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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Falafel and Tzaziki! Yummy yummy!

I must start by saying that although I used to get several "mommy" magazines, I am rarely seduced by the "easy" recipes in them. Usually they don't appeal to me. But several months ago I came across a recipe for falafel in one (I think Family Fun magazine) and thought, why not?

If you are a fan of Mediterranean food at all, or chickpeas at all, you MUST try it:

4 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
2 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
handful freshly chopped cilantro or mint
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 whole-grain pitas cut in half
1/2 cup shredded lettuce or mixed baby greens
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
mango chutney for garnish (optional)

1. Heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in a small skillet. Add onions and garic and saute until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Place in the bowl of a food processor and add the chickpeas, cumin, and coriander, pulse until the mixture becomes a thick puree. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir in the chopped cilantro or mint and season with salt and pepper.
2. Form mixture into 12 balls and flatten them into patties. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a medium skillet. Add half the patties and cook until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining oil and patties. Let cool completely.
3. Place 2 falafel patties in each pita half. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, and chutney (if using)
Note: Don't worry if the patties break apart. Just stuff them into the pitas and your kids will never know the difference.

My notes: I use chopped mint. We don't love cilantro. This time I used dried garbanzo beans instead. I soaked them a full 24 hours before using them, 1 bag=approx. 2 cans. The results were great. We have used mango chutney in the past, to rave reviews from M, but I made tzaziki sauce this time and she was stubbornly not impressed. It sounds much more difficult than it is, my husband and I had to swap out in the middle of cooking as I recieved an important phone call. And although I don't purchase vegetable oil, I have used it in the past and it does make it easier. This time we used coconut oil.

For my tzaziki sauce I looked at several recipes on the web and invented my own:
1 large container of plain yogurt, excess liquid drained
6 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
1 handful chopped fresh mint
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cucumber, peeled and grated
salt and pepper to taste

It was heavenly. We ended up with the container between us, dipping out spoonfuls and dolloping on everything. (I used Stonyfield organic full fat yogurt, the carton I had removed the whey from earlier in the week for lacto fermentation)

I also made some greekish-style potatoes:
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thinly
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
2 tbsp oregano
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
goat cheese

Lay the potato slices out in baking dish or dishes. Mix together oil, water, oregano, salt, garlic, and pepper. Pour over potatos. Cook in a 400 degree oven approximately 20 minutes. Top with goat cheese. (I used a Dill Chevre bought from the farmer's market.) These are also good with the tzaziki sauce!

The same day, I checked my carrots, which turned out, ahem, interesting. I guess I was expecting them to taste like a Morrocan ginger carrot salad. They are more of a sour, spicy carrot relish. Once I figure out what to eat them with, I'm sure I'll love them! :-)

Coming up this week: Apple Butter, Strawberry Preserves, and Oxtails!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there!
    I just discovered this Follow Feature to see you again. You are very creative in the kitchen, too! I'll be over for dinner, ok ?:)

    How are you all doing? Would love to hear what life has been like for you all over the last little bit.
    We have moved away from Savannah now- still in the coastal area, but on the Carolina side now.

    Great to see you and great blog!