The Falafel Disaster of 2012

Last Monday I decided that since I was making hummus and had tahini in the house, falafel would be the perfect dinner for the BOY and I.  Mediterranean is the BOY’S favorite type of food and I always love me some falafel.  I have made falafel from a mix before, and I think one time I made it from scratch.  I used RECIPAGE and chose the best looking falafel that I saw based on the pictures. I came across THIS RECIPE from a new-to-me blogger.  I had my own bread…I just bought these Arnold Pocket Thins and they are amazing (just a warning though, the nutrition info is for 1/2 of a pita), so I just followed the falafel portion of the recipe.

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I know that the BOY can eat a lot of Mediterranean and I was hoping for leftovers, so I doubled the recipe.  In retrospect, this was probably my first mistake!

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It was WAY TOO MUCH for my food processor to handle, and the ingredients did not mix together well.  I ended up adding some olive oil to the mixture to create a smoother consistency.  After 30 minutes in the freezer, per instruction, I was able to form my mix into balls.

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My plan was to fry some up for the BOY and bake a few for me.  I threw a baking sheet of falafel into the oven and got to work on the frying.  If you are a consistent reader of the BLOG, I’m sure that you are not surprised to hear that I have NO IDEA how to fry anything!  I guess I should have been paying better attention while my mom was was whipping up potato pancakes at Hanukkah.  I heated up a skillet, added some oil, and when it looked to be sizzling, threw in three falafel balls as a trial.  The hot oil hissed and danced around the pan, making me thing that I was on the right track.  However, when I looked at the pan after a few minutes, ready to turn the falafel, I realized that my balls seemed to be shrinking.

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The oil was eating my falafel!!!  I had no idea what this meant and started screaming to the BOY that my falafel was drowning.  He came into the kitchen, confirmed that this did not look good and then headed off to read the recipe to see what I had down wrong.  He explained to me that I needed to freeze the falafel before putting them in the pan.

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I told him that I had done this and obviously it was the fault of the oil and that my baked ones would turn out just fine.  I took the remaining falafel and decided that pan frying them with cooking spray (as is done in some recipes) would be a better way to create the golden brown look that I was going for.

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However, this failed almost as miserably as my frying attempt.  Not one to easily give up, I was confident that baked falafel would be my answer.  I pulled them out of the oven to flip them only to discover that my round balls did not look like the delicious meal that I often order at the Pita House.

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I flipped them anyways, set on salvaging what I could of our last-day-before-vacation-ended dinner.  I knew that the BOY wouldn’t eat kinda sorta baked falafel, so I quickly made some tuna salad as a back up.  It still tastes great with pita, lettuce, and cucumber.

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And I was able to grab a few of this odd shaped, crazy looking, possibly undercooked in the middle falafels for my dinner.

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Although the mixture tasted good, I went VERY wrong somewhere along the way.  After three failed cooking attempts, there was no way not to admit that I had messed up something.  Although I’m still not exactly sure where because I was way too tired to do any investigating and I was set to be back at work after almost 2 weeks off the next day.  The BOY was happy enough with his tuna dinner, but I’m sure it will be a little while before he lets me try to make falafel again.  Next time, we will be back at the Pita House, for sure!

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Do you ever make falafel?  What recipe to use?  How to you cook it?

I could use all the help I can get!!!

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