Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Dining with the Bloggers - May 11th

The Boyfriend started working looooong hours with his new job, so I'm left with doing dinner almost each and every evening - which is fine, now. When it first started, I spent hours thinking about what to make - we do eat quite differently, our cooking styles are pretty far apart. We like the same kinds of food, but in general, I'd say my food is usually more simple (brown rice with avocado, tamari and toasted sesame seeds) and I felt like I had to provide a real meal for him - yes, I fell victim for the meat, potatoes and two vegs!

Naturally, that wasn't going to happen forever. Especially seeing I had to do the cooking, and his contribution to the affair was along the lines of:
me: "what would you like to eat for dinner?"
him: "Oh I don't know. I'm sure you'll come up with something great"

So I took charge and decided I'd just cook what I like! (minus the brown rice affair though - I think he'd look pretty disappointed if I did that!) - and it's actually worked great so far. I still try to find things that we both like. So that was the criteria this week for Dining with the Bloggers - food both me and the Boyfriend will enjoy!

One of those things is falafel. We used to just go get it at the shop around the corner, but ahem... some business with the veterinarian control (the people that makes sure restaurants keep clean and tidy around here) has sort of put an end to that, resulting in us not having had our regular falafel dose in quite a while.

I tried making them myself, with BAD results - lots of crumbs on the bottom of a large pot of bubbling oil. Not good. Luckily, to the rescue came Nic from Baking Sheet and her Oven-baked Falafel. Nic cooks and bakes so many a dreamy thing it was actually hard to choose just one thing from her blog to try, but seeing dinner was to be put on the table, and a craving satisfied, these were the chosen ones. At the moment she's doing a baking class herself, sharing all the tips and tricks with her readers - I'm so going to be making the meanest buttercream frosting soon, thanks to her!

They were so easy to do, from I started until we sat down to dinner took no more than an hour - which could probably be cut in half, or at least down to 45 minutes - I enjoy myself in the kitchen, so I don't rush, and then there was the dirty dishes to be taken care of too. I added some grilled eggplant slices and a creme fraiche dressing to Nic's suggestion of pita bread, salad, tomato and cucumbers for serving - and chili sauce, why of course!

The spice blend of coriander seeds and cumin tasted exactly like the one the guy in the corner shop uses - his falafel is green, too, just like these. I left out the cilantro, for some reason my green grocer was out. The onions, garlic and parsley was cut up in the food processor first, then I added the chickpeas - of the canned variety, as suggested in the comments, and well, because I'm a bad planner sometimes! Added just a little water to make the mixture smooth enough. I will definitely be making these again soon, and a big batch too - Nic says they freeze well, and who wouldn't like to have one's own falafel shop in the freezer, instead of around the corner? Besides, they were better than his!:-)


Melissa said...

Hi Zarah Maria! LOL - we have the exact same conversation every night! I don't even know why I keep asking! Anyway, that falafel idea is great. When we lived in Germany we used to go to the Turkish imbiss and order a bag of plain falafel - just falafel, no salad or bread - and I would make my own favorite side dishes to go with them. We got a lot of weird looks, believe me, but eventually they just did as they were told and stopped asking "are you sure you don't want anything else with that...?"

Anonymous said...

Hello Miss Zarah,

I bake my falafel, too! I'll have to give Nic's version a try, they sound fantastic- and falafel's always a winner at our house.

I loved your "Argh! Men!" comment as husband says the same kind of thing, too when I ask him for it all men then?


Nic said...

Hey Zarah. I'm glad that you made these with success! It is definately one of my favorite recipes.

Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled to have found your blog!! Baked falafel - just what I always wanted because I love falafel but can't stand the deep-frying business!