This is not my first commentary on chickpeas, garbanzo beans, whatever you like to call them. Last year I wrote about a piece called "Best. Snack. Ever.", which was true in that much more innocent time in my life. Chickpeas roasting up in the pan with cooking spray topped with Parmesan or Romano cheese, salt, pepper and garlic was amazing. I thought it didn't get much better than that. Little did I know, even the "best snack ever" could be improved. It was a Friday night after a long and exhausting work week, when I craved a snack to go with my carefully picked out bottle of red wine. With little to work with in the fridge, I looked into the cabinet finding a can of chickpeas, the perfect, quick go-to snack. Friday night started out like most flipping through the channels looking for a good Friday night flick. I got out my usual colander to drain the chickpeas, the saute pan and cooking spray. As I began to roast up the chickpeas in the pan, I noticed a half-empty packet of Ranch Seasoning Mix. Something called me to pick up that Ranch seasoning and sprinkle it all over my chickpeas. And that is just what I did.
I turned the heat off and tossed the chickpeas in a healthy dose of Ranch Seasoning Mix, black pepper and Parmesan cheese. I sat down with my husband with the steamy, hot, Ranch-covered chickpeas and a glass of wine; and that is the moment when I knew how much better the best snack ever could be. The Ranch Seasoning Mix acts as a tenderizer making the chickpeas more tender and melt-in-your-mouth than before. That Ranch flavor is undeniably delicious, and it made me realize how many other things could be improved by adding Ranch Seasoning Mix. Honestly, I don't know what's in it. Are there real spices in it? Are there chemicals and preservatives? I do not know. What I do know is that everyone else in America loves Ranch Dip, Ranch Dressing and I never quite got that. I am more of a vinaigrette or Blue cheese kind of girl. As for dips, hummus is good and I am always a sucker for that Bacon and Horseradish Dip. Finally, I have found a place where I can be comfortable with the American love for Ranch. And that place is on my chickpeas.
Lizzy M.'s Down on the Ranch Chickpeas
1 can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp Ranch Seasoning Mix
2 tbsp Parmesan or Romano Cheese
Dash of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Drain the canned chickpeas into a colander and rinse well. Shake well in the colander to remove any excess water.
2. Into a large saute pan, coat well with cooking spray and turn the heat to medium-high.
3. Place the chickpeas into the pan. For 2 people use half of a can and for 4 people use a whole can.
4. Toss the chickpeas in the pan while they cook, so they roast evenly. Continue to cook them until they browned and then lower the heat.
5. Add the Ranch Seasoning Mix, the Parmesan or Romano cheese, salt and pepper and toss well. Once the ingredient are mixed well then turn the heat off, pour into a bowl and serve piping hot!
Best. Snack. Ever. Just got better! Enjoy!