Falafel

Falafel Recipe

 

Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans). Falafel is a traditional Arab food, usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket to hold other toppings, such as salads, pickled vegetables, harissa,  ect, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack, or served as an appetizer.

Falafel
 
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Falafel Recipe
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Levant
Serves: 30 Falafel Balls
Ingredients
  • 250 grams dried Chick Peas
  • ½ Big Yellow Onion
  • ¼ bushel of Parsley
  • ¼ bushel of Cilantro
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • ½ tsp whole Coriander Seeds
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Cover Chick Peas with 3 inches of water in a mixing bowl and let soak overnight. The following day strain the water and rinse the Chick Peas.
  2. Now feed the Chick Peas through a meat grinder, while at the same time alternatively adding the Onion, Parsley, Cilantro, and Garlic through the grinder as well (you can also use a food processor if you don't have a grinder, but be careful to not over-process!).
  3. Add all the spices to the ground up contents and mix well.
  4. Cover the Falafel mixture and place in a cold fridge for about 1 hour (this is too aid in the frying process).
  5. In a frying pan, add enough oil to deep fry the Falafel balls.
  6. Make the Falafel balls about 1½ inches in diameter and fry till a nice golden brown color (2-3 minutes per side to brown. 5-6 minutes total).
  7. Serve in a pita, or as a snack dipped in tahini sauce.

 

Cheese Bourekas

Cheese Bourekas

Borek (also burek and other variants) is a family of baked or fried filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough known as phyllo (or yufka). Bourekas were most likely invented in what is now Modern Turkey. Bourekas can be found made from either phyllo dough or puff pastry filled with various fillings. Among the most popular fillings are salty cheese, mashed potato, mushrooms, spinach, eggplant and pizza-flavor. The top of the borek is often sprinkled with sesame seeds. The particular recipe is going to show you how to make Cheese Bourekas, which are complimented with hard boiled egg and harissa.

Cheese Bourekas
 
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Cheese Bourekas Recipe
Recipe type: Pastry
Serves: 5-8
Ingredients
  • 1 package of Puff Pastry Sheets (1.1 lbs, 490 grams)
  • Ricotta Cheese (1/2 lb, 200 grams)
  • 3 oz Queso Fresco Semi-Soft Crumbling Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Corn Starch
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Water
  • ⅛ cup Sesame Seeds
Instructions
  1. Defrost Puff Pastry (2 sheets) as directed on the package.
  2. With a rolling pin, stretch each sheet of dough out about 1 inch more in diameter.
  3. Cut each sheet into 9 squares (18 total squares).
  4. In a mixing bowl, add both cheeses, corn starch, salt, 1 egg yolk and mix well.
  5. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit (177° Celsius).
  6. Now add enough of the cheese mixture (about 2 teaspoons) to each pastry square, leaving enough room to be able to fold sheet in half.
  7. To close pastry squares, fold into triangle shape, and press the outer edges with your fingers slightly to hold pastry in place. Finish sealing pastry by pressing outer edge with the end of a fork and then place bourekas onto cookie sheet (about 9 bourekas per cookie sheet).
  8. In a small mixing bowl, add 1 egg yolk, teaspoon of water, and mix well.
  9. With pastry brush, brush egg yolk mixture on the top of each pastry triangle and then top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
  10. Place bourekas in hot oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown color.
  11. You can serve as is, or add hard boiled egg and/or harissa inside.

 

Harissa

Harissa Sauce

Harissa is a Tunisian hot chili sauce whose main ingredients are a variety of hot chili peppers and spices such as garlic paste, coriander, red chili powder, caraway as well as some olive oil. It is most closely associated with Tunisia, Libya and Algeria but recently also making in-roads into Morocco and Israel. Variations of Harissa can include the addition of cumin, red peppers, garlic, coriander, and lemon juice. It can also be used as a flavoring in couscous, or as a spread on your favorite bread. Harissa paste can be also used as a rub for meat or eggplant.

The Harissa recipe I’m going to be sharing with you was passed down from my Iraqi Grandmother, Savta Na’ima.

Harissa
 
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Hot chili Harissa sauce recipe
Recipe type: Dip, Sauce
Serves: Family
Ingredients
  • 8oz dried red Chili Peppers
  • 7 cloves of Garlic (about 5 teaspoons chopped)
  • 1 Lemon - peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cumin
  • ½ cup light Olive Oil
  • 1½ teaspoons Salt
Instructions
  1. Soak dried chili peppers in water for about 5 hours (make sure all chilies are under water).
  2. Once chilies are soft, strain water, remove stems and cut open chilies to remove as many seeds as possible.
  3. Allow chilies to dry off in strainer for about 15 minutes. You can squeeze them to help rid of excess water.
  4. In a meat grinder, add chilies, garlic, lemon, and grind to paste.
  5. Once ground, mix in cumin, salt, and olive oil. Be sure to mix well.
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Store unused Harissa in an airtight container in the fridge.
Notes
If you like your Harissa hot, be sure to choose hot peppers, as many dried peppers vary from mild to hot. Use waterproof gloves while handling hot chili peppers to prevent burn.