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Tag Archives | falafel

How to host a Meze party

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Meze

MezeArab music, lots of pillows spread around the room, a few chairs and stools, friends invited, and of course, prepare some eastern Mediterranean Meze. The dishes are easy to assemble and you can buy up the ingredients at any supermarket. These rustic dishes are seasoned with a mild warmth of spices and textures from countries nestled around the eastern rim of the Mediterranean Sea; Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Greece.

Hummus – Chick pea bean dip mixed with tahini, green onions, cumin and pureed until smooth and creamy. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter a few whole chick peas on top. Serve with torn pita bread.

Baba GhannoujBaba Ghannouj – A Middle Eastern eggplant dip with tahini, garlic, fresh lemon juice and regional spices, it’s a smoky, creamy vegetable dish scooped up with toasted pita bread wedges or crisp pita chips.

Falafel – Golden brown chick pea balls made with tahini, onion and spices served with tzatziki cucumber sauce.

Souvlaki – Pork chunks or strips laced on skewers after marinating in mint, oregano, red wine vinegar and olive oil, then grilled and served with Tzatziki sauce for dipping.

Tzatziki – Mint, oregano, garlic, lemon, red wine vinegar and yogurt for dipping Falafel and Souvlaki.

Dip Pita in LabnehLabneh – Thickened yogurt dip with a hint of lemon; it’s seasoned with za’atar and drizzled with olive oil.

Pita Bread – Home baked then grilled, torn pieces of this Middle Eastern flat bread are dipping vehicles for Hummus, Baba Ghonnouj and Labneh. Or you can roll up some Falafel or fill them with Souvlaki and Tzatziki sauce.

Mixed Olives and Pickled Peppers – Find mixed olives at your local olive bar and serve with pickled or stuffed peppers.

Garnishes – Assemble lemon slices, mint leaves, parsley, chick peas, sliced scallions, drizzled olive oil, and radishes or other crisp vegetables.

Also choose from Tzatziki Feta Dip, Roasted Red Pepper Htipiti, Crispy Chickpeas, Cannellini Hummus.

MezeSaucyCuisine.com
Cook with Sauces
Meze
Written by
Recipe Tester for the Washington Post
Photographs and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: June 1, 2014

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Falafel with Tzatziki Sauce

Golden brown chick pea patties with tzatziki cucumber sauce.

Manna in the wilderness

When the Children of Israel fled from Egypt they experienced many miracles, not the least of which was walking across the Red Sea river bed. Traveling through the wilderness in the hot, sandy desert presented the imminent problem of obtaining food. How could they witness this miraculous water rescue only ‘to kill this whole assembly with hunger’ (Exodus 16:3)? Every day God sent Manna from heaven. These daily doses of wafers sweetened with honey (Exodus 16:31) were round (Exodus 16:14), perhaps like small pita bread. Seasoned with coriander (Exodus 16:31), they were familiar flavors of the region.

Falafel-Lunch-Plate-Lettuce-Tomatoes-Pita-Chips-AvocadoFeaturing some of these flavors, here is my homemade Falafel recipe. Sure I’ve made it out of a box mix but it doesn’t taste nearly as good as the fresh Falafels I’ve eaten on my travels in the Middle East. Pick up some fresh parsley and you’ve likely got the rest of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge if you keep ground coriander in your spice cupboard.

For the record, if I’m caught in a situation eating Manna from heaven, I hope it is seasoned with cinnamon and honey.

2011 AniversaRecipe – Cheddar Zucchini Bake

Recipe: Falafel with Tzatziki Sauce

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 12 Minutes | Yield: 4 Servings | Level: Easy

Ingredients
Falafel-mixture-food-processorFalafel

  • 1 15-ounce can chick peas, drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepperFalafel-mixture-food-processor-triple-party-batch
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 – 1 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • oil for frying
  • 4 pocket pita round sliced in half
  • shredded lettuce
  • diced tomatoes

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely dicedTzatziki-Sauce
  • 2 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp mayo or olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Special Equipment – food processor

Instructions
Tzatziki Sauce
1 In a small bowl, combine yogurt, cucumber, dill, olive oil, 1 tsp lemon juice, cumin and salt. Place in the fridge to meld flavors.

