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Monday, September 5, 2011

Falafel Power

I would to highlight on a wonderful and amazing meal and that is Falafel.

Falafel  Arabic {fala: fel } is a deep fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans. Falafel is usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as lafa The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze.
Generally accepted to have first been made in Egypt,  falafel has become a dish eaten throughout the Middle East. Falafel is also often considered a national dish of Isreal. The copts of Egypt claim to have first made the dish as a replacement for meat during Lent. The hearty fritters are now found around the world as a replacement for meat and as a form of street food.



Falafel has become popular among vegetarians and with those in the vegan movement, where it is celebrated as an alternative to meat-laden street foods, and is now sold in prepackaged mixes in health-food stores. While traditionally thought of as being used to make veggie burgers, its use has expanded as more and more people have adopted it as a source of protein. A versatile  ingredient, it has allowed for the reformulating of recipes for meat loaf sloppy joes and spaghetti & meatballs into vegetarian dishes.
Today, falafel is eaten all over the world.
I would like to add a nice recipe for you to enjoy

Open-Faced Falafel Burgers





Ingredients 

  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame-seed paste)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • Patties:
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs, divided
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • Remaining ingredients:
  • mini pitas (about 5 inches wide)
  • 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped tomato
  • 2 cups sliced peeled cucumber
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion


Preparation

  • To prepare sauce, combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth.
  • To prepare patties, combine 1 cup onion and next 7 ingredients (through 4 garlic cloves) in a food processor, and process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Place bean mixture in a large bowl; stir in 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Divide bean mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place remaining 1/4 cup breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Dredge patties in breadcrumbs.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 teaspoons oil and patties.
  • Warm mini pitas according to package directions. Place 1 pita on each of 6 plates. Top each serving with 1/2 cup lettuce, 1/3 cup tomato, 1/3 cup cucumber, and 4 teaspoons onion. Drizzle each serving with about 3 tablespoons sauce; top each serving with 1 patty.
  • Wine note: Light in body and tannin, pinot noir is the perfect red wine for robust vegetarian dishes. These burgers include spices like coriander and cumin, which are echoed in Kim Crawford Marlborough Pinot Noir ($15), with its savory nuances and aromas of smoke and dried herbs. Bright fruit and ample acidity help to cut the burgers' rich tahini sauce. 




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