Luckily for us, it has mostly been a glorious autumnal week here in Devon. Our builders have been all over our house, propping up ceilings, filling holes with concrete and positioning all sorts of steel things in our loft. As much as M would love to help, our house during the day hasn’t really been a suitable environment for a 2-year-old! We have therefore spent a tiring but wonderful week in self-enforced exile, kicking the fallen leaves in Bicton Park and throwing handfuls of sand and shells into the sea at Exmouth.
Consequently, our time in the kitchen has been severely limited. No time for cakes, cookies, bread, pies or pastries … but hey, I did manage to create a rather tasty chickpea pâté one evening. My savoury-toothed husband was very pleased to have something he actually liked to take into work for a change!
Moroccan Chickpea Pâté
2 red peppers
60 g/2 oz butter
2 cloves garlic
60 g/2 oz dried apricots
2 x 240 g/8 oz cans of chickpeas, drained
1/2 teaspoon crushed chillies
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander powder
30 g/1 oz fresh coriander
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and white pepper
3 sheets leaf gelatin (to set 1/2 pint)
200 g/6 oz cream cheese
250 ml/8 fl oz whipping cream
Cut the peppers in half and de-seed. Dunk the pieces 3 times in boiling water to remove their harsh flavour. Chill by dunking in cold water. Pureé 1 pepper and roughly chop the 2nd.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Chop and gently sauté the onion and garlic. Add the apricots, 1 can of chickpeas, spices, herbs, lemon juice and seasoning. Cook gently until softened. Whizz to blend. Stir in the 2nd can of chickpeas and the roughly-chopped red pepper.
Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water for 10 minutes.
Heat the red pepper pureé. Remove from the heat. Add the soaked gelatin (squeeze first to remove soaking liquid) and mix well until melted.
Add the pepper pureé to the chickpea mix and stir well to combine.
Whisk the whipping cream to peaks. Add the cream cheese and whipped cream to the chickpea mix. Stir well.
Scrape into a loaf tin and refrigerate overnight.