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.....
That's the first thing I noticed--the hilarious rhyme of an Arabic? Hebrew? word with "waffle". Serendipitous! But maybe more the *end* of an O.N. poem--the punchline?
I have only a Belgian waffle maker--I wonder if it would work too. *Love* the stuff--I liked all of poster "Emme"s suggestions too. Would love to somehow get shrimp into a batter..
i consider the Waffle Iron to be the under-appreciated, under-used appliance... or at least, i do now, after our trip to the mountains in december. we were staying at a friend's house. the oven wasn't working properly, so i was relegated to cooking stove-top or in the microwave. well, then the microwave crapped out; something was funky with the stove too. it was a nightmare, given that there were eight of us staying there... i ended up dubbing it "the trip of the waffle," as i pulled out the waffle iron, and basically cooked everything under the sun using that nifty little thing! pounded stuffed chicken breast, eggplant parmesan, falafel, cornbread, bacon, hamburger, meatloaf patties, salmon croquettes, grilled cheese... oh the feasts.
In hot weather I do bacon in the wafflemaker, which is thereby greased. Then I do scrambled egg, then put the egg and bacon, plus a slice of cheese, between two slices of bread and waffle THAT. I've done lots of other things on it too - not bad for a bare-bones model I won in a raffle.
Here are 3 recipes from a column I wrote last year. Your falafels should work just fine.
Waffle Iron Recipes
¾ cup bread flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup corn meal
2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled to room temperature
¾ cup milk
Preheat the waffle iron.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, butter, and milk. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon.
Brush the waffle iron with melted bacon fat or vegetable oil. Add an appropriate amount of batter to the iron and cook until browned and crisp. Serve with butter and honey.
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 cups bread flour, sifted before measuring
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup boiling water
½ cup molasses
Preheat waffle iron to.
In an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
In a small bowl, whisk together the molasses and the boiling water.
Add the dry and the liquid ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately in three batches, beginning with one-third of the dry ingredients.
Brush the iron with a small amount of clarified butter or vegetable oil. Add an appropriate amount of batter to the iron and cook until done. Serve with Lemon Sauce.
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup cold water
2 tablespoons butter
grated rind from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 drop yellow food coloring (optional)
In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Slowly whisk in the water. Cook over low heat, stirring, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
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.
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/2007/03/14/hunger-and-memory-part-iii-falafel-good/
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!
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.
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.