Not your average comfort food

Chickpea Cutlets with Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes and White-Pepper Gravy

Lately, I’ve been craving a big, savory, southern-style vegetarian dinner. This recipe made a large amount, enough to feed about 6 people at under $5 a person.

Wanna try it out? Shopping list and step-by-step instructions after the jump!

Shopping List:

  • 2 Cans of Chickpeas
  • 4 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 Quart Whole Milk
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 cup Plain Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
  • Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Heads of Broccoli (if desired)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 4 tbsp’s Flour
  • 2 tbsp’s Soy Sauce
  • Maple Syrup
  • Cinnamon

Step one:

Start by submerging the sweet potatoes in water and turning your burner to medium-high.  The potato skin can remain on; peeling will take place after boiling, which will take about 45 minutes.

While your potatoes are boiling, you can start preparing your chickpea cutlets. Open the cans of chickpeas, drain, rinse, and throw them in a large bowl.

Also, it is a good idea to cut the broccoli ahead of time, if you decide to make broccoli.  We later agreed corn would be a more ideal vegetable to pair with this dish, but corn isn’t in season yet.

Step Two:

When the sweet potatoes have been boiling for 20 minutes, it is a good time to start seasoning and mashing your cutlets. Mash the chickpeas with 2 tbsp’s olive oil until there are no whole chickpeas left.

Cut your two cloves of garlic into extremely small pieces, and zest about 1 tsp of your lemon. Throw this in with your mashed chickpeas. Then add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tsp of paprika, rosemary, thyme, 2 tbsp’s soy sauce, and a little pepper. Mix all ingredients, with your hands, until there is a large amount of dough formed.

When your dough is stringy and well-mixed, it is ready to be portioned out into cutlets. It is good to form these with your hands to ensure that they are packed and properly sized. I made mine about 3/4’s of an inch thick. Make as many cutlets as you can with your dough. Place these to the side to be fried later.

Step Three:

The white-pepper gravy is very simple and savory. Take a small pot and pour in 2 cups of milk, 4 tbsp’s flour, 2 tbsp’s butter, 1 tbsp garlic salt, and 1 tbsp ground black pepper (or more, to taste). Whisk together all ingredients. Put this over medium heat.

Step Four:

When your potatoes are done boiling, drain the water from the pot and place the potatoes in a bowl in order for them to cool. You should not stop boiling the potatoes until they are very soft and the skin is loose. Make sure the insides are not hard!

When the potatoes are cooled enough to peel, remove all the skins and place them in a large bowl, or the empty pot you boiled them in. Cut them into smaller pieces and mash them a little. Then add 1/4 cup milk, 2-3 tbsp’s butter, Cinnamon to taste, 2 tbsp’s maple syrup, and 1/4 tsp salt. Mash these until they are completely smooth and have no remaining chunks.

Seeing as you still have to cook the gravy, cutlets, and brocolli, I would turn my oven on to about 200 and stick my potatoes inside. This will keep them warm while you finish cooking.

Step Five:

**If you decide to make broccoli, now is a good time.  It is not necessary, but it is delicious!**

Take a large fry pan, coat the bottom with olive oil, and turn on the burner to medium heat. Allow a few minutes for the pan to heat up. Then put as many cutlets as you can fit in your pan. You should fry each cutlet until they are browned and crispy on both sides.

Continue to whisk your gravy while frying the cutlets. By now, the gravy should be thickening up. If it’s still thin, add a little more flour and continue whisking. Before serving, I would let the gravy sit for 2-3 minutes. This will help it thicken even more.

Step Six:

When your cutlets are fried, and your gravy thickened, take your potatoes out of the oven and everything is ready to be served!

Photos by KAB staff writer/photo intern, KC Orcutt.

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