Sunday, February 1, 2009
(Print from Dover).
Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
There have been days this winter when nothing would induce me to set foot outside, even the realization that the refrigerator is bare, or nearly so. This is when rootling around in the pantry determines what I'm going to make for supper, particularly since there is no way I am walking the one block to our small village grocery (and even less possibility that I’m going to drive the twenty miles or so to the nearest supermarket). I pulled out a can of chickpeas and found one lone onion sitting all forlorn in the vegetable basket. I always have rice, I always have frozen spinach, and I almost always have lemons.
My rice cooker was free (it’s amazing what college students put out on the curb the week after graduation; that's how I got my ice-cream maker, as well), and I enjoy using it for one-pot meals that I can throw together with minimum effort. This is the perfect dish for cold Saturday nights when my garlic-hating spouse is running the clock for the boys’ basketball tournament. It’s great with pear chutney and homemade yogurt, and it reheats well for lunch. Otherwise I think it would probably serve three generously and four as a side dish, maybe with lamb chops or lamb kofta. You can brown the onion in the oil before adding them to the rice cooker, if you wish.
1 half 10-oz package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 16-oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 c rice
1 T butter or oil
½ t. ground cumin
1 t salt
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed or minced
2 c water
half a lemon (if you have them on hand)
Stir everything except the lemon together in the rice cooker and turn it on. When it pings, it’s done.
If you have no rice cooker, put everything in a heavy pot and bring it to a boil. Slap the lid on, turn it as low as your burner will go, and cook for twenty minutes. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice perks this up no end, as would some chopped cilantro.