Football and Falafel

So I ended my last post feeling very excited about the Arizona Cardinals and tonight’s vegetarian dinner. I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed on either front.

The Cardinals pulled out a close one, and we even stayed up past our usual nine o’clock bedtime to see it all.  Football season is just its own special kind of terrific.  By the end of the summer I’m crazily anticipating the opening kick-off.  I imagine Sunday after Sunday of thrills and excitement.  Sometimes it works out that way, and sometimes it doesn’t.  But the hope is ever-present.

Entering a new world of cooking and eating also adds some fun and spice (ok, there’s a pun) to my life.  Again, anticipation reigns supreme.  At least when it comes to cooking, I have some real control (as opposed to the jumping around I do in front of the TV).  I’m sure that at times this new experience will meet my expectations and at other times it won’t.  But today anyway, we had a great big score.  And here it is:

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Oh, oh, oh.  Falafel perfection.  This from-scratch version easily rivaled and probably surpassed any falafel I have ever eaten.  And I’m happy to give a big shout out to Tori (who I don’t know!) and her blog for providing me with a most wonderful recipe.  I really wasn’t sure that I had the chops for this one but it’s actually pretty easy.   Luckily as I was celebrating the Cardinals win, I remembered to pop the dry garbanzo beans in a bowl of water to soak overnight.  I’ve never done this before and I’ve not traditionally been a big bean eater.  I think that’s about to change.

After rinsing and draining the beans I popped them in the food processor along with  garlic, onion, parsley, flour (I used gluten-free),cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne:

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I processed  until the mixture was a bit crumbly but not yet like a paste:

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The mixture went into the fridge for a few hours.  While it was in there I also made Tori’s tahini, a mixture of sesame paste, lemon juice, more garlic, water and parsley.  This was also processed until it had a very creamy consistency.  Here’s how ours turned out:

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It is absolutely delicious.  After that there was nothing much else to do but roll ’em up and fry ’em up:

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Sous chef David was home by this time so he manned the “deep fryer”.  We fried these in grapeseed oil (the recipe recommendation)–not the usual color!  We also used our candy/deep fry thermometer for the first time, and what a difference that made.  We didn’t put anything in the oil until it reached 375 degrees, and we tried to maintain the temperature throughout.  As a result, the falafel were crispy on the outside and cooked through inside.  I chose to serve them atop a Greek salad rather than in pita (haven’t found gluten-free pita yet).  Frankly the falafel balls were so filling, the meal didn’t really need anything else.  Here’s a  close-up of a delicious bite:

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Yum.  While this was pretty labor-intensive for a weekday meal, we have plenty of leftovers.  And compared to the Amy’s Organic veggie burger I had for lunch today, a falafel and tahini with veggies on a gluten-free tortilla sounds like a big improvement.  I guess no matter what you’re eating it usually tastes better when you make it yourself.

So here we go…

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8 thoughts on “Football and Falafel

  1. Speaking of falafel, and football, we like to stop Tick-Tock diner on the way back from Giants games. It’s fun after a win, because the place is filled up with excited fans on their way home from the stadium. In any event, they serve the best falafel over a wonderful green salad there. (It’s a nice change up for me from omelettes!)
    I applaud you for making your own. I considered making it from scratch myself recently, but decided it was too much work. So instead I bought a box of falafel mix; haven’t tried yet though.

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    • You know, if you have a food processor it’s much easier than you think, although probably more of a weekend project. Plus think of all the lunches 🙂 Let me know how the mix compares to Tick Tock…

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  2. We fried it up all at once and put the fried leftovers in the fridge. Had a great lunch today. BTW, you can also reuse the oil, which isn’t cheap as long as you strain out the solid bits and keep it refrigerated. Who knew?

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  3. Those look so delicious! I’m definitely going to try the tofu and I’ll consider the falafel when I have enough time. Where did you get the grapeseed oil? I’ve bought it before but it was clear.

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