Beef & Broccoli with Snow Peas

24 Oct

Beef and Broccoli

 

 

I love making my own Chinese take-out items at home.  It is always the perfect type of meal to make when you want something fast and easy.  Another reason I prefer to make my own take-out is because I can control the ingredients and I know exactly what I’m getting.  I tried to make the healthiest version possible to share with you, but I have also included the alternative ingredients you can use instead.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds flank steak, sliced thinly against the grain
1/2 cup liquid aminos ( use soy sauce as alternative)
2 tablespoon arrowroot (use cornstarch as alternative)
3 tablespoons cooking sherry wine
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar (use brown sugar as alternative)
1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed
Crushed red pepper, to taste
4 whole scallions, sliced thinly
Salt, as needed, use conservatively
Brown rice, cooked according to instructions

In a bowl, mix together the liquid aminos, sherry, arrowroot, coconut palm sugar, garlic and ginger.  In a separate bowl, add the thinly sliced flank steak and half of the marinade over the top.  Save the rest of the liquid, toss the flank steak and set aside.

Heat the oil over high heat in a large sauté pan.  Add the snow peas and cook for about 30-45 seconds, just to get some color on them.  Remove the snow peas to a plate.  Boil a pot of water to cook the broccoli.  Boil the broccoli on high for about 4 minutes and immediately strain the broccoli into an ice bath to stop the cooking.  This will ensure the broccoli stays bright green in color and still has a nice bite to it.  If you do not want to make an ice bath, just run the broccoli under cold water until the broccoli is no longer warm.  Set the broccoli aside.  Allow the sauté pan to get hot again after removing the snow peas and add a small amount of the flank steak.  Do not crowd the sauté pan because you want the beef to get brown and caramelized.  Turn the pieces of steak and cook on the other side for another 30 seconds or so.  Remove the meat to a plate.  Repeat this process until all the meat is cooked.  After cooking the last batch of meat, add the rest of the meat back into the pan with the reserved liquid, the crushed red pepper, the broccoli and the snow peas.  Cook on high for about 45 seconds allowing the sauce to thicken.  Taste for seasoning and add salt only if it is needed.  Serve over rice with the scallions as a garnish.

 

 

 

Beef and Broccoli

 

 

Beef and Broccoli

 

If you are interested in other Chinese take-out recipes check these out:

Sweet & Sour Pork

Dumplings & Egg Rolls

 

 

Love Always,

The Refined Palate

Christina Miros ©2014

APRICOT GLAZED PORK LOIN

21 Oct

Pork Loin

I had a pork loin on hand after getting it for a steal from the grocery store and I wanted to do something special with it, something different than the usual, so I started thinking.  I had some apricot preserves in the house from some cookies I had made and I decided that was the flavor profile I wanted to go with.  Sweet and savory flavors always lend themselves well to pork and I figured the sugars inside the preserves would make the pork deliciously brown and caramelized.

Apricot Glazed Pork Loin

1 pork loin
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup apricot preserves
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons cumin
Salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Poke slices into the top of the pork loin about 1/2 an inch deep.  Using your fingers, wedge the crushed garlic cloves into the slits.  Season the pork liberally with salt and pepper.  Season the pork with the cumin.  In a medium bowl, add the apricot preserves, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Whisk everything until it is well incorporated.  Rub 1/4 of the mixture onto the pork loin, reserving the rest as a sauce for when the pork is served.  Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a sauté pan.  Brown the pork on all sides being careful not to burn it.  The sugars in the apricot preserves will brown easily so it does not need much time.  Place the pork loin into a roasting pan and put it in the oven.  Keep a close eye on the pork for the first 15 minutes or so.  When you notice the sauce begin to stick to the pan, add the 1/2 cup of water.  Cook the pork loin until it is fully cooked through, depending on the size in pounds.  Usually the average size pork loin takes about 30-35 minutes at such high heat.

Pork Loin

Remove the pork loin and allow it to rest on a cutting board for about 10 minutes.  While the pork is resting, in a small sauce pan, heat through the remainder of the apricot sauce just to make it a more pourable consistency.  Slice the pork loin, drizzle with the apricot glaze and enjoy!

As a side dish I made spicy sweet potatoes.  I figured both the apricot glaze and the sweet potatoes are sweet in flavor so adding a bit of cayenne, coriander and chili powder would pair nicely with the natural sweetness of the potatoes.  I also toasted some pecans and tossed them in honey before adding them to the roasted spicy sweet potatoes.

Spicy Sweet Potatoes with Honey Pecans

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in discs
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Toss the sweet potatoes with the spices, salt and olive oil.  Roast in the oven at the same time the pork is cooking.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.  In a small dry sauté pan, lightly toast the pecans.  Drizzle the pecans with honey then add them to the sweet potatoes once they have been removed from the oven.

