Sigh, these cutlets. I liked them, quite a lot really. However, I wish I’d seen the pictures of them before I attempted my own. The recipe said to mash the chickpeas until no whole beans remained, and I did that. Had I known that the gluten would form such quick bonds, I’d have pulsed them in the food processor so the gluten would hold them in.
As it was, I had almost 1/2 cup of chickpea pieces that wouldn’t incorporate and therefore burned on my baking sheet. My oven temperature is off by less than 5 degrees, but the cutlets were burnt on the bottom after 15 minutes. Next time I’ll try the oven at 350 instead of 375; could be my darkish pans.
Also, I made the doubled recipe posted below, and my family would’ve preferred even MORE (that is, that I would have tripled the recipe in the book, which is half the recipe I’m posting). They were a hey-uge hit with the family.
I served these inside onion pitas with a mustard sauce and spinach, along with leftover chickpea noodle soup. Yes, that was the third meal I got out of doubling that recipe (ended up with nearly a gallon and a half after doubling), though it is almost gone now.
We liked these very much. The recipe I’m posting is a bit clearer than the one published in the book, so don’t fear in making the cutlets just as the recipe commands. The book gives baking instructions, and as I’m still dropping baby weight, I prefer that method. Below is the pan frying method.
1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I used 2 cups home cooked)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
Olive oil for pan frying
4 cloves garlic, pressed or grated with a Microplane grater
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas together with the oil until no whole chickpeas are left. Use an avocado masher or a strong fork. Alternately, you can pulse the chickpeas in a food processor. We’re not making hummus here, so be careful not to puree them, just get them mashed up. You can also sneak the garlic cloves in here instead of grating them, just pulse them up before adding the chickpeas. If using a food processor, transfer to a mixing bowl when done.
Preheat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over low-medium heat. Cast iron works best. If you have two pans and want to cook all the cutlets at once then go for it, otherwise you’ll be making them in two batches.
Divide the cutlet dough into 2 equal pieces. Then divide each of those pieces into 4 separate pieces (so you’ll have 8 all together). To form cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6 by 4 inch rectangular cutlet shape. The easiest way to do this is to form a rectangle shape in your hands and then place the cutlets on a clean surface to flatten and stretch them. (OK, maybe my surface wasn’t that clean.)
Add the remaining ingredients and knead together for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed.
Add a moderately thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They’re ready when lightly browned and firm to the touch. I’ve found that they cook more thoroughly if I cover the pan in between flips. I also use my spatula to press down on them while they’re cooking, that way they cook more evenly.
As a mama of four littles, I have to save time and cash where I can. I tend to soak two pounds of beans on Saturday, then cook them on Sunday. That usually makes enough for at least four meals for the week. I don’t use canned beans very often because they cost about four times as much as dried, plus all that refined salt, yick.
Two pounds of beans will serve my family of six quite well, for for less than $3, we’ve got the foundation of several meals!