Saturday, March 17, 2007

Another try at Falafel

Earlier this week it was about 70º, giving us a hint of spring to come and planting notions of grilling in our heads. I even went out and bought some strip steak to grill for the next grilling opportunity. The deck was finally clear of any snow, most of the snow in the yard was melted and the ground was beginning to dry out a little bit. And then this..........

Back to square one. Sigh. Last time the snow as kind of pretty. This time, it's just kind of depressing. I'm getting tired of messy roads that make it such a pain to walk Bailey - they put down gravel here and he ends up with black bits all caked in his fur and it turns his coat a nice grayish color. The ground has been so wet that even just letting him out the back door to do his business gets him quite muddy. But that's March for you. But I'm ready for a string of windy, sunny days to get rid of the snow and dry things out!

But enough griping about the weather......on to falafel.

We were not overwhelmed by our last attempt at falafel, so we gave a new recipe a try for our Friday Lenten meal this week. This recipe calls for soaking the chickpeas, but not cooking them - a technique I've not tried before. I combined the falafel and relish from this recipe with the tahini sauce from this recipe.

While we definitely liked this falafel recipe better than the last one we tried, I can't say that I've found THE falafel recipe for us. I think they could have had a bit more flavor and kick to them and I also detected a raw flavor from the uncooked chickpeas. I wonder if this kind of recipe really could benefit from going the traditional route of frying the falafel instead of the lower-fat version here that calls for baking them. Frying will add fat, but if you fry correctly (this is a yet another link to a transcript of Good Eats with Alton Brown - he did a great episode on frying), very little of the fat should end up being aborbed by the falafel, so I think it's worth a shot. The tahini sauce was good, but again, I think it could be better.

My craving for good falafel is still not satsified, and so the search continues..........


  1. The weather has been crazy lately. Now they say we're going to hit 70 this week.

  2. I love your blog, you help inspire me so that I can keep going in the race of "whats for dinner?" Thank you.
    I have a question, and I apologize if you have already answered it, but,
    What is Falafel? Did you try it at a restaurant or grow up with it?
    I am so curious.

  3. Cate - I'll take warmer weather! We got another two inches out of nowhere last night! Yuck!

    Robin - Here is a definiton of falafel from Food Network:

    Definition: [feh-LAH-fehl] A Middle Eastern specialty consisting of small, deep-fried croquettes or balls made of highly spiced, ground chickpeas. They're generally tucked inside pita bread, sandwich-style, but can also be served as appetizers. A yogurt- or tahini-based sauce is often served with falafel.

    I tried it at a restaurant and at some food festivals - mostly back when I didn't eat meat. It can sometimes be a little too dry, but I love the flavor............