April 8, 2007

Falafel Feva’

On my first night walking around Greenwich Village (I’m a New Yorker now!), I saw many, many great places to eat (not to mention the neighborhood clairvoyant and a club for “mad scientists,” aaahh NY). I felt like a kid in a candy store. Seeing as it was rather late and I was by myself for the time, I didn’t feel the need for an all-out, sit-down affair. I thought I would just wander around until a take out place caught my eye. A big “Yummy” sign did just that as I walked down 7th Ave. “Well that sounds promising,” I thought.

Yummy Shawarmy specializes in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food prepared with an almost silly helping of hippie love, with names like “Yummy Chick” for the chicken dishes and “Schnitzel From Your Mother’s Kitchen.” Being a fan of falafel, I went for the “Falafel with Love” platter served with rice, pita, and green beans in a tomato sauce (never a combination I have tried). Honestly, I wasn’t really feeling the love from the falafel. I do enjoy spicy food, but the spice of these falafel just didn’t work, and there was no cucumber sauce to help cool it down. The cucumber sauce is key to the falafel experience.

So, I think I can do better in my own kitchen (which right now is literally a “two-butt” kitchen, meaning only two butts can fit into it, aaahh NY). Normally, I feel guilty eating falafel because they are deep-fried, but I came across a great recipe for baked falafel the other day. These are great for vegetarian eaters and really make the perfect lunch with pita and cucumber.

Falafel

Ingredients

1 potato
1 bunch parsley
2 onions
3 Tbs. oil
3 C. cooked, ground garbanzo beans
1/4 C. sesame seed meal
1 Tbs. yogurt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs. salt
Dash cayenne
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika
Juice of 1 lemon

Directions

Cook and mash potato and set aside. Mince leaves of parsley. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop onions fine and sauté in oil until soft. Stir in parsley and cook briefly. Add to ground beans. Mix well with remaining ingredients. Form into balls or shape into patties, using about 2 Tbs. of the mixture for each one. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes on each side.

Yield: 24 balls

Tip: Make pita bread from scratch for a true falafel sandwich.

More NYC adventures to come!

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