Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Baked Falafel and Homemade Tzatziki

I've tried fried falafel, both homemade and at restaurants and while they're good - the oil upsets my stomach (no surprise there, what doesn't these days.) There are a number of recipes out there for falafel both baked and fried, so I cobbled a number together to make a mostly baked version. DH and I both liked the result. I had mine on a salad but DH had his on tortilla (I know pitas are traditional but I didn't want the extras hanging around the house and we needed tortillas for another meal that week.) Using Tori Avey's notes on cooking chickpeas, I used only soaked chickpeas for this recipe to let them have a better chance of holding together. I've made this with canned as well but tried frying them, let's just say our frying technique needs a little (lot) of work, not something we'll probably get around to improving unless I'm really craving fasnachts one year.

Based off Oh She Glows's Falafel with a Twist, Cookie + Kate's Crispy Baked Falafel, and Tori Avey's Traditional Falafel

You will need:

- 2 1/4 cups soaked, uncooked chickpeas
- 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup packed chopped parsley
- ¼ t cumin
- ¼ cup ground flax
- 2-3 T whole wheat flour (add 2 then add more if needed to hold together)
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- pinch ground cardamom
- pinch red pepper or cayenne
- 1-2 T lemon juice
- olive oil or high smoke point oil (sunflower, grapeseed, etc)

1. Combine all ingredients in food processor until between couscous and paste (Torie Avery suggests a course meal)
2. Make sure all chickpea chunks are broken up
3. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours (I refrigerated 3 because of when I started making dinner)
4. Preheat oven to 350
5. Heat large cast iron skillet (I needed both of mine to not crowd) with a little oil, enough to coat the bottom
6. Form into patties using about 2 T of mixture for each, use 1/4 cup if you want larger falafel or patties. 2 T yields ~12 falafel
7. Place patties in skillet(s) and brown on both sides before sticking in the oven
8. Bake for 5 minutes on each side

Alternative cooking methods: You can fry these in 1 1/2 inches of high-smoke point oil (2-3 minutes a side) but may need to add more binder. You can also use less oil and still cook them on the stove, just browning them.

To Serve: On a pita with red onion, hummus, tomatoes or on a salad with similar. I add a Tzatziki sauce for salads because why not.

The recipe for the Tzatziki is as follows (note, I do use dairy yogurt for this recipe, I hate the taste of coconut yogurt and that's the only non-dairy yogurt our main grocery store stocks- but if you can find a neutral tasting non-dairy yogurt, go for it.)

You will need:
1 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt (I use Fage 0% since they're the only ones with actually 0mg of cholesterol per serving)
1 large Cucumber, peeled, cored, and chopped or shredded
1/2 cup Fresh Dill, chopped
1-2 t Sea Salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T lemon juice
Splash olive oil

1. Salt the cucumber and let drain for 30 minutes
2. Squeeze dry the cucumber
3. Combine all ingredients
4. Taste a day later to season to taste (I tend to up the salt and lemon juice)

Note: Tzatziki is best the next day but I've made it the same day without any problems but at least make it the same time as the falafel mixture to meld.

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