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Old 01-18-2005, 02:34 PM   #1
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Falafel

Hi, I'm making falafel for the first time this weekend. My recipe says that you can either use a meat grinder or a food processor to chop up the chick peas.

Do you have recommendations on which works better? Thanks!

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Old 01-18-2005, 07:36 PM   #2
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:) Tyler Florrence just did a show on falafel on Food 911 on The Food Network he says to process till coarse but not smooth but also no whole chickpeas.The recipe is online at food network if you want to check it out the show called Falafal Fanatic.
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Old 01-18-2005, 07:56 PM   #3
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Here's Tyler's recipe, which I've made and can confirm as being very tasty!

FalafelRecipe courtesy Tyler Florence and JoAnn Cianciulli/ makes 24

2 cups dried chickpeas, picked through and rinsed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves coarsely chopped
1 handful fresh cilantro, leaves coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
8 warm pita bread, store bought or homemade recipe follows
Tahini Sauce, recipe follows
Shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, chopped cucumbers

Put the dried chickpeas in a large bowl and add cool water to cover by 2 inches. Soak the beans in the refrigerator for at least 18 hours or up to 24; the chickpeas will swell to triple their original size. Drain and rinse thoroughly.
Put the soaked chickpeas in a food processor and pulse to coarsely grind, not until smooth but with no whole chickpeas remaining either. Add the baking powder, onion, garlic, spices, and herbs; process until the mixture is pureed; scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate while heating the oil, this should take about 15 minutes.
Pour 3-inches of the oil in a deep fryer or deep heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees F.
Roll the falafel mixture into ping-pong size balls. (Alternatively, use an ice cream scoop.) Carefully slip a few at a time into the hot oil, making sure they don't stick to the bottom. Fry until the chickpea fritters are a crusty dark brown on all sides, turning as needed, about 5 minutes per batch. Remove the falafels with a slotted spoon and drain on a platter lined with paper towels.

Open the pita bread halves to make pockets (don't split all the way) and put 4 fried falafels into each. Drizzle with the tahini sauce and layer with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Serve immediately.

Tahini Sauce:
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/2 cup plain yogurt or water
1 lemon, juiced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Pinch salt
Pinch paprika
Combine all the ingredients in a blender, process on high speed to make a smooth and creamy sauce. Adjust seasoning, to taste, and serve with falafels or as a salad dressing.
Yield: about 1 cup

My note - canned chickpeas work just fine here!
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:12 PM   #4
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In my experience with making felafel go real easy on the salt you add. Cumin can taste quite salty sometimes and you can always sprinkle salt on them after they are cooked.
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:21 PM   #5
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I tried to make falafel once. I was using a blender to grind the chick peas. They were not moving so I decided to add a little olive oil to get things moving along. Big mistake. The mixture came out soupy and did not hold up when fried. I had a big batch of much on my hands that burned very quickly with a TON of smoke. Here is a link to a picture of my apt after an hour of airing out. Falafal disaster
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:53 PM   #6
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I hate when that happens GB!
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:59 PM   #7
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Thankfully I found a dried falafel mix at Whole Foods. It is very good. Just mix with water and then fry. Hmmm I haven't made those in a while. I think I will need to do that real soon.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:38 PM   #8
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That's a very cool picture, GB, altho I wouldn't have wanted to have been in the room when you took it--burning chick peas sure smoke!
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:41 PM   #9
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Thanks PA. Yeah it was not pleasant in there at all. Well I learned a very valuable cooking lesson that day
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Old 01-19-2005, 05:47 AM   #10
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GB, this is a case where the processor definitely does a better job than the blender!
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Old 01-19-2005, 08:32 AM   #11
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Yes that is for sure

At the time I did not have a processor, just a blender and I figured what could be the difference? They both chop up things . Well I sure learned the difference that day LOL.
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Old 01-19-2005, 12:21 PM   #12
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GB what kind of processor you have. I have cheap cusinart grinder/chopper and isn't worth the effort. Thanks
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Old 01-19-2005, 12:45 PM   #13
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Well now I have a nice Cuisinart that we got for our wedding. I love the thing. It is very powerful and does a great job.
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Old 01-19-2005, 05:56 PM   #14
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I love the powdered mix, it's really easy and tastes authentic.

I'm glad that someone else does things like that GB!

By they way I just had a big sticky beak through your albums, very interesting!! I love your wedding pics!
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Old 01-19-2005, 07:25 PM   #15
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Thanks for checking out my photos kyles :)

Yeah sometimes mixes are the way to go. For some things they can taste just as good as if you made it from scratch, without a lot of time consuming effort.
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Old 01-19-2005, 10:13 PM   #16
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vegetables and vegetarians

Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
Well now I have a nice Cuisinart that we got for our wedding. I love the thing. It is very powerful and does a great job.
GB saw the picture of the wedding. No wonder you are so happy. Looks like you have nice partner.

If you don't mind, what size is the processor? And to get as gift. You are blessed!
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Old 01-19-2005, 10:22 PM   #17
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Thanks ITK. Yes she is very nice. I don't know what I did in life to deserve a person as wonderful as my wife, but I count my lucky stars everyday. I am truly blessed. Not only is she perfect in my eyes, but her family is wonderful as well. I could not ask for more.

My processor is an 11 cup. It is the perfect size for me. It has the wide feed tube too, so I don't have to struggle to get things in it. A couple of very close friends got that for us. It came with a note that said "have fun processing your food". Makes me laugh every time I think of it :)
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Old 01-20-2005, 02:43 PM   #18
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Well, that settles it, I am going to get 11 cup Cusinart from the faith I have in you. I trust you completely and also your wife. Give her special hug from me tell her congratulations and may all your 'processing' together be blessed. (Hope this isn't taken wrong way) Just mean whatever you do together is successful. Always keep your communication open, good or bad, don't let anything build up. Since you have such interest in cooking I am sure she could not find another one like you. She is lucky. Life is good when there are two who understand each other. Blessings and thanks again.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:14 PM   #19
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Thanks ITK! That is very kind of you to say. I am going to send her a link to this page so she can see the wonderful things you have said :)
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Old 01-20-2005, 05:04 PM   #20
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Tell her I mean it. I don't 'kiss' and 'tell'. What you see is what you get. You got the best and I sure hope your life will always be the best. Seems like you get only one shot at life and have t o make the best of it. I am trying not to look back but forward to the future of my family. They deserve it. If you don't have support of family what do you have? Thanks for all your help. I know the processor will improve my work in the kitchen.
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