Friday, August 6, 2010

Baked Not Fried

It's been about a month since I wrote my last post, but I must say I haven't been slacking. It all started with my July 4th visit with Sharon and a snack we had at Faneuil Hall- a simple falafel platter with hummus, salad and pita bread. I knew I could make those delicious little balls of chick peas and spices without deep frying them, but it took many tries (a month's worth). I've always been a great believer in oven frying and this task was a challenge. I immediately got the spices right, but had some trouble with the baking time and temperature. There's a reason falafel are deep fried. The oil helps them crisp up and adds to the flavor. But I kept at it and came up with a reasonable facsimile for fried falafel that I think are pretty delish.

Baked Falafel

3 T canola oil
1 15.5 oz can chick peas drained
1/2 cup onion chopped
2 tsp garlic chopped
2 T AP flour
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)
2 T chopped parsley (optional)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees. Pour canola oil in baking dish and place in middle rack of oven. To make the falafel mixture combine chick peas, onion, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Add remaining ingredients and whirl until combined. Shape mixture into 12 balls. By this time your oven should be pre heated and you can remove the baking dish and place the balls in the pre heated oil. Don't crowd the balls because the baking powder makes them spread. Bake 15 minutes. Turn them over and bake another 15 minutes. Serve warm.

For lunch at work I had my falafel cold with a hummus dressing and feta cheese salad.

Hummus Dressing
2 T hummus tahini (store bought)
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
Juice of one lemon
3 T light soy sauce
5 T canola oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 T water

And right before I began writing this post I enjoyed them warm with a cool Indian Raita on pita. Very tasty.

1 cucumber peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
3/4 cup non fat yogurt
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 T fresh mint or parsley (optional)

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