Monday, January 30, 2012

Cookbook Challenge: Falafel w/ Cilantro Yogurt

The Lowdown:

This week, Kristy and I decided that we would randomly open a cookbook and cook something from that page. For one, I've always enjoyed random encounters. Yes, that is definitely open for interpretation. Secondly, I decided that drinking a two-six of double chocolate vodka while playing Mario Kart till 3 a.m. last night was a great idea. Needless to say, I'm a shadow of a man right now. Albeit, a very handsome shadow. Where does all this tie in? Oh right, I'm extremely lethargic and unable to think for myself. Therefore, why not let a cookbook tell you what to do. Thirdly, it's shopping day and I can pick up some of those odd ingredients that I don't normally have on hand.

My page, luckily enough for me, was tucked away in the meatless main courses section of the book.  Nothing a hung-over stomach can't handle.  The other options given to me by Fairchild's (2006) The Bon Appetit Cookbook pp. 258-259 were: Wild-mushroom Bread Pudding, Sweet Potatoes Topped w/ Vegetarian Black Bean Chili, and Oven-roasted Winter Vegetables w/ Rigatoni. As you can see, my options made it very simple to choose. Bread pudding? No thanks. Spicy chili? Ya, that's gunna happen. Not. Oven roasting took an entire hour. Its 6 p.m. and this is going to be my first meal, so I just couldn't wait that long. Like I said, my selection was an easy decision. Just in case anyone is wondering, I did not cheat! However, I can't speak for my counterpart. The page I got, was the page I stuck with.

This Middle Eastern meal is supposed to be quick, easy, and healthy. I did find that after refrigerating the falafel "mixture" over night they were much tastier and easier to form into patties.

The Playlist:

 (Printable Recipe: Cilantro Yogurt)

1 cup Plain yogurt (Greek preferably)
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper

(Printable Recipe: Falafel)

2 14oz cans Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1/2 cup Cilantro,  finely chopped
1/2 - 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
4 cloves Garlic, minced
3/4 cup Onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp Flour
2 tsp cumin
1 Egg

1 cup Flour
1/4 cup Olive oil (for frying)


Pita bread
Tomatoes, chopped
Lettuce, chopped
Olives, chopped
Artichoke hearts, chopped

The Skinny:
  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combined and mix yogurt, cilantro, onion, garlic, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Refrigerate until needed (1 - 2 hours is recommended to allow the flavours to circulate).
  3. Put the garbanzo beans, onion, cilantro, 3 tbsp flour, egg, cayenne pepper, garlic, and cumin into a large mixing bowl and mash until almost smooth.
  4. Heat oil in a pan on medium-high heat (throw a piece of onion in to test heat. If it sizzles that's good).
  5. Form small hamburger sized patties of the falafel mixture (1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick).
  6. Coat each patty with the remaining flour (1 cup).
  7. Fry the patties on each side for 6-8 minutes.
  8. Serve in a pita w/ the yogurt and any of the optional ingredients (or on its own).


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