Jalapeno Cheddar Chickpeas curb the crunch craving, the cheese craving, and spice craving all in one snack.
When I was growing up, I never did appreciate the kick of some jalapenos or the rush of eating a habanero. Yeah. I was one of those people. Dad had to keep the jalapeno in a separate bowl of salsa; one for me and one for everyone else. Chili? Not spicy AT ALL! Wings? Mild, please?
Yup. That was me. Until I met the hubs. His chili was kicked up. Wings? Always hot. Since we were building this life together, we needed to build a flavor palette that we could both enjoy. I learned to appreciate the heat from the foods that he like to eat. That meant we add some extra cayenne and chili powder to the chili. We order the hot wings. We even had some once that were so super-hot that I couldn’t feel my tongue for hours. HOURS!
I’ve tried ghost peppers. I have some ghost pepper salt that I haven’t been brave enough to try, yet because it’s a little hotter than I’m used to right now. I’ve learned to like jalapenos. While I still won’t eat them straight up or even pickled, I tolerate the heat now. Yes, I still remove the seeds sometimes from them, but I’ve used them more now than ever before.
This Jalapeno Cheddar Chickpeas recipe is sort of a tribute to my hubs and his love for spicy. You see, there’s a jalapeno cheddar potato chip that is currently his fave flavor. And, well, sometimes you can’t always find them at the store. They have the jalapeno, which just isn’t quite the same. That delicious cheddar flavor really does make the chip delicious.
So, one day I was wandering down the “international foods” aisle and stumbled on this bottle of ground jalapeno powder. Oh. How did I NOT know this existed? Honestly!! I thought I knew about most herbs and spices this side of the pond. How in the world did I miss this one? Oh, this has SO many possibilities! I had to buy a jar. And in the pantry it set.
Until one day. I made some pizza flavored chickpeas and had a brilliant idea to make some jalapeno cheddar roasted chickpeas! This is the second time I’ve made this delicious snack. It has all the flavor and heat from the jalapeno powder and delicious cheddar flavor from the white cheddar topping. Now, if you’re lucky enough to have powdered cheese at your convenience that isn’t popcorn topping, more power to ya! I, do not. So, I have popcorn topping, which is kind of a two for one; you get the cheese and salt in one fell swoop.
Just look at those Jalapeno Cheddar Chickpeas! They’re super crunchy, because I like them that way so I roast them a little longer than most. They have delicious cheddar flavor with a smack of spice. If you’re not a huge fan of lots of heat, then please do reduce the amount of jalapeno you toss the peas with. If you want more, add more. OR you could look for the habanero powder that I’ve seen, too. That would really kick up the heat for those that like to lose the feeling on their tongue.
What’s the hottest pepper you’ve tried? Do you kick up the heat? Or take a less spicy path?
- 28 ounces canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ground jalapeno
- 1 tablespoon white cheddar popcorn topping
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Place the chickpeas on paper towels. Gently rub them with your hands to release some of the skins.
- Place the chickpeas on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or lined with a silpat. Bake for 25 minutes, stir and continue cooking at 15 minute intervals until golden brown. The darker they get, the crunchier they are.
- Remove from the chickpeas from the oven and carefully pour them into a large mixing bowl. Toss lightly with the olive oil. Sprinkle the ground jalapeno and the white cheddar popcorn. Using a spoon, stir the chickpeas with the spices to combine. You do not want to toss the peas with the spices unless you want to sneeze your head off.
- Return to the baking pan and place in the oven to allow them to dry.
- Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
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