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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

FALAFEL WITH PITA BREAD AND YOGHURT

Good Morning to you,


I do enjoy watching a good film and I don't mind how old the films are, as I have no age preference.  I think it might be a bit of a cliche, when I say, I love curling up on the settee, with my favourite throw around me, the curtains drawn, a cup of coffee in one hand and a biscuit or two in the other.  Yes, I believe it's true.... it really is the best way to watch a film.  I love to get lost in a film, whether it is a comedy,  a thriller or  a heart wrenching film. The only type of film I never watch is  horror films as they scare the pants off me.

I have to tell you, if the film is heart wrenching, it is best that I watch it when George is out of the house, because I think I have mentioned before, that at the crucial moment, when the tears are starting to flow, George will make a joke and make me laugh, so I am crying and laughing at the same time. Although it is good to laugh, it isn't when I am emotionally involved with the film.... it spoils the ending and my tears feel like a waste of time.

Yesterday, I watched the 1952 Oscar Wilde film, The Importance of Being Earnest, with Michael Redgrave, Michael Denison and Dame Edith Evans who played Lady Bracknell and I loved Margaret Rutherford playing the part of Miss Prism.... her facial expressions are a hoot.

Talking of Margaret Rutherford, have you ever seen the film Blithe Spirit.... another film I love.  This time Margaret plays the part of the eccentric medium Madam Arcati.... she is fabulous.

Oh and I have to tell you she is also marvellous as Agatha Christie's Miss Marple.  I have to say, not as I imagined Miss Marple to be, but wonderful just the same.  I think my favourite Miss Marple has to be Joan Hickson, she portrayed Miss Marple just as I imagined her to be. 

Sorry, I have gone off the beaten track a little, let us return  to the film, The Importance of Being Earnest.  I also enjoyed the recent film with Rupert Everett as Algy and Colin Firth as Worthing, oh yes and Dame Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell. I just loved it when Lady Bracknell said, in her rather grand voice. (Forgive me as this is not the actual words, but the words I remember.)

"You are not on my list, so I must ask you some questions, to see if you are an eligible man for my daughter."
"Do you smoke" asked Lady Bracknell
"Yes" said Worthing
"Good man. A man must have something to do with his hands".

Forget the whys and wherefores of smoking, isn't that just a fabulous reply.

What are your favourite films, do you tend to lean forwards or backwards?  By that, I mean do you prefer current films or older films, say from the 1940's or 50's?

Today's dish has nothing to do with films..... well maybe I could link the film Casablanca with falafels as the film was based in North Africa, but I do think I am stretching it a little far as falafels are Middle Eastern, but you never know, maybe Humphrey Bogart, sampled,


one or two falafels.  They are lovely placed in pita bread with salad and yoghurt added.  The yoghurt I use is Greek yoghurt ..... it has to be full fat, none of the 0% for me, I like the flavour of real Greek yoghurt.

So it is on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to today is,


Night and Day from The Cole Porter Songbook.  I thought it would be fun, that as I had been talking about films, I would listen to an album, whose songs have been featured in films and shows. Whilst I listen to "In the Still of the Night", from the film Rosalie, sung by the fabulous Billy Eckstine, I will organise my ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

2 x 240g tins of chickpeas (drained weight)
1 large onion
2 rounded tablespoonfuls of flour
3 cloves of garlic
2 large handfuls of coriander
2 teaspoonfuls of dried cumin
1 teaspoonful of sea salt to crush the garlic
1 teaspoonful of salt to taste
Enough sunflower oil to deep fry

1 baking tray lined with parchment paper
Oven temperature 140C

Makes 22 falafels

HOW TO MAKE
FALAFEL


Drain the chickpeas and
rinse in cold water.
Set aside


Roughly chop the onions
and set aside.


Using 1 teaspoonful of sea salt
crush 3 cloves of garlic.

This amount of ingredients is too much to place in my
food processor, so I blitz half and
then the other half.

Place the chickpeas, onions, garlic
and


dried cumin
into a food processor and blitz until
relatively smooth.

Add the


coriander and blitz again.

Add


1 teaspoonful of salt

and


2 rounded tablespoonfuls of flour
and
blitz again.


Keep blitzing until you have a firm paste.
Remove the mixture from the food processor
and place in a dish.
Cover and place in the fridge for at least
1 hour to rest the mixture.


When the hour has past, remove
the mixture from the fridge
and shape into small balls,
roughly the size of a 
walnut.


Add enough sunflower oil to a pan
to deep fry the Falafel.
I used about 3 inches of sunflower oil.
Heat the sunflower oil until it 
reaches 200C (I used a jam thermometer)

When the correct temperature has been reached,
carefully place, a few falafel at a time,
into the hot oil, being very careful
as the oil tends to spit.
I used a splatter guard to protect against the problem.

It will take roughly 2 minutes for each
Falafel to become golden brown.

Place the cooked Falafel onto kitchen towel to
remove any excess oil.  
Then place them on a baking tray
and put in a warm oven of 140C
to keep them warm whilst the
rest are being cooked.


Then all you need do, is place some Greek Yoghurt
in a bowl, toast some pita bread,
add a little salad and a squeeze of lemon
over the falafel.
Whether you place the falafel inside the pita bread
or you prefer to eat them with the pita bread,
it really does not matter.
What matters is the fact that you will love them.


You might be surprised  by the fact that I am using tinned chickpeas as I am such an advocate of dried peas and beans.  I have made falafel many times, but I actually prefer making them with tinned chickpeas.... I know that is surprising, but sometimes I find with dried chickpeas, the end result is not as good.

Another ingredient you might not have expected to find in the recipe is flour.  In most recipes you will find flour is not included, but for some reason or other, the first time I made falalfel, I placed them in the pan for frying and they disappeared.  Where there were six in the pan, by the end of the frying time there were none, they had fallen apart.  So I decided to add a combining ingredient, and flour works well for me.

Also, because the falafel are fried, please do not feel they will be greasy, because they are not.  They are cooked at such a high temperature, that they do not become greasy.

So take care and I will see you on Sunday.




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