Monday, January 17, 2011

Falafel you say?

I made this for the first time last night, and it was REALLY good!  I've always been a fan of falafel, but this homemade stuff is not only delicious, but the best I've ever had.  I used my cucumber dill sauce for dipping.  It's also fantastic on salmon, but you can use a classic tahini sauce if you prefer.

Falafel – Mark Bittman

Yield 6 to 8 servings

Time 1 hour, plus 24 hours

First, keep the amount of water you use when grinding the beans to an absolute minimum. More water makes grinding easier, but it also virtually guarantees that the batter will fall apart when it hits the hot oil. If this happens, bind the remaining mixture by stirring in a little flour.

The second essential step is to get the oil hot enough: 350 degrees or a little higher. If you don\'t have a thermometer, just wait until the oil shimmers and then add a pinch of the batter. When it sizzles immediately, sinks about halfway to the bottom, then rises to the top, the oil is ready. If it sinks and stays down, the oil is too cold; if it doesn't sink at all, the oil is too hot.


• 1 3/4 cup dried chickpeas

• 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed (I added more like 8)

• 1 small onion, quartered

• 1 teaspoon ground coriander

• 1 tablespoon ground cumin

• Scant teaspoon cayenne, or to taste (I only used a ¼ tsp)

• 1 cup chopped parsley or cilantro leaves

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice (I used half a lemon)

• Neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, for frying


1. Put the beans in a large bowl and cover with water by 3 or 4 inches; they will triple in volume. Soak for 24 hours, adding water if needed to keep beans submerged.

2. Drain beans well (reserve soaking water) and transfer to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients except oil; pulse until minced but not pureed, scraping sides of bowl down; add soaking water if necessary to allow machine to do its work, but no more than 1 or 2 tablespoons. Keep pulsing until mixture comes together. Taste, adding salt, pepper, cayenne or lemon juice to taste.

3. Put the oil in a large, deep saucepan to a depth of at least 2 inches; more is better. The narrower the saucepan the less oil you need, but the more oil you use the more patties you can cook at a time. Turn heat to medium-high and heat oil to about 350 degrees (a pinch of batter will sizzle immediately).

4. Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter and shape into balls or small patties. Fry in batches, without crowding, until nicely browned, turning as necessary; total cooking time will be less than 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Cucumber-Dill Sauce:

Comments: This sauce is amazing. I made it with some Salmon the other day and it's so good, I wanted to just eat the sauce when I ran out of fish.

1/3 cup peeled, seeded, cucumber

1/3 cup low fat sour cream

1/3 cup low fat plain yogurt

2 teaspoons chopped fresh dillweed (or more to taste)

1 clove garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Take the cucumber, dillweed, garlic, salt and pepper and process in food processor. Mix in sour cream and plain yogurt. Taste for seasoning. Chill or serve immediately over your favorite meat.

My favorite way to make salmon is to rub it with a little olive oil, garlic salt and cajun seasoning and bake/broil until crispy and done.


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