I like getting fancy.
There’s something kind of magical about donning an article of clothing free of wrinkles, strapping on shoes that close without frayed shoelaces, and combing out the dread locks steadily forming on the back of my head. For me, getting dressed up gives me hope that I will one day neither get dressed out of my hamper nor use the old “baby powder in the hair” trick. Yes, formal occasions are great but around here they’re often few and far between. That’s why I was elated to get an invitation last week to my friends Jenna and Andrew’s formal dinner party. Wine? Check. High heels? Check. H’ors d’eouvres? Check. [Looking up how to spell ‘h’ors d’eouvres? Check.]
Lots of class and lots of sass ensued.
Because I so rarely get to make fancy little appetizer treat nuggets I decided to experiment with something new. I recently purchased chickpea flour, ‘cuz, well, you know me. Comin’ up hot, fresh off the press: way numero ocho to love a chickpea.
I had read about making chickpea crêpes before and decided to give it a whirl. I whipped up the filling with a sort of Indian-inspired flavor and it all worked incredibly well. I made the pancakes different sizes but I preferred them thin and small so they could be eaten with hands and in a few bites.
Indian-Spiced Sweet Potato Mash
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 small jalapeño pepper, diced (optional)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 cup golden raisins + extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut (for garnish, optional)
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds (for garnish, optional)
1. Cook the sweet potato as desired until soft (oven: roast with skin on 40-45 minutes at 400º, stovetop: bring a large pot of water to boil & add the sweet potato, cook 20-25 minutes, microwave: cook each potato 7-9 minutes on high). About 10 minutes before the potatoes done, move on to step 2.
2. Pour the olive oil into a skillet and heat over a medium flame. Add the diced red onion and garlic and sauté 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the ginger, jalapeño, cumin, coriander, and salt and cook 3-4 more minutes. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, mash the sweet potatoes, then add the spiced onion mixture and stir well. Add the lime juice and raisins and mix to incorporate.
[These mashed sweet potatoes are fantastic on their own, definitely feel free to serve/devour with or without the crêpes].
Chickpea Flour Crêpes
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 2 cups chickpea flour
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
1. In a large bowl, stir or whisk together the chickpea flour and water. Whisk in the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and cumin. Allow to sit 10-15 minutes.
2. Heat a skillet with a light film of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add 1/4 cup of batter and cook until lightly browned around the edges, 2-3 minutes. Turn the pancake over and cook about one more minute. Repeat with the remaining batter, adjusting to make smaller or larger pancakes and adding a bit of oil to the pan each time.
To assemble: Simply take a crêpe and add 1-2 Tablespoons of filling. Sprinkle with golden raisins, sliced almonds, and coconut.
SERVE TO HAPPY FORMALLY DRESSED PEOPLE. Or to yourself for dinner.