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Off the Shelf: Garlic Chickpeas with Cumin-Fried Fish

From Off the Shelf, here's a quick and easy dinner for a weeknight when you're tired: open up a can of chickpeas, fry them with leeks and garlic, add a piece of cumin-coated fish, and you're done.

Make sure you use all of the aromatic ingredients in their full amounts. The chickpeas are a bit bland by themselves, and they definitely need the leeks, garlic, and lemon zest to liven them up. I used halibut for the fish, but found it was a bit lean for this recipe. Cod, perch, or orange roughy would be good choices for the fish, and probably wouldn't cook up quite as dry as halibut does.

I tried to make this recipe using only 1 frying pan, but the chickpeas grew cold while waiting for the fish to fry. If you really only want to dirty up 1 pan, you could give the chickpeas a quick zap in the microwave just before serving, to heat them back up. Otherwise, use 2 pans. Feel free to reduce the recipe by half, if you're feeding 2 people.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

3 Tbsp olive oil
3 leeks (white and tender green parts), rinsed and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp lemon zest
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Two 14- or 15-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 small red or green chili, seeded and finely chopped
Four pieces (6 to 7 oz. each) firm white fish, such as cod or orange roughy

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil, leeks, and lemon zest. Cook until the leeks are golden and slightly crispy, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas and heat through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Keep warm over low heat, or remove the chickpeas to a microwaveable dish. If reusing the same pan, wipe out with a paper towel and return to medium-high heat.

Put the butter, oil, and cumin in a pan over medium-high heat and cook for 3 minutes, stirring. Add the fish to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until just cooked through. Serve alongside the chickpeas, with a lime wedge on the side.

 

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©2005 Colleen Flippo. All rights reserved. Contact the author.