|Mediterranean spread, entirely homemade. Taken with our super duper canon 60d|
I guess this was about falafel, and everything else was built around that. We'll start with falafel.
We really like the occasional falafel. It's rather hard to find without wheat and other commercial additives so quite a few years ago, Pinny went on a falafel making journey. To be completely honest, it was not a journey I encouraged or even supported. Lots of messes were made. Many recipes were tried that simply didn't work. Lots of 'wasted' ingredients, gallons of organic extra virgin olive oil were tossed. The flavor was really good, but the texture was off.
When the perfect recipe was finally developed, it proved worth the hassle. This is the way falafel is supposed to taste. What made the big difference? Uncooked chick peas. You read correctly. Don't cook the beans.
|soaked and sprouting|
|Olives, picked by Pinny & Zalman|
October 2010 in Arizona
The fixings are also mess making. Pita, hummus, tahini, Israeli salad, pickles, olives, hot sauce, fries. None of these are too time consuming, but making them all at the same time... that's a serious commitment. The pickles and olives were made a while ago. (There will be a post on homemade pickles coming soon - I promise. Olives might be a while... but will happen eventually.)
The raw tahini had been prepared earlier. I make a batch every month or so. Hmmm, does that call for its own blog post? The short of it: Using a quality food processor like cuisinart (a lesser motor will burn out), drop in a pound or two of sesame seeds. Turn your machine on and walk away. The process takes about 10-15 minutes. Scrape down the sides every few minutes. Find something else to do in between because watching your sesame seeds become sesame paste is kinda boring and not the most efficient usage of time. When the oils are released, the paste will get hot and steam will come out the top of your food processor. This is totally normal. When it's smooth and white you have raw tahini. You can easily purchase unprocessed tahini, but my friend Yaakov Citrin introduced me to the process and I've since made my own. I add some garlic, water, cumin and lemon juice. Voila, tahini.
My in house bread and dessert chef made the pitas. Levik makes rugelach, pizza, muffins, beautiful cookies and breads. All this talent under my roof, I am incredibly fortunate.
The potatoes were sliced and set to soak in a bowl of salted ice water. They would be fried
So, back to the falafel process. The recipe:
1-2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup water (as needed)
Olive oil for deep frying
Heat oil. Place the onion, garlic, herbs & chick peas into the food processor. Process until well combined, occasionally
scraping down the sides of the bowl. If your mixture seems dry and crumbly add a little water. Pour the batter into a bowl and add the spices.
Wet hands to shape the balls. Drop into hot oil and fry. The balls will rise to the top of the oil and will need to be turned after 2-3 minutes or when the bottoms are browned. Cook for 2 more minutes or until uniformly browned.
Looking at my dinner table filled with beautiful foods that are all homemade gives me a great sense of satisfaction. I didn't do this all myself. My husband did a lot, my kids had their parts and thankfully, I had help for the cleanup.
...The recipe, the history, the fixings. The most frustrating part of this creation is actually getting this blog post up. I have such a hard time getting blogger to place my pictures where I want them. I have a vision of how this blog post should look, but my mode of communicating that vision to blogger feels very limited. Oh well, at least we have great falafel....
To good health,
|falafel by pinny lew. photos by our super duper canon 60d|