Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chick Pea Love

Advent is another vegan season for us. And as I get older the more I fall in love with "ethnic" foods. Such as Arabic, Indian and Mexican. There are many varieties in the spices that we don't have in American food and the more I eat it, the more it becomes comfort food. These are some staples with the traditional Chick Pea that are our favorites.

The hummus and the falafel recipe both require a food processor. I was 36 years old before I bought my first processor (just last year). I really thought I didn't need one...and I didn't. But there were more and more things that I just couldn't make like the recipe I cleaned out space in my cupboard and bought a used one. I'm so glad I did!

I canned 14 pints of chick peas on Saturday and made a giant batch of hummus for coffee hr on Sunday. We're ready for Advent!

This recipe was given to me by a special friend. This is almost exactly as she wrote it for me.

3 cans garbanzo beans - one with juice and two drained. Coarsely grind in a food processor. Save some juice in case you need more liquid later.
2 1/2 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 c tahini
1/2 Tbs cumin
1-2 tsp salt (depending on the beans you use, if they were salted or not, start with less)
-while processor is running, drizzle in about 10 seconds worth of olive oil in-
 2-4 cloves minced garlic
Season variation of the day:
thyme, sage, oregano
smoked paprika (cayenne optional) we like this one
zatar seasoning (contains salt!) we love zatar, need to find an Alaskan source!
roasted red pepper (top with pinenuts)
feta cheese
*just discovered: basil pesto hummus, so flipping good!!! I use a premade-pesto packet or two in place of cumin and other spice*

Add more seasonings 'till it tastes right. Try extra salt first, then tahini, lemon, olive oil. Flavors will blend if you let it refrigerate overnight.

Before serving drizzle over with sumac, paprika or cayenne. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve with pita or chips.

Pita Bread
This recipe was given to us by the same friend. It is our go-to pita recipe now, I have made it twice this week already.

2 c warm water
2 Tbl dry yeast
-let yeast proof-
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbl olive or veg oil
5 cups flour
extra flour

Mix the 5 cups of flour into the wet ingredients. You want an almost sticky dough.

Let rise 'till doubled. Preheat oven and baking sheets at 450-500 degrees F. Punch down. Pull apart into 2" balls, form balls, place on a well floured surface. Starting with first formed balls (they have risen some by now) roll them out (remember extra flour) and place how ever many will fit on a baking sheet. They should take about 8-10 minutes to puff up and bake. Best to store in a bag right away to keep them soft and pliable. If you used too much flour they will be much more crispy and not as soft.

A bowl of hummus and fresh pita.

For this recipe I give full credit to The Shiksa in the Kitchen. Her recipe is fantastic. It is the first and only one I have tried making from scratch (I used to buy boxes of falafel mix, a great alternate!) But after I bought the 25lb bag of dried chick peas I was committed to finding ways to use them. This recipe is so good and easy, it's worth trying. I think the reason I like it so much is it works perfectly and I never changed it.

1 lb (2 cups) dry chick peas/garbanzo beans
-cover with 3" of water and let them soak overnight-
1 small onion, rough chopped
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley (I have used dried)
3-5 cloves garlic (she likes roasted)
1 1/2 Tbl flour
1 3/4 tsp salt 
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I almost always skip the hot stuff)
Pinch of ground cardamom
Veggie oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, or peanut)

Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well. Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom. Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides. Process till the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste. You want the mixture to hold together, and a more paste-like consistency will help with that... but don't overprocess, you don't want it turning into hummus! I prefer mine more fine than coarse. Pour out into a bowl, mix with a fork, fish out large chunks, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate one or two hours.

This is the part where she lists all sorts of suggestions if it's not behaving itslef and variations on the recipe. I'll skip to the frying...

Fill a skillet with oil to 1-1 1/2 inches. Heat slowly over medium heat. Form some falafels into round balls or small patties...I prefer small egg shapes I make with my table spoons. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side to brown. Turn down heat if it goes much faster, heat up if it's too slow.

Drain on paper towels. Serve them traditionally with hummus and tahini sauce...or our favorite way is in a pita with lettuce, onion and tomato with some tzatziki sauce.

She also reccomends other "add ons" such as:
Israeli salad
dill pickles
french fries
cucumbler slices
roaste peppers
roasted eggplant
sunflower seeds
feta cheese

Tzatziki Sauce
This is my "vegan version" of it. It's not as great as the sauce made with the yogurt, but it's a great sub-in if you don't eat dairy. Some people also prefer it with sour cream.

1 cucumber -peel, de-seed, and grate or chop very finely, put to drain in a sieve or cloth-
1 cup vegeniase (you could try soy yogurt, but I always have vegenaise on hand) 
1 Tbl lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbl chopped fresh dill (I use dry if it's winter)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine and let refrigerate 1-2 hours. 

Slather it on everything and enjoy!

Here is Shiksa's beautiful photo of her falafel.
And just for fun...every time I make hummus or falafels we must watch GoRemy's "Falafel Song" and the "Hummus Rap". They are a hoot.


Anjanette said...

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I am currently assessing interest in a Blogging Concentrated conference in Anchorage in 2014 or 2015. Even if that doesn't interest you, I'd love to "meet" you online and have you add your Alaskan blogger friends.

You can find the group by searching "Alaska Bloggers" or clicking here:

Laurel Nguyen said...

Thanks for sharing these recipes! I love, love, LOVE hummus! Will be trying these as soon as I buy the ingredients.