Tabbouleh

Note: This makes the amount you usually get in a restaurant as a side dish, half a cup or so? For my family of four, it is the perfect amount.

2 tsp fine bulgur wheat
Juice of 1 large lemons, to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from 1/4 bunch)
¼ cup chopped fresh mint (optional)
1 ripe tomato, very finely chopped
1/4 sweet onion, finely chopped or 1 scallion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  1. Place the bulgur in a bowl, and cover with water by 1/2 inch. Soak for 30 minutes, until slightly softened. Drain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, and press the bulgur against the strainer to squeeze out excess water.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with the lemon juice, parsley, mint, tomatoes, onion and salt.
  3. Leave in the fridge overnight, so that the bulgur can continue to absorb liquid and swell.
  4. Add the olive oil, toss together, taste and adjust seasonings.
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Syrian Baba ghanoush

2 large eggplants
2 large vine tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 roasted red pepper, roughly chopped (from a jar is fine)
1 small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped, reserving a few whole leaves for garnish
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pomegranate, seeds only
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Pierce the eggplants with a knife and roast in the oven for 45–50 minutes, or until really soft and tender. Set aside to cool.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, peel the aubergines and scoop the flesh into a large bowl.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, peppers and parsley and mix well. Add the garlic, pomegranate molasses, extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, stirring to combine.
  5. Arrange in a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with the reserved parsley leaves and some pomegranate seeds.

 

Syrian Roasted Red Pepper Dip

aka Muhammara

2 roasted red peppers (jarred is fine)
75g/2½oz walnuts
75g/2½oz white breadcrumbs
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
fresh mint leaves, to garnish
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Blend the red peppers in a food-processor until smooth and put in a large bowl.

  2. Blend most of the walnuts until you have fine crumbs and add to the pepper purée. Mix in the breadcrumbs and season well.

  3. Stir in the tahini and pomegranate molasses and loosen with olive oil and a splash of water, if necessary.

  4. Arrange in a serving dish and garnish with fresh mint and the remaining walnuts

Syrian Chickpea Salad

Syrian-inspired brunchChickpea Salad

400g tin fava beans/broad beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans OR half of the cooked chickpeas
handful fresh parsley leaves
1 beef tomato, roughly chopped
squeeze lemon juice
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
good pinch ground cumin
2–3 spring onions, thinly sliced

  1. To make the chickpea salad, mix half the remaining cooked chickpeas with the beans. Add the remaining ingredients and season to taste.

 

 

Syrian Falafel

Falafel

NOTE: Do NOT NOT NOT use canned chick peas or your recipe will break apart when frying. Ask me how I know..

TO SOAK THE NIGHT BEFORE:

450g/1lb dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water, with 1 tsp baking soda
handful fresh coriander leaves
handful fresh parsley leaves
1 garlic clove
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds
25g/1oz sesame seeds

GARNISH

1 litre/1¾ pints vegetable oil
good pinch sumac, to garnish

  1. Drain the chickpeas and tip two-thirds of them into a saucepan, reserving the last third for the falafels. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45–50 minutes, or until tender. Alternatively, cook in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the falafels, put the reserved uncooked chickpeas in a food processor and blend with the fresh coriander, parsley, garlic, spices and sesame seeds. Add a little warm water if the mixture is too thick. Season to taste. Shape into 20 falafels.
  3. Deep fry. Drain on paper towel lined plate.

Tahini Sauce

3 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp plain yoghurt
good squeeze lemon juice

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

To Make the Falafel Sandwich

2 large Arabic flatbreads (or pita bread)
1 beef tomato, sliced
2 pickles, sliced
handful fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
½ lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

KAF Pita Bread

Makes 4 pitas.

INGREDIENTS:

1.5 c all purpose flour
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 c water
1 tbsp oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix everything together.
  2. Knead 5 min by machine or 10 min by hand.
  3. LET REST 1 hour.
  4. Turn dough onto floured surface. Make four 6 inch circles.
  5. Let rest 15 min UNCOVERED.
  6. Preheat oven to 500 F.
  7. Place baking sheet on lowest rack and bake 5 min. They should puff up.
  8. Transfer baking sheet to middle rack in oven and bake additional 2 min, or until the pitas have browned.
  9. Remove the pitas from the oven, wrap in dish towel to keep soft.
  10. Repeat with remaining pitas.
  11. Store cooled pitas in airtight container or plastic bag.
  12. Enjoy!

Falafel

From Bobby Flay’s Throwdown

Ingredients

Falafel:

2 cups soaked chickpeas ( chickpeas need to be soaked in cold water for at least 18 hours and up to 24 hours), add more water if necessary (or just use a big can of chickpeas, rinsed)
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 or 2 serrano chiles, chopped
2 green onions (white and green part) finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
3 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground
Scant 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Piquillo Pepper Yogurt Sauce:

2 cups thick Greek yogurt
3 piquillo or 2 roasted red peppers
1 teaspoon smoked sweet Spanish paprika
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

White Bean Hummus:

3 cups white beans, cooked, or canned, drained and rinsed
6 cloves roasted garlic
1 tablespoon harissa
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tomato Relish:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 vine-ripe tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the Falafel:

Drain the chickpeas through a colander then place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. Chickpeas should be totally dry.

Heat 4-inches peanut or vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 330 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer.

While the oil is heating, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and serrano chiles and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the chickpeas to a food processor, add the garlic mixture, green onions, parsley, mint, cilantro, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, baking powder, salt and pepper and process until the mixture is finely ground, stopping to scrape the bowl every 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Form the mixture into balls the size of ping pong balls and place on a plate. Fry in batches at 330 degrees F until a pale blonde color, about 45 seconds, spooning oil over the falafel constantly. Remove with a slotted spoon to the baking sheet. Increase the heat of the oil to 350 degrees F. Return the falafel to the oil, in batches, cover the pan with a lid for 30 seconds and fry until a deep brown color, spooning the oil over the falafel constantly. Remove with a slotted spoon to baking sheet lined with paper towels, and immediately season with salt.

For the yogurt sauce:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth; season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a small bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, covered, to allow the flavors to meld.

Variation: Substitute 2 cups feta cheese for the yogurt, and add 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley.

For the hummus:

Place beans, garlic, harissa, lemon juice, and tahini in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the relish:

Whisk the oil, vinegar, and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss. The tomatoes should be lightly dressed.

Serve falafel with yogurt sauce, hummus and relish on the side.

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/falafel-recipe.html?oc=linkback