This time last week I was having my first alterations appointment for my wedding dress. Since I gave up long ago at losing weight before the wedding, I met a good friend for dinner the night before at this cute middle eastern restaurant in Kansas City's Westport neighborhood. We ordered lots of falafel and hummus...and flamming cheese! Today I am really craving some more of that falafel so I did a little researching (and by that I mean Googling) and found celebrity chef Bobby Flay's Falafel recipe. I think this is what I'll make for dinner tonight.
2 cups soaked chickpeas (chickpeas need to be soaked in cold water for at least 18 hours and up to 24 hours)
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 or 2 serrano chiles, chopped
2 green onions (white and green part) finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
3 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground
Scant 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Piquillo Pepper Yogurt Sauce:
2 cups thick Greek yogurt
3 piquillo or 2 roasted red peppers
1 teaspoon smoked sweet Spanish paprika
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions For the Falafel:
Drain the chickpeas through a colander then place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. Chickpeas should be totally dry.
Heat 4-inches peanut or vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 330 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer.
While the oil is heating, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and serrano chiles and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
Transfer the chickpeas to a food processor, add the garlic mixture, green onions, parsley, mint, cilantro, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, baking powder, salt and pepper and process until the mixture is finely ground, stopping to scrape the bowl every 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Form the mixture into balls the size of ping pong balls and place on a plate. Fry in batches at 330 degrees F until a pale blonde color, about 45 seconds, spooning oil over the falafel constantly. Remove with a slotted spoon to the baking sheet. Increase the heat of the oil to 350 degrees F. Return the falafel to the oil, in batches, cover the pan with a lid for 30 seconds and fry until a deep brown color, spooning the oil over the falafel constantly. Remove with a slotted spoon to baking sheet lined with paper towels, and immediately season with salt.
Directions For the yogurt sauce:
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth; season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a small bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, covered, to allow the flavors to meld. Variation: Substitute 2 cups feta cheese for the yogurt, and add 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley.
Bobby Flay also gives a Hummus recipe too but it looks hard and store bought hummus is delish!
Have a happy (calorie-filled) weekend!