Cocktail-Hour Crunch

Make Andrew Zimmerman's addictive fried chickpeas

Before The Violet Hour space was a swank, low-lit cocktail den, it was the lively Spanish-inspired restaurant Del Toro. And anyone who remembers Del Toro remembers chef Andrew Zimmerman's revelatory fried-chickpea bar snack.

Zimmerman concocted his time-consuming, multistep recipe in an attempt to replicate the fried chickpeas that grace the bar of New York's Tía Pol. He soaked the chickpeas overnight in a buttermilk bath, then coated them with semolina flour and ground Arborio rice. After a dip in the deep fryer, he'd finish them with citrus- and garlic-seasoned oil and, finally, pimentón–Spain's sweet, smoky, Basque paprika.

The results were delicious, but the process was more complicated than it needed to be. Zimmerman, now chef of Sepia, recently discovered that the original Tía Pol recipe is insanely easy. He pairs the nutty, crispy chickpeas with octopus and fresh chickpea hummus, though we still crave them as a cocktail accompaniment.

Luckily, the recipe is simple enough to make at home. Just rinse canned chickpeas, then dry, fry and toss (click here to download the recipe).

The result: your go-to drinking snack of the year.