In the blogosphere, I've been seeing a couple of posting about how to make falafels without deep-frying, and have been intrigued by the idea of making waffled falafel patties using the waffle iron!
I usually make falafels from dried, soaked chickpeas that are ground up, not a mix (as it seems is often used by bloggers). Is the mix something that is essential for a successful result? Any other tips you might suggest for this project?
Am hoping to make this weekend (I own the food processor, friend owns the waffle iron....) I have hopes that the waffle iron will produce crisp outsides and moist insides with minimal mess or excess fat. But if that fails, maybe we'll do a line-up of deep-fried, sauteed and baked ones in addition and see what works best.....
I think the waffle iron is simply a tool that makes it kitschy and fun. In reality, you can do the exact same thing with a couple of pans on the stove to press and heat it at the same time or even a George Foreman grill. In other words, have fun with the waffle iron but you can likely achieve the same or similar results without one.
Yes, will you let us know what happens? Your success here might mean that we use one of our 3 (yes, 3, crazy I know) waffle irons more than once per quarter! Consider it a public service.
FWIW, the difference between your fresh falafel and the boxed might be density and gluiness - I'm thinking home-made might be crumblier? Less apt to stick together in the waffler?
Again - curious - love falafel.
Reporting back here....The falafel waffles were more successful than I expected! Are they the same as deep-fried falafels....nope. Are they closer to that texture than when I bake them? Absolutely!
No pictures to post at this point- they're on my friend's camera.....but I used my basic falafel recipe, which is pretty close to the recipe here: http://buffalobuffet.wordpress.com/20...
We used all chickpeas- no fava beans- and a mixture of cilantro and flat-leaf parsley. The mixture was ground in the food processor a little finer than usual- maybe an extra 20 seconds of pulsing- to ensure that it didn't totally fall apart in the waffle iron. We sprayed the bottom of the preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray, plopped the mixture into each quadrant, then sprayed the top plates before closing. We were using a Cuisinart waffle iron: http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-WMR-C...
set between 3 and 4- enough to brown the outsides while maintaining fairly moist interiors that still tasted "cooked" when the green light went off about 2.5 minutes later. (Some baking experiments have resulted in patties with a raw, beany aftertaste....)
My preference might be to have a slightly higher ratio of soft interior to crisp exterior- but this was most noticeable when eating them plain. We served them up with our first attempt at homemade pita bread (also surprisingly delicious and easy to make!), tabbouleh, tzatziki, and olives.....lingered over dried fruits, nuts and wine afterward. A fun evening, and one that will probably be a repeat!
I can see how that would work. Years ago believe it or not a very popular lady where I worked would plug in her little grill that was made for sandwiches, if you remember you dropped the bread in and then piled on cheese and whatever else you wanted.
She'd make a batter using Marie Calendars cornbread mix, and some sliced hotdogs. Sometimes she'd throw some cheese on after they were cooked. Yeah, at her desk on her break and I mean a major communications company. Oh the good old days when people weren't so uptight and HR was just a place to answere HR questions. Anyway, my point is that if the batter is the consistency of a cornbread mix or thicker even, of course it would work. Dang I miss her little triangle cornbread hotdog thingies.