a formula.  I always incorporate greens.  And then I select a grain or a bean. I’ll typically then embellish a bit with cheese, dried or fresh fruit, sprinkles of finishing spices, squeezes of citrus like lemon or limes, and swirls of  oils, vinegar, and syrups.

So today I brought my green, broccoli rabe, and my chickpeas stewed in dried black lime and my trifecta of aromatic spices.

Then I rely on a well-stocked pantry to do the rest.  We have filled the pantry at Studio Q with dried fruits (like cranberries, currants, figs) and nuts and seeds (sunflower seeds, almonds, pistachios) and have them handy for easy meal planning embellishments.

I decided a flavor profile to use, based on ingredients I had on hand.   I decided to make a Mediterranean-Inspired Cast Iron Skillet Fry.

For the Cast Iron Stir-fry: 
Green: Broccoli Rabe. – a bitter and pungent green that combines the leafiness of kale and the exciting florets of broccoli.  This served as my primary (and important) green.

Bean: Chickpeas stewed in dried lime

Sprinkles of a Dukka, an Egyptian Spice Blend and Sunflower Seeds

Swirls of Balsamic Vinegar or Pomegranate Molasses

No squeezes of citrus needed! The dried limes in the chickpeas delivers quite a sour kick.

I assembled the stir fry.  For the Mediterranean stir fry, I heated a cast iron skillet and tossed a handful of chick peas in to toast a little bit in olive oil.  I then folded in broccoli rabe – I placed it in the middle of the skillet and folded in the warm chickpeas.

When preparing lunch for my friend Thom and I served his dish with a swirl of balsamic vinegar and mine with pomegranate molasses.  I topped it with a little shredded asiago cheese, and sprinkles of a Dukkah, a classical Egyptian spice blend of cumin coriander thyme and sesame seeds.

But we didn’t stop there...

We mixed a cocktail using the dried lemon.  I added gin, soda water, aromatic bitters, pomegranate molasses, and crushed dried lemon   I shook the concoction, and strained it into cold martini glasses.  I placed a crystallized ginger slice on the side.

And that’s it. Easy culinary adventure with Mediterranean ease and sensibilities. CHEERS!

Check out Part I for instructions on prepping chickpeas and Part III for a lazy afternoon salad in the Dried Lime Adventures.

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