Falafel
Falafel-mixture2 Place chick peas, onion, garlic, parsley, egg, 1 tsp lemon juice, cumin, coriander, salt, peppers and baking powder in a food processor. Process until it becomes a paste with fine texture but not smooth.

3 Dump the mixture into a bowl. Slowly mix in bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but holds together.

4 Form the mixture into 16 small patties.

5 Heat 1/4-inch of oil in a Browning-Falafelfrying pan to medium-high heat. Brown patties until golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes each side. Don’t over crowd. Remove to a rack placed over a sheet pan to drain.

Assembly
6 Place 4 falafel in each pita pocket. Spoon Tzatziki sauce over and add shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes.

Information
Notes
Falafel can also be made without a food processor. Using a fork or pastry cutter, break down the chick peas and add finely chopped onion, garlic and parsley. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients as directed.

Chick peas are also called garbanzo beans. When draining the chick peas, save the liquid to adjust the consistency of the mixture as desired.

To seed a cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and drag a small spoon down the middle to remove the pulp and seeds. This part of the cucumber would make the Tzatziki Sauce too runny.
Seeded-CucumberFinely-Diced-Cucumber

 

 

 

 

 

Traditionally, Falafel is made in balls rather than patties. Patties are easier to brown on both sides and require less oil. Make balls as desired, but use a little more oil for browning on all sides. They could also be deep fried in a large quantity of oil.

Applications
 Fresh-Lettuce-and-Garden-Ripened-TomatoesFor Middle Eastern appetizer, serve with tzatziki as dipping sauce. Falafel pairs well with hummus and pita chips.

Serve falafel patties as a lunch plate with pita chips, tzatziki sauce, shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. Garnish with fresh parsley and add sliced avocado.

 

Dish Designer
Pita-Bread

  • Exchange pita pocket bread for pita rounds. Fold in half with falafel inside similar to a taco.
  • Exchange 2 teaspoons of fresh dill for 1 tsp of dried dill.
  • Increase cayenne for more heat as desired.

Falafel-Lunch-Plate-Lettuce-Tomatoes-Pita-ChipsInspiration – Sean’s Falafel

SaucyCuisine.com
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: August 1, 2012

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Hummus

Not long ago I went to a Bridal Shower. Before the activities began, we were invited to introduce ourselves by giving our name and then something unusual about us. The most memorable introduction was by my new friend Lauren. After sharing her name she disclosed ‘her’ something unusual. She loves hummus and rattled on, ‘I love

hummus so much that I eat it nearly every day. I love it with pita triangles and in falafel pockets. I love it with veggies sticks and as a sandwich spread. But I also love it so much, I eat it as a side dish. And I love, love, love it by the spoonful right from the bowl while I hold open the fridge.’ Everyone in the circle smiled. She gave them permission to eat hummus as often as they want too. It’s mostly beans which is something we all need more of in our diets. So have at it. Here’s a simple delicious dip or spread. It’s responsible eating with irresponsible deliciousness.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 1 ½ cups | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients
The Sauce
1 15-oz can Garbanzo Beans
2 Green Onion Stalks, coarsely chopped
1 clove Garlic
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Tahini
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/4 Cumin
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper

The Rest
Pita
6 or 7 Garbanzo Beans, garnish
Few Parsley Leaves, garnish

Preparation Instructions
1. Drain the liquid from the beans into a bowl and save a few beans for a garnish. Then combine the remaining beans, onion, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth. Add some of the bean liquid if the hummus needs to be thinner for a dipping consistency.

2. Serve in a bowl with a few beans, parsley leaves and a drizzle of olive oil on top. Dip with pita.

 

Dish Designer
• Exchange garbanzo for great northern or cannellini beans.
• Serve with pita chips or vegetable sticks.
• Use as a spread for sandwiches.

Inspiration—Cooking Light

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