All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2017

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

fast food - falafel with cucumber-dill dipping sauce


What has happened to time? I feel no sooner do I get up than I'm looking at the plants in twilight, snipping a bouquet to put beside my bed.
Yesterday and today have been especially busy, and when I finally remembered to make dinner, it was hot, humid, and there was no salmon. I had forgotten to buy it. My supermarket closed down a month ago, so I now have to travel 30 miles each way to shop - putting a dent into my usual "swing by the Stop and Shop" detour on the way home. But there are good things about this new supermarket, because it is much bigger and has more choices. And one of them was rediscovering falafel.
Falafel is a chickpea flour mixture, nicely spiced, that comes in a box. ( I buy one from Fantastic Foods, in the trendy organic and natural supermarket aisle - this is a Shaw's, btw.) It is an ancient, ancient fast food, dating back to the building of the pyramids , amazingly. You open the box, cut open the bag of dried peas and spices, cover it with boiling water - and voila! Falafel. I add chopped parsley, and my neighbor, who lived in the Middle East, adds the mix to ground chicken and turkey instead of bread crumbs - the spices liven up the poultry in a way panko crumbs do not. Best of all? It's vegan, low fat, zero saturated or transfat, high in fiber - and did I say delicious?
I serve it with a cucumber-dill dipping sauce, or as pictured above, with a dollop of sauce on top of each tiny disc of sauteed falafel. I make them small - about 1 1/2 inches, which I saute in canola or olive oil briefly, but you can make them hamburger size, or shaped into balls. The sauce is the same one I use for poached salmon, so it's ever useful.
Cucumber-Dill Sauce:
2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into chunks
Puree the cucumbers in a food processor. Set a fine sieve on top of a bowl and pour the pureed cucumber into the sieve. Drain well, reserving the cucumber juice. ( I serve the cucumber juice in shotglasses, with 3 drops of hot sauce - but chill it well)
Add 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt and mix well.
Add 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Serve on top of the falafel discs, or on the side in a dipping glass .


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