Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's for dinner? MMMM...falafel and gyros

Funny, growing up I hated falafel.  Couldn't stand it.  And yet, for some odd reason, when I came across a recipe for it a number of years ago, I was drawn to try it.  And I love it!  I don't get around to making it nearly often enough, what with making pita bread for it, but I tackled it this week.  I made a huge batch of pita bread the other day, so we had gyros the first night, then pita wedges with hummus for lunch the next, and falafel last night.

from Family Fun magazine, February 2007

1 c. dried chickpeas
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. fresh curly parsley, stems removed, tightly packed
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. corriander
1/2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1/4 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Pinch of cayenne
Vegetable oil for frying

6-ounce container of plain yogurt (*to make it DF, I use So Delicious plain coconut yogurt)
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh curly parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Rinse the chickpeas, then soak them in a medium-size bowl in several inches of water overnight in the refrigerator. (we've found the patties won't hold together as well if you use canned chickpeas.)

To make the sauce, whisk together the yogurt and water in a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Makes 1 cup.

Drain the soaked chickpeas and place them in a food processor. Add all the remaining ingredients and blend, scraping the sides if necessary, until the mixture is creamy, about 1 minute total.

Heat an inch of oil in a large, heavy frying pan to 375 degrees (a spoonful of the mixture should sizzle as soon as it's immersed). Scoop up a heaping tablespoon of the falafel mixture and gently place it in the heated oil. Place 4 or 5 more spoonfuls in the pan. Fry the patties until they're thoroughly brown on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes, then flip them to brown the other side.

Drain the patties on a plate covered with a paper towel and sprinkle with additional salt, if desired. Serve with yogurt dipping sauce. Makes 16 to 20 patties.

Lamb Gyros
 from's recipe

1 lb. lean ground lamb
1 large tomato, cut in half, then thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 whole pita breads, cut in half, warmed

Seasonings for Lamb:
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tsps. dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce:
1 8-oz. carton plain low-fat yogurt (to make DF, I used So Delicious plain coconut yogurt)
1/3 cup seeded, chopped cucumber
2 Tbsps. finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. granulated sugar

mix ingredients in a medium bowl

Prepare Cucumber Yogurt Sauce; cover and refrigerate.

In large bowl, combine lamb seasoning ingredients; mix 2 minutes or until very well-blended. Shape into two oval 1/2 inch thick patties. Place patties on rack in broiler pan so meat is 3-4 inches from heat. Broil 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink and juices run clear, turning once.Carve patties into thin slices. Place equal amounts of lamb, tomato and onion in each pita half; serve with cucumber Yogurt Sauce.
Makes 4 servings (2 filled pita halves and 1/4 cup sauce)


    Sara Thompson said...

    I have never had a homemade batch of falafal turn out - will have to try your recipe. I use Mary Jane's Farm's falafal mix and it's really good. I believe it's GF - she's becoming quite aware of GF foods.

    Lydia Stewart said...

    I am SO GLAD you shared this blog with me! What a great collection! I am having so much fun looking through! I love your school lunch ideas- you are such a good mom!!! (I wish you were packing my lunch too. :) Keep up the good work! My cooking blog is in case you didn't have the address. Is it ok if if I make a link on the side to yours? I'll be back! :)