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Monday, January 11, 2010

Recipe Review - Pitas with Falafel and Tomato Cucumber salsa

Greek!



Fela
fel with Tomato Salsa (from "Delicious Vegetarian Food" cookbook.)
I used boxed felafel that you just add water to. However this recipe tells you how to actually MAKE felafel. Um, yeah, maybe I didn't mention that I do easy recipes. Making felafel-NOT easy. But here it is, in case you are more ambitious that I in the kitchen, which wouldn't be surprising ;)

Ingredients


2 cups dried chickpeas
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
oil for deep-frying

Tomato Salsa

2 tomatoes
1/4 Lebanese cucumber, finely chopped (I have no idea what Lebanese cucumbers are, I just used plain old cucumbers in the produce section)
1/2 green capsicum (pepper) diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Tziziki Sauce (from http://greekfood.about.com/od/appetizerssalads/r/tzatziki_sass.htm)

16 ounces (2 cups) of thick Greek yogurt
4 to 10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup of diced or grated cucumber (Kirby or "English")
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Preparation:

Prepare all ingredients in advance. Combine oil and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl. Fold the yogurt in slowly, making sure it mixes completely with the oil. Add the garlic, according to taste, and the cucumber. Stir until evenly distributed. Garnish with a bit of green and serve well chilled.

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups

Add mint or dill: Slight variations include 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh dill and/or fresh mint. Tasty additions!

Pita Bread (from Food Network.com)

Ingredients

1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
11/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
31/2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon olive oil

Directions

In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir to blend. Let the yeast stand until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the salt. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated and the dough gathers into a ball; this should take about 4 minutes.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it's smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Place a large pizza stone on the lower oven rack, preheat the oven (and stone) to 500 degrees F.

Punch the dough down, divide it into 8 pieces, and gather each piece into a ball; keeping all of them lightly floured and covered while you work. Allow the balls of dough to rest, covered, for 15 minutes so they will be easier to roll out.

Using a rolling pin, roll each dough ball into a circle that is about 8-inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick. Make sure the circle is totally smooth, with no creases or seams in the dough, which can prevent the pitas from puffing up properly. Cover the disks as you roll them out, but do not stack them up. Put 2 pita rounds at a time on the hot pizza stone and bake for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bread puffs up like a balloon and is pale golden. Watch closely; they bake fast. Remove the bread from the oven and place on a rack to cool for 5 minutes; they will naturally deflate, leaving a pocket in the center. Wrap the pitas in a large kitchen towel to keep them soft.

So basically make the felafel OR just add water and follow the directions on the box ;) Then add all the ingredients for the salsa. We put felafel in multigrain pitas warmed up, topped with salsa and homemade tziziki sauce. Also, Jeff made some AMAZING pitas from scratch. Hello, we are totally a Greek restaurant. We give this meal two thumbs up. And we had TONS of leftover pitas that we froze and can enjoy again later.

1 comment:

bass family said...

I love these recipe reviews :) Our girls aren't quite into Greek yet... but the last one you posted would be great!