Pork Loin

xoxo The Refined Palate

Christina Miros ©2014

Pumpkin I Scream, You Scream

12 Oct

My mom screamed for ice cream…

 

Pumpkin Ice Cream

 

 

 

There was another birthday to celebrate and with that celebration came another dessert request.  This time it was my mom’s birthday and her request was ice cream.  I love making ice cream because it is almost the easiest thing in the world to make and you can literally create any flavor ice cream you can imagine.  It all starts with the same custard base and depending on what else you incorporate will depend on the flavor you end up with.  I decided to make pumpkin ice cream because it is one flavor I had never previously made before and it seemed perfect for my mother’s October birthday.

 

Ice Cream Base:

1 cup heavy cream
3 cups half-and-half
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Pumpkin:

1-15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

 

Add the half-and-half and heavy cream in a pot over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a light simmer.  Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract then remove from the heat.  In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until the yolks are pale yellow.  Gradually add small amounts of the cream mixture to temper the eggs.  Adding too much of the hot cream to the eggs will result in scrambled eggs.  Nobody wants scrambled egg ice cream.  After tempering the eggs with the hot cream mixture, add the entire mixture back into the pot.  Over low heat, cook the mixture until it slightly thickens and could coat the back of  a spoon.  Pour the custard into a container and allow it to sit at room temperature to cool slightly before placing it in the refrigerator.  If you use plastic wrap to cover the custard mix, be sure to poke holes in the plastic to allow the warm custard to vent.  Refrigerate the mixture for several hours until it is cool enough to pour into an ice cream maker.  I used the ice cream attachment on the Kitchen Aid stand mixer.  If you are using a different type of ice cream maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions accordingly.  Allow the ice cream to mix for about 25-35 minutes.  Place the mixed ice cream into the freezer for several hours to allow it to harden.

I served the ice cream in cinnamon-sugar baked phyllo cups because well, I’m Greek; plus I just happened to have extra phyllo in the refrigerator, like any good little Greek would.

 

Phyllo Cups:

5 sheets of phyllo dough
Butter, melted
Cinnamon and sugar blend

 

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lay one phyllo sheet onto your workspace and brush it liberally with melted butter.  Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture on top of the melted butter then cover it with another layer of phyllo dough.  Continue this until all 5 layers of phyllo are used.  Cut circles large enough to fit into a cupcake tin and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden.  Serve the pumpkin ice cream scooped inside the phyllo cups to make it extra special.

 

 

xoxo ♥

 

 

Christina Miros 2014©

 

Pumpkin Pinwheels

7 Oct

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Pinwheels

 

 

The time of year has come when pumpkin flavored, colored and scented everything appears just about everywhere!  I must admit the increasing social media posts of everyone and their something pumpkin has the tendency to result in a of couple eye-rolls but I still have to contribute my version of pumpkin.  What kind of person would I be if I kept it all to myself?  This is just the first of many pumpkin posts I will be sharing over the next month or so.  This one is super easy.

 

Pinwheels:

1 8oz package of crescent rolls
1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon toasted pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon semi sweet chocolate chips

Glaze:

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons water
Cooking spray for pan or parchment paper

 

Preheat oven to 375°.

Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or line it with a sheet of parchment paper.  In a bowl, mix together the pumpkin pie filling, sugar and salt. Unroll the crescent roll dough on a lightly floured surface so it does not stick. Pinch together the seams of the crescent dough.  In an even layer, spread the pumpkin mixture, leaving a 1/2 inch border along the edges.  Sprinkle the chopped pecans and chocolate chips over the filling.  Roll the dough over itself to form a pinwheel.  Slice the log into 1 inch pieces.  Lay each piece on the baking sheet leaving about 2 inches between each pinwheel.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Remove from the oven and drizzle with the glaze.

For the glaze, combine the sugar, cream cheese and water in a bowl.  Heat in the microwave in 20 second intervals.  Stir the glaze between intervals until it is smooth and hot.

Love Always,

Xristina Marie

Christina Miros ©2014

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars

2 Oct

 

 

DSC01959

 

 

It was recently my sister’s birthday and for dessert she requested cheesecake.  I’m not huge on the whole baking thing because for me, it is more tedious than cooking.  When I do bake, I like to simplify things and make the recipe less annoying, for lack of a better word.  Instead of a traditional cheesecake, low and slow with a water bath and the whole nine, I decided to make cheesecake bars; throw it all together in a baking dish and cover any imperfections with a delicious chocolate ganache.  Like, hello?  Genius.

 

For the crust:

18 graham crackers (1 whole package), processed into crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

 

For the filling:

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
1 egg plus 1 yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
20-25 peanut butter cups, chopped

 

For the ganache:

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butterPeanut butter cheesecake bars
2 tablespoons powered sugar
10 peanut butter cups, cut in half for topping

 

 

 

Preheat the oven to 325°.
Mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar together in a bowl.  Add the melted butter and mix until completely combined.

