CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Garbanzos get trendy again; plus charcuterie board options

Published 6:40 am Monday, October 23, 2023

Garbanzos are hip again.

Hummus was not my thing in the ’80s and now I panic if I don’t have three cans in the pantry. This type of chickpea gets blended into dips or used whole in salads.

I used to think they had no flavor, but now I love to enhance their subtle quality with garlic and such for some healthy snacking and meal planning.

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Side note, I just heard of a cat called Tahini. I should keep more of this sesame blend on hand for the hummus.

When I don’t use that to keep it more authentic, I call my concoction bean dip.

So when you’re asked to bring something to a holiday party, consider a big bowl with some deep maroon paprika sprinkled on top, and garnished with peppers and fresh herbs.

Remember, dipping veggies in your blend is an option to fried chips or crackers.

Curious?

Play with those spice add-ins. Then you have more “room” for dessert.

Get MALLOW with me – Far be for me to tell you how to enjoy your s’more, but once you’ve tried Creekside Mallow Co.’s Mallow Bags, you’ll get ideas of your own.

Chocolate Chip Mint and Salted Caramel are big squares of small-batch, handcrafted gourmet marshmallows that are blowing minds.

My desserts this week have been to savor one skewered mallow, toasted via a chiminea, and enjoying the crispy gooeyness. They’re so big I can reapply the heat and enjoy several rounds from the same mallow.

Now get this: they also make round marshmallow “toppers” that go right on top of your cocoa. Hold still. There’s cocoa mix and other yumminess at creeksidemallor.com.

The Spice Girl Kitchen – Kelsey grew up in New Orleans, so I’d trust her Cajun blend. It’s the Okie Rub that got my attention. This pretty jar is her go-to for grilling meats and vegetables and suggested for beans and rice.

It smells wonderful and I’m loving it on popcorn and eggs. I can’t wait to get to know it better on a slab of meat. So my sister introduced me to “Reservation Dogs,” set in Oklahoma and these characters keep saying “Catfish is life.”

I’ll bet Okie Rub would make the catfish jump, too. This registered dietitian and accidental private chef has blogs on dishes such as sheet pan nachos and gingerbread overnight oats. It’s like when two awesome worlds collide when some foodie is working toward delicious food that is also better for you.

See how a visit to thespicegirlkitchen.com will inspire you.

Boards – Charcuterie board are still hot and here are some tips on cheeses I’ve tried. It’s amazing how a small bite of a really good cheese can satisfy. White cheeses with nutty nuances are what I’m craving.

The Cheese – Rembrandt: A Dutch Masterpiece is 12-month aged Gouda cheese that pairs will with strong ales and fig jam. Are we done here?

Let’s continue.

Maybe you’ve seen Gayo Azul® at Sam’s Club. Did you know it’s from a renowned Hispanic cheesemaker with a Dutch influence? To me, they are enjoy-alone cheeses, but Celebrity Chef George Duran honored Hispanic heritage month by using these cheeses in Birria Tacos and Open-Faced Honey & Ham Sandwiches.

Cow’s milk gives a firm texture and “subtly salty, mild flavor profile.” A tip is that it is so “rich” tasting you just need a bite to feel luxurious. Up your cheese game with these selections:

– Cotija: A firm and crumbly Mexican aged cow’s milk cheese with a sharp, slightly salty flavor, perfect for enchiladas, tacos, and street corn toppings.

– Dutch Edam: A firmer cousin of Gouda, with a rich flavor and smooth, creamy texture, ideal for cheeseboards, baking dishes, and salads.- European Swiss: A semi-firm cheese boasting a sweet, nutty taste and iconic round holes, suitable for burgers, cold, and grilled sandwiches.

-Queso Blanco: A fresh, white cow’s milk cheese with a slightly salty and mild flavor. Its young age creates an irresistibly creamy yet crumbly texture that holds its shape well, making it ideal for grilling.

– Queso Para Freir: A fresh, white cow’s milk cheese with a slightly salty, mild flavor, known for its higher melting point, perfect for frying, sandwiches, and baked dishes.

Check out gayoazul.com.

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who would love to hear of your food “experiments.” Email her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com.