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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

NYE Falafel

I have a falafel urge I nursed for 2 days.  If it wasn't for the 12 hour minimum soaking time, there would have been no nursing of urges and I would have acted upon my deepest desire right then and there the second the idea popped into my head, but as it happens, chickpeas need to soak.
They weren't really part of the meal plan, but when the voice speaks to me, I can all but ignore it.
They will be perfect with my Beetroot Tahini Dip that was part of the plan, so I really had no excuse not to make them...
This time around, I decided to make them a bit differently.  I added a green chile (because, well, I don't need any reason to do so) and a grated carrot.  The carrot appeared at the last minute and I decided it was a good idea.
It was.
I also added panko hoping for the nice crunch on the outside airy and soft on the inside.
That was also a good idea.  I will now be using panko in my falafel.
Yield 25-30 falafel
2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked at least 12 hours
5 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch parsley
if I had cilantro, I would have added a bunch as well
1 green chile, seeded
1/2 large red onion or 1 small, diced
1 carrot, finely grated
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp za'atar
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
salt + fresh cracked pepper
2 Tbsp panko + more for rolling
2 tsp baking soda
oil for deep frying
1.  Wash the soaked chickpeas well.  I soaked them for over 24 hours and I didn't peel the skin off.  I think it depends on the quality of the chickpeas because these ones really don't need that extra work.  The people that are usually sensitive to that type of thing have no issues with these chickpeas.  I used Wassila brand.
2.  In a food processor, mix the garlic, green chile, and parsley into a paste.  Add the drained chickpeas and a bit of water if too dry to blend.
3.  Stir everything else but the baking soda.  Knead a bit and let rest for 30 minutes.  At this point I clean the kitchen and went on a long walk with my dog.  I have these little ways of building up suspense for myself.  There's nothing more gratifying than coming home after a long sunny but cold walk with your best furry little friend to a clean kitchen, ready to fry up some falafel.
4.  Taste and add adjust the seasoning.  Knead in the baking soda, and make small golf sized balls with your hands.  Roll the balls in some of the extra panko.
5.  Make sure the oil is hot, but not boiling.  Drop the balls in the oil and cook until nice and golden brown.. about 3 minutes.
6.  Remove onto paper towels.
As I fried up my Falafel listening to A Day at the Races, tears streaked down my cheeks..
I may have been going through a hormone imbalance, but I was weeping in part from the onions, in part from the deeply romantic act I was performing which grasped my heart and squeezed all the composure out of my body that I had captured throughout the year...
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