adapted from Everyday Food
Act 1: Wednesday Night, 8:30 p.m.
We've both had busy days at our jobs, and we forced ourselves to go to the gym afterwards. Now it's late, and we're ready to eat. Fortunately, we've planned ahead: Earlier in the week we purchased all the ingredients to make these Edamame Falafel with Spicy Coriander Sauce.
Three facts make us think this dish will be a home run: We love edamame; we aspire to eat more vegetarian meals; and this dish only takes 35 minutes.
It is firmly in our sweet spot. We are ready to cook.
So we get to work. The chickpeas have been soaking all day, so we pulse them with edamame, parsley, cumin and salt. Falafel are rolled into balls. Oil is heated. Coriander sauce (a mix of sour cream, mayo, coriander and cayenne) is made.
And this is what happens:
Sorry, not graphic enough for you? Here's another.
Curses are uttered.
The memory of another chickpea dish that didn't turn out so well is invoked.
We immediately toss our Edamame Grease Soup and get started on a backup dinner. (Thank god we have some flank steak in the fridge.)
While debriefing over our far-from-vegetarian meal, we try to scope out the problem. We had followed the recipe to the letter. Since we're absolutely certain we used all the falafel ingredients in their right proportions, we think the problem must be with the oil or with our frying technique. Perhaps our oil wasn't hot enough? Or perhaps there was too much oil?
There's a bowl full of Spicy Coriander Sauce in our fridge, and we still have all the falafel ingredients on hand.
We aren't ready to give up quite yet.
Act 2: Thursday Night, 7 p.m.
Another long day, but we're ready for Attempt No. 2. We prep the recipe exactly as instructed. But we make some changes when it comes to frying the falafel, making certain the oil is extremely hot, and we add less oil to the pan. The recipe suggests an inch of oil in the skillet. We opt for a half-inch of oil to see if that changes anything.
The falafel are falling apart in the oil. It's a hot oil mess.
And this time there's no flank steak in the fridge. So....
Act 3: Thursday Night, 8 p.m.
We decide there has to be a way to fix this recipe, so we hit the Googles in search of an answer.
We find that a blogger from Maine who has already made these -- and they turned out beautifully! We glance at her post, flummoxed as to why her attempt turned out so well and ours did not.
We pace the floors. Reading her post more carefully, we see that she made a change to the recipe.
She added an egg.
We still have at least a dozen of the rolled-but-unfried falafel balls on hand. We toss them into a bowl, break an egg on top, mix it all together and re-roll the balls.
We reheat some oil, drop in the balls, and this happens:
They're perfectly fried: golden brown, crisp on the outside and smooth on the inside.
We keep it simple. Though the magazine serves these falafel inside a pita with lettuce and tomato, we had always planned to serve them as a salad. So we harvest a bunch of lettuce out of the garden, top the lettuce with falafel and sliced tomato, then dab the coriander sauce on the side.
So what's the verdict?
These are very good falafel. Could we pick out the taste of edamame in them? Not really, but that didn't bother us, either.
Like a lot of falafel, they're heavy from absorbing oil in the frying process (the words "gut bomb" were used). If you're looking for a fried treat, they're delicious. (But hey, what fried food isn't?) The coriander sauce is a fine complement to the falafel. We added a lot more cayenne than was called for, but it still wasn't spicy enough for us.
If you want to make falafel at home, we think you'll be happy with this recipe.
Just don't leave out the egg!
Notes from Zach and Clay of The Bitten Word: We've adapted this recipe to reflect the addition of an egg, and also the use of less oil. We've also tweaked the method slightly, substituted canned chickpeas for dried, and have also added more cayenne to the Coriander Sauce. Everyday Food suggests serving the falafel inside pita with lettuce and tomato. We opted to serve them over salad greens, with the Coriander Sauce on the side. Enjoy!
Total Time: 35 minutes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
10 ounces frozen shelled edamame, thawed
3/4 cup parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a food processor, pulse the parsley until it is finely chopped. Add the chickpeas, edamame, cumin, egg and 2 teaspoons of salt; process until the mixture is finely chopped and uniform throughout. If your food processor has trouble getting the mixture moving, add some water, a teaspoon at a time, until the mixture starts rotating through the processor. Roll into 20 balls.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with paper towels. In a cast iron or straight-sided skillet, heat 1/2 inch vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When then oil is hot, carefully add half of the falafel using a slotted spoon, being carefully not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the falafel, turning occasionally, until deep golden brown and crisp, 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the falafel to the towels and season with salt.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, coriander, and cayenne. Season with salt and serve with falafel.