Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Falafel RE*MIX

I took a falafel recipe that I have used a lot - but was starting to get bored with - and added a little sumpin' sumpin' for a little.  Normally seasoned with cumin, coriander (and occasionally smoked paprika) this twist injected my latest batch of baked falafel with the flavors of a different part of the Mediterranean Sea.

    makes one dozen

1 small onion, roughly chopped
1/4 bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I like to use Aleppo pepper for this recipe)
1 16 oz can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
5 oz of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
1 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino (or Parm-Romano)
salt and pepper
cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, stick rack in the middle.  At the same time heat some oil over medium high heat in a medium/small saute pan.
  2. Pulse the onion, bell pepper and celery in a food processor to finely chop.  Add this mixture to the heated saute pan.  Salt and pepper and cook until onions are translucent and water has cooked off - about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes and oregano and cook for about 45 seconds.  Remove from heat and add to large bowl and let cool.
  4. Add the chick peas and spinach to the food processor and pulse that bitch.  Dump this paste into the cooled sauteed vegetable mixture.
  5. Add the oil, flour, baking powder, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese.  Stir with a small rubber spatula.  Season as desired.
  6. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.  Form a ball slightly smaller than a golf ball with the chick pea mixture and place each one into it's own muffin spot.  This batch makes about 11 or 12. 
  7. Bake for 40 minutes.  No need to turn them, they will be crispy all over the outside and creamy and good in the middle.
I like to finish them with a squirt of fresh lemon juice after they come out of the oven.

Serve over a salad.  I made a sour cream vinaigrette for this batch (recipe below).
Or try in a pita pocket with lettuce, tomato and your favorite condiment.
You could even use these as a meatless meatball and serve with pasta and marinara!  Maybe add some basil with the spinach if you go this route.

Sour Cream Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons non-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, minced
1 tablespoons honey
pinch each of salt and pepper
  1. Add all ingredients to a small jar with lid (an old Grey Poupon jar is perfect).
  2. Put lid on tightly and shake for 30 seconds.  
  3. Pour over salad.