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Appetizers, Economical, Holidays, Quick and Easy, Spicy, Vegetarian

Three One-Ingredient Appetizers

by Nick

Happy New Year’s Eve everybody! I’ve been brainstorming and researching a few very quick appetizers that you could make for New Year’s tonight if you’re still in need of a recipe. The three appetizers in this post are basically just one ingredient with some standard spices and stuff that you probably have laying around.

They make for excellent finger food and at least two of the three will transport very well. You’d probably only need to pick up a few items if you wanted to make some of these tonight!

Let’s get started!

Three One Ingredient Appetizers

I first heard of this recipe a few months ago and it has been sitting in the back of my brain for awhile now. I figured this was a good time to give it a shot. The real key to these is to make sure you use a really flavorful spice blend on them. The chickpeas take on a great texture when they’re roasted, but are a bit bland in the flavor department.

Roasted Chickpeas

– 1 (14.5 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 1 Tablespoon olive oil, or just a drizzle
– 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
– 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
– 1 Teaspoon paprika

This is really simple, but start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees and then pour out your drained and rinsed chickpeas onto a baking sheet. Bake them for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Halfway through, give them a stir just to make sure they are cooking evenly.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together your spices. I didn’t end up using all of my spice mix above, but you might depending on how spicy you like it! You could also try cumin, curry powder, cinnamon, etc. Go crazy!

Once the 20 minutes is up, your chickpeas should be completely dry and starting to get a bit crispy. Add them to a bowl and toss them with the olive oil and a few pinches of spice mixture. You can adjust according to your tastes and add more later if you want.

Then back in the oven for another 20 minutes until they are crispy and delicious! They shouldn’t be crispy all the way through, but the outside should definitely be crispy.

Roasting some garbanzos!

Roasting some garbanzos!

I thought these were awesome. Betsy was skeptical, but I noticed the bowl getting smaller when I wasn’t looking…

Next on the appetizer list:

kalechips_550

I know these sound bizarre, but trust me, they are delicious. They seriously taste like very, very thin potato chips. They are somewhat healthy and a perfect vessel for salt, which let’s face it, is the key indicator of a good chip.

Crispy Kale Chips (From KERF)

– 5-6 very large kale leaves, washed, dried, and ripped into large pieces
– 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
– Few pinches of kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 375. Meanwhile wash and dry your kale leaves. Make sure they are as dry as possible or else the leaves will just wilt and not crisp. If you have a salad spinner, give them a spin in that. I just used a few paper towels to dry mine though.

Then drizzle them with a bit of olive oil and a good pinch of salt and toss them in the oven. Mine took about 25 minutes to cook, but I think I added about twice as much oil as I needed so there was a lot of moisture in the pan. Halfway through cooking, I actually took out all my leaves and dried out my pan and then put them back in!

Also, don’t salt these things like you would potato chips. They don’t need nearly as much salt. They are super-thin.

Check on them every 10 minutes or so as they cook and move them around a bit if they are stacked on top of each other. When they are almost entirely crispy and browned around the edges move them too a bowl.

Nice.

Nice.

These are shockingly amazing. It doesn’t even taste like you are eating kale. It tastes like a yummy chip. I’m fairly certain I could eat a whole bussel of kale (probably like 6 servings) if it was prepared like this.

The only two problems that these awesome chips have are: 1) They are basically impossible to transport. I think if you tried to take them anywhere they would just crumble. They are super-thin and pretty fragile. 2) Keep a toothpick on hand. They leave bits of dried kale in your teeth! Totally worth it though.

And last but not least:

spicyandsweetcashews_550

Cashews are awesome. But cashews that are coated in a sugary glaze packed with spicy red pepper flakes are even more awesome.

Spicy and Sweet Cashews (From a Well-Seasoned Cook Recipe)

– 2 Cups raw, unsalted cashews (I think you could start with unsalted, roasted cashews and skip the roasting step entirely.)
– 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
– 1/4 Cup light corn syrup
– Few pinches of kosher salt

This has the most ingredients of any appetizer so far, coming it at 5! Still pretty straightforward though. If you start with raw cashews, roast them in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes until they are a light brown. Don’t over toast them because they will toast more as they cook later. (Top right photo is toasted.)

Then in a large skillet, heat up the veggie oil and add all of your red pepper flakes. Let that cook for a minute or two over medium-high heat to make sure the oil is all infused with the spice. Then add all your cashews and stir to evenly distribute the oil and peppers! (Bottom left photo)

Next, add your corn syrup to the cashews and cook it for a few minutes. The corn syrup should bubble and start to glaze over the cashews. Keep stirring them to make sure you get an even coating. You’ll know when your cashews are basically done because you will have a pretty dry pan. Everything will be stuck to the nuts.

Then pour your cashews back onto a backing sheet and spread them out to cool (bottom right).

Cashew overload.

Cashew overload.

Once they are cooled you should be able to break them up and stick them in a bowl! I think I used too much corn syrup in my version pictured above (I used closer to 1/2 cup I think) and they were a bit too sticky. Still tasted good though!

Anyway, there ya go! Three appetizers which just a few ingredients! These could be ready for your party tonight in just a few minutes and with very little work.

Be safe tonight everyone and have a Happy New Year’s Eve!

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10 comments on “Three One-Ingredient Appetizers

  1. I will not be celebrating tonight, since this is the 6th anniversary of my mother’s passing away. She passed away on Dec 31,2003 at 1:30 in the afternoon. Since then I do not feel very festive . It brings back too many memories.

    But I do want to wish you and your family a very Happy and Prosperous New Year in 2010.

  2. Julia, I’m glad you picked up on the cooking-slash-grieving theme of the Macheesmo website and decided to share. Thank you.

  3. These look great. I have to try the chickpeas, they are one of my wife’s favorites. I did the cashews with almonds and they were “to die for”.

  4. I love Kale chips! I found a recipe for them when I was looking for things to do with some local Kale I had bought. My 2.5 year old loves them as well which is a big bonus. Now I love cooking with Kale, especially making hearty winter soups with Kale, potatoes, beans, etc.

  5. Made these for New Year’s eve, and shared with my neighbors. We all thought they were great, but my neighbor did not tell her husband what they were made out of, or he would not have tried them. LOL! Thanks. Looking forward to your 300 this year. The bagel recipe rocked, too.

  6. I loved the roasted chickpeas! I have been looking for a healthier salty/spicy snack to munch on and I need to move away from the chips- these turned out to be perfect. You get all the crunch salt and spice, but it is also healthy. I threw some on a salad for the next day.

  7. Love the kale chips…I have used the precut/ washed bags of kale as well and theynwork well. Do watch the oil…a little bit goes far. Have also just tried a cooking spray with salt and cayenne and worked pretty well. The chickpeas def travel well and are great! Cheers!

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