Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fabulous Falafel

Holy, two posts in one day! What the heck. I'm hanging out at home with Hubs, watching a movie after a crazy busy Saturday and I'm in a blogging kinda mood. Yesterday after we did our run, we were out for a couple of hours pulling broom with our neighbourhood and then spent 4 hours shovelling 5 1/2 yards of dirt - yes, we're insane. We had a retaining wall built in our backyard and we needed to fill it with dirt so I could get some plants in before it gets too late in the season. Man...that was some backbreaking work! I did the shovelling, and Hubs wheelbarrowed it to the back of the house. Afterwards, we guzzled down a couple of beer and inhaled some pizza and damn, did it taste good. We were so exhausted we actually went to bed at 8:30 - it wasn't even dark out. Surprisingly, I feel pretty good today and I'm not too sore either. Glad we got 'er done as it's been pouring rain all day here.

Anyways, I was inspired to posting again today because I tried this new falafel recipe that was amaaazing - Hubs was impressed and said "it tastes pretty good for being vegetarian." High praise out of the mouth of a diehard carnivore. I got this recipe off Epicurious as it came highly reviewed:

My Favourite Falafel

1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying

1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.

2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.

5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

My mods - I used one 19 oz can of chickpeas, doubled the amount of cilantro and parsley, used a bit more flour (due to using the canned chickpeas) and I didn't deep fry these babies, I panfried them with a little olive oil in a non-stick pan. The texture is moister than a regular falafel because I used the canned chickpeas - I didn't mind the moist texture but next time I'll try the dried chickpeas for a more authentic, drier texture. Warning though, these puppies are pretty garlicky so make sure you get any kissing out of the way first before you eat these.

For those of you who are waffle iron owners - apparently, falafel made in a waffle iron is awesome - much more crispy surface area than the regular balls. I almost want to get a waffle iron just to try it - a fala-waffle. Hee hee.

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