Friday, July 6, 2012

You Won't Feel Awful Eating Falafel!

I am a little bit in love with Middle Eastern food.  Perhaps it's because I am dating a Middle Eastern man, or maybe it's my obsession with Shiraz Armenian Restaurant in Worcester that Mark introduced me to.  Either way, when I find recipes for some of the Armenian/Lebanese foods that I am in love with, I have to try.  Hence, falafel!

I first tried falafel a couple years ago and was shocked I hadn't had it earlier.  Patties that are not made with beef, but rather with chickpeas and herbs and spices!?  What's not to love?  The answer is nothing.  Many falafels are fried, but mine were baked.  Even better!

Beautiful falafel patties about to go into the oven!
These little patties-o'-love are rather speedy to whip up, if you forget about the fact that I had to dig out the 40-year-old food processor.  Basically you just blend together all the ingredients (which range from chickpeas to garlic to my beloved cilantro to lemon juice to cumin - I left out the tabasco).  Then you make patties, and bake them for 20 minutes.  While I was forming the patties, Mark got to work on the tzatziki sauce, which is a must with falafel.  It's a yogurt-based sauce with diced cucumber.  It's very refreshing and goes great with the patties.  It was also pretty quick - you just mix together the ingredients (including fresh dill, lemon zest, and garlic) and chill it until you're ready to make the sandwiches.  I used white pita pockets - couldn't find whole wheat - and added lettuce, 2 falafel patties, and lots of tzatziki.  I am in love with this lunch.  Mark had seconds (and finished up thirds today!), Kenzie and I devoured ours, and even Maggie, who had been dubious of chickpea patties at first, said it was delicious.  She especially loved what she called "the dip," or the tzatziki sauce.  This is a definite make-again meal especially since Mom never got to try any.  I will definitely want to double this next time.

FYI - tomorrow my family goes on our one and only family vacation to Seabrook, New Hampshire!  I will be bringing a computer, and doing some cooking, so I will still be updating - just perhaps not as often.  Tonight I need to try to figure out exactly which of my beloved cooking tools I cannot live without for two weeks.  This is difficult.  I love my mixer, but it weighs about 73483295 pounds.  I love my pastry board, but really, is a beach vacation the time and place to make bagels?  My citrus zester?  My awesome new Casey's Cupcakes apron?  Ah, such difficult choices!  If you were going to a desert island (or a beach house), which of your cooking supplies would you bring with you?
Daisy was interested

Baked falafel with tzatziki sauce

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