Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Falafel and tahini sauce

Sometimes, I'll start a recipe thinking that it'll be a piece of cake (so to speak) and then have it dirty more pots than I own and  take an hour longer than originally planned. This soup immediately comes to mind. It's a great recipe but takes more work than a pureed soup should take. (Frankly, the eight-ingredient garnish should have been a dead giveaway) So it's nice to have recipes take less effort and turn out better than expected once in a while. It's like an unexpected bonus, or like having an experiment work out on the first try...

This falafel recipe was one of these pleasant surprises. The falafels were tender and flavorful, and despite my initial fear of balls falling apart during frying, or the deep frying itself, it was definitely easier than I expected. During the frying process, I actually decided that being a fry cook might not be a bad career after all. I can kind of see myself reigning over the greasy corner of a diner, shrugging off oil burns to produce batches of golden, glistening fried goods.

I used my 3 quart cast iron fryer for this and it worked out great. The pot was small enough that it didn't require an excess amount of oil (1 liter for an inch deep). The additional benefit was that this process more than re-seasoned my pot and now it's absolutely nonstick. Lovely. The other lesson I learned from this first foray into deep frying is that it really doesn't use all that much oil. I started with a liter of oil and pretty much ended up with a liter minus a couple of tablespoons after frying 40 balls of falafel. But this begs the question: what do I do with a liter of used falafel oil?