Last night we celebrated the fact that it was a Tuesday and we didn't have to go to work the next day. We have the mid-week Fourth to thank for that. Anyway, Tuesday is climbing night and we had a couple non-regulars joining us for climbing and some delicious falafel afterwards. I developed my love for falafel when I was living in Denmark. Yes, I know that falafel isn't a Danish food. But when you are paying 42 kroner (7 dollars) for a beer on a student's budget, you quickly discover that the scattered Turkish Shwarma Houses are your best bet for cheap tasty food.
Sean's Falafel and Cucumber Sauce
adapted from allrecipes.com
Original recipe yield:
2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
1 dash pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups dry bread crumbs
oil for frying
2 (6 ounce) containers plain yogurt
1 cucumber - peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
fresh dill weed
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2) In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together; add more or less bread crumbs, as needed. Form 12 balls and then flatten into patties.
3) Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides.
4) In a small bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, dill, salt, pepper and mayonnaise. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
5) Serve with chopped tomato and lettuce on flatbread or pita.
I made the patties and the yogurt sauce before climbing and placed them in the refrigerator. Everyone was starving by the time we got back, so it was nice to toss the falafel in the frying pan, grab a beer, and eat. John has a fierce hate of onions so I substituted the onions with celery. I think it turned out really well. The celery added a little bit of crunch without overpowering all the flavor from the fresh herbs. Cilantro was not originally part of the recipe, but it was growing like crazy in my garden and I couldn't think of a good reason not to throw it in.
Georgia swore that my falafel was better than any she had eaten at any Shwarma House. Luke also approved and it is always hard to read what John is thinking. But by the end of the evening, the falafel was gone, and we found out everything you ever needed to know about potato guns. All in all, a quality way to spend the Third of July.