16 February 2008

Supah sistahs

I got to hang out with my sisters today!! I love it when I get to hang out with my sisters. They are so freaking hip. And they are hilarious. When I leave them, my stomach and throat always hurt from laughing. But that's a good thing.
We were pretty low-key today. We went to a couple thrift stores in Peoria, much to Kali's chagrin. My sistah, Roo, is a thrift-store pro. She is amazing. We went into one Goodwill and gave ourselves 10 minutes to get to the checkout counter. By about six minutes into it, Roo had found a pair of Born sandals, a pair of BCBG pants for Lil, a very cool lampshade and some other thing I've forgotten. I was amazed. I ended up with a stone baker at that store, and later found some overalls, a fleece snowsuit, and some shoes for Daniel, and a funky tablecloth that could be made into cool shopping bags, were I to be enterprising. And I also found a very cool maple dresser at a Salvation Army on my way home that I might try to buy next week, if it is still there.
Before we went thrifting, we had lunch at One World, a very funky and cool coffeehouse next to Bradley University. We have been going to One World since I was in high school and it is just a good place to go -- good food, good coffee, good drinks, good atmosphere. We each ordered different stuff and shared, so we had spinach and feta pizza, falafel, asian spring wraps, and grilled chicken. They were all delicious.
I got to introduce falafel to Lil, who is just born to eat it, and the experience reminded me that I have a great pita recipe and have made some really good falafel in the past. So here is that middle-eastern recipe, in honor of my middle-western sistahs.

Super easy falafel(-ish)

Hummus (chickpeas, garlic, tahini (see note below), lemon juice, salt) -- about two cups
egg or two
breadcrumbs or coarse flour
onions, finely chopped -- 1 or 2
fresh parsley, chopped -- half or whole bunch
cumin -- 1 T or more
coriander -- 2 t or more
more garlic, minced -- at least 2 cloves
Add garlic, parsley, onions and cumin to hummus (to make falafel green, finely chop parsley or mix in food processor). Taste for salt, etc. Add an egg or two (or don't -- see note below). Add flour, a tablespoon at a time until it is a thick mixture that can be formed into a patty. Form into a ball -- slightly larger than a golf ball and flatten slightly.
Heat coconut or olive oil until hot, but not smoking. Add falafel(-ish) patties and fry until brown and crispy.
Serve in aforementioned pitas with parsley, tahini sauce and yogurt sauce. Lettuce and tomato are nice accompaniments, too.

Yogurt sauce

chopped tomato (optional)
Mix. Adjust. Eat.

Tahini sauce

4 cloves garlic
1/2 c. tahini
1/2 t. salt
1 T. water
juice of 3 lemons
Use food processor to chop garlic and mix tahini, salt, and water. Add lemon juice slowly into food processor until very creamy. Add a bit more water if necessary.

This is obviously not completely authentic falafel, but it IS delicious. And really easy. And delicious. Really delicious.
Edited to add: A purist has noted that these recipes may contain verbotten ingredients (i.e. egg and, apparently, tahini which should not be IN the falafel). If there's one thing I truly adore, it's a purist. Especially one who is insisitent upon removing time-saving adaptations to time-honored recipes. So, I've changed the name on this recipe to "falafel-ish". And if you are aghast at the idea of feeding your family a variation on the REAL, authentic falafel (which you can apparently find through the blog link left in my comment section or through a google search, using the words "authentic falafel" and then ignoring any that return egg in the ingredients), please, please, please -- DON'T use the above recipe. You are only setting yourself up for heartbreak and misery and a truly simplistic dining experience with ingredients you may have on hand. And I know you wouldn't want that.
Unless you do. In which case, grab the hummus in the fridge and make some falafel-ish. And enjoy. :)


the hummus guy said...

Dear April,
I've been eating tahini, hummus and falafel all my life, and I'm afraid your recipes are simply wrong.
For example, falafel should not contain tahini, and certainly not eggs.
You can find proper recipes for all these foods in my blog.

Andrea said...

Great finds. I need to find some good thrift stores around here. I'm not to crazy about Good Will.