The kitchen floor desperately needs a sweeping, the cook needs a shower, but by golly, I’m getting the picnic food made.
So, the day before my weekly excuse to try out new recipes (read: D&D), the boyfriend planned a picnic with me and one of our other gamer friends. As awesome as that is, the food I had planned for the next day wasn’t exactly a snap, so around four pm, I went into Turbo Mode and whipped up a Middle Eastern spread to make my mom proud. (They’re not her recipes, but she’s the one who introduced me to them growing up, so I credit her.) This and the next two posts cover those specific recipes.
For anyone who’s not familiar with falafel, they’re immensely tasty chickpea croquettes that are normally served shoved into a pita with some sauce or salad. There are a number of pre-made falafel kits out there, and I may have actually used one once – the memory is fuzzy. These are a bit more work than just shaking out a mix and adding oil, but I really hope they’re worth it!
Recipe from Allrecipes, because I don’t have my mom’s. I think hers have an egg in them, while these are vegan. I did bake them rather than frying them, both because I’m scared of deep-frying and for healthfulness reasons. Also, I fudged the proportions because of the amount of chickpeas in my pantry. The original recipe makes about 24; this makes 35, and I will be shocked if they all get eaten tomorrow…wait. On second thought, between the DM, the cleric, the fighter, and visiting nibblers, no I won’t. 🙂
On an unrelated note, I’ve been getting into drinking (store-brand) seltzer rather than soda and have actually grown to like the taste. Tonight, though, Safeway was all out, so I came home with a bottle of diet tonic water instead. Blech. Needs a crapton of lime juice before I will consider this even mildly palatable. Still, it’s better than brandy. Slainte!
- Drain, rinse, and empty three fifteen-ounce cans of chickpeas into a bowl. Mash the ever-loving hell out of them with a potato masher. Try not to wake up sleeping roommate in the basement.
- (Realize that you’ve had Pandora on for the past hour and were singing along to “Barrett’s Privateers.” Reason that, if roommate is still asleep from that, the potato masher will make no difference.)
- Add chopped onion to taste. The original recipe called for two small onions for this much chickpea mash; I substituted one large shallot and one medium one. I like my croquettes a little less onion-y than most.
- Add four minced cloves of garlic, AFTER figuring out where you put the bag you just peeled not four hours ago. Question wisdom of housecleaning-type behavior.
- Add generous shakes (about two tablespoons each) of dried parsley, cumin, and cilantro. Upon encountering cilantro after ten-minute hunt, pause to dream of the day when you and only you will organize your kitchen.
- Add teaspoon or so of turmeric and teaspoon of baking powder.
- Add two cups of “fine” bread crumbs; I used panko, because that’s what was around. Stir the whole mess together.
- CAREFULLY. Pause to clean spilled breadcrumbs from counter.
- Add drizzle of water and sprinkle of pepper, then move to table for assembly.
- Squish mixture into little balls and lay out on baking sheet. I wound up with thirty-five, slightly uneven balls.
- (Panic for a moment and check the ingredients on your breadcrumbs. Reassure yourself that there are no eggs. Continue.)
- Slide tray into fridge overnight (if you’re planning ahead) and go take a shower.
- The next morning: preheat oven to 375. Bake tahini for about 15 minutes; remove from oven, flip balls over, and bake for another 15. Serve with delicious things! 🙂