Today I got to break out a little toy I bought right before I left my old job and completely forgot I had. It’s the Smoking Gun by Polyscience.* Basically, it is a handheld smoker than comes with a long tube and a little stand and you can use it to add a smoky flavor or aroma to foods without having to use a big boy smoker or stink up your whole house. It comes with several different wood chip varieties like Mesquite, Applewood, Hickory, and Cherrywood. It’s great for things like smoked cheese or smoking an individual steak or sausage. When we made smoked andouille sausage in culinary school, the smoke basically seeped into my soul and I stank for days. Not so with this gun.
I had wanted to try smoking some cheese but didn’t have any today. I did have a can of chick peas, which I just love. I’ve made them similarly to this by lightly frying them in a bit of olive oil, but wanted to go a bit healthier. Baking them gets them at the same texture and crunch without wasting a bunch of nice olive oil. I did use some, though, in the form of Herbes de Provence olive oil from Olive and Vine, a fantastic olive oil & vinegar store in City Center (Town & Country). If you haven’t been there, check it out. They make all their own stuff and have wild flavors. For this recipe, you can obviously use whatever olive oil you have around. So anyway, the chickpeas came out wonderfully and the little smoky aroma added by the gun was just perfect. I used the Applewood chips, which impart a very light and sweet smokiness. If you don’t have a smoking gun, don’t worry. It is not at all necessary for this snack and I just wanted to play with it today and see how it worked.
Smoky Crunchy Chick Peas
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 large stem of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and set aside
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Pat dry the chickpeas until they are more dry than wet. This will help them get crunchy in the oven. On a baking sheet, combine the chickpeas with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, the salt, and the rosemary. Grate some lemon zest over the top as well. Mix everything together with your hands so the peas are evenly coated. Put the pan in the oven and let bake for 15 minutes, checking them every few minutes to turn the pan or move around the chickpeas. You want them to get a little golden tinge but not turn brown. They should crunch up on the outside but still be somewhat soft in the middle.
If you don’t have a smoking gun, they are done. If you do, place the chickpeas in a container with a lid that fits. Pick a wood type and follow the instructions closely. I let the smoke go for 20 seconds, and then sealed the lid and let it sit for 1 min 30 seconds. It was enough time to let the smoke get into the chickpeas but not overwhelm them at all.
*I was in no way influenced or sponsored by Polyscience in this post. The thoughts and opinions are my own.