 

DSC01929

 

Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking dish.  Bake the crust for 10 minutes.  Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool.  Add the cream cheese, sugar and flour to a bowl.  Using a mixer, mix on medium speed until the mixture is creamy.  On low speed, add the egg plus one yolk, the Greek yogurt and vanilla extract.  Mix until all the ingredients are smooth.  Gently fold in the chopped peanut butter cup pieces and pour the batter into the baking dish.

 

 

 

DSC01938

 

Bake the cheesecake for 35-40 minutes.  Remove the cheesecake and allow it to cool completely.  To make the ganache, place the chocolate chips into a bowl.  Place the heavy cream and butter in a sauce pan and heat them until just before the cream starts to boil.  Pour the cream and butter mixture over the chocolate chips.  Let it sit for a minute and then whisk until the chocolate is smooth.

 

DSC01944

 

Pour the ganache over the cooled cheesecake and place the halved peanut butter cups on top.  If you arrange the pieces in 4 rows of 5, it will make 20 squares and give you a good guide as to where to cut the bars.

 

DSC01946

 

 

 

Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight.

 

DSC01957

 

 

 

 

Made with love ♥

The Refined Palate

 

 

Christina Miros ©2014

Because sometimes you need a little fried chicken in your life…

23 Sep

PRETZEL-CRUSTED FRIED CHICKEN
WITH HONEY DIJON

Pretzel-crusted fried chicken

One day I just really felt like eating some fried chicken but I didn’t want the usual.  I wanted something fast and easy that still gave me the same flavor profile and crunch as fried chicken.  I have previously used everything from corn flakes, Italian bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs and even butter crackers to make fried chicken, but I had never used pretzels before.  I had some pretzel rods lying around the house and it seemed like an obvious way to use them so I went with it.  I thought to myself how fried chicken always pairs well with honey and soft New York City pretzels are often served with mustard, so why not throw all four things together and create a mouth-watering meal?  This meal is super simple, fast and can be fun for the entire family.  I’m sure your kids would love to help smash up the pretzel rods or learn to make a healthier version of honey mustard they can dip their chicken in; my little darling is still too young for that.

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
8 pretzel rods, smashed into mostly fine crumbs
1 large zip top freezer bag, for less mess when pulverizing the pretzels
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 beaten egg, for the egg wash
1 tablespoon water, for the egg wash
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil, or enough to coat the bottom of your sauté pan

 

DSC01884

For the honey dijon:

 

3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk; or regular cow’s milk
Pinch of kosher salt

Start by cleaning the chicken breasts and cutting them into strips.  Season the chicken with salt as well as the remaining spices listed in the ingredients.  Remember, the pretzel rods are salted so be careful not to over-salt the chicken.  Place the pretzel rods in a zip top freezer bag and start smashing them until only a few large pieces remain.  Leaving some larger pieces will give the chicken that familiar and satisfying crunch you get from fried chicken.  Place the egg wash in a bowl, lay out the flour in one dish and the pretzel crumbs in a separate dish.  Coat the chicken strips in flour, dunk them in the egg wash and then place them directly into the pretzel crumbs.  Liberally coat the chicken with pretzel crumbs.  In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Do not place the chicken inside the oil until it is hot.  Cook the chicken strips for about 4 minutes on each side.  Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel to drain.  In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the honey mustard.  The Greek yogurt is used in place of mayonnaise to give the honey mustard a creamy consistency and the almond milk is used to thin it out for the perfect dip-a-bility.  There really isn’t much else to say about this meal.  It’s just good.

DSC01880

The Refined Palate

Xristina Miros ©2014

Posole Rojo

22 Sep

 

 

 

Posole Rojo

 

 

The weather took a dramatic change here in the Northeast.  Autumn is in the air and I am fully enjoying it; that is until the falling leaves turn to snow and we are all miserably stuck inside our homes for days at a time.  With the chill ever so present in the air, there is no better time to make some soup.  I decided to try something different.  Posole is something I am familiar with eating after years in my beloved Arizona, but it is not something I have ever thought to make for myself, until now.  I had most of the ingredients on hand already and it seemed simple enough so I decided to take my Mexican cooking skills a step further.  This recipe is simple, technically speaking, but it does take some time and patience.

 

Ingredients:

10 dried ancho chiles
5 dried guajillo chiles
2 garlic cloves
1 medium white onion, diced
2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons ground cumin, separated
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3-15 ounce cans of white hominy

Garnish:

Fresh cilantro
Diced avocado
Sliced radishes
Diced white onion
Fresh lime wedges

 

Boil a large pot of water.  Rip the tops off the dried chiles and remove all seeds from inside.  Once the water boils, add the chiles to the water and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and cover the pot for an additional 10 minutes.

DSC01912

 

In the mean time, in a large pot, sauté most of the diced onion, reserving about 1 tablespoon for the garnish.  Once the onion is soft and slightly brown, remove it from the pot.  Season the pork shoulder with salt and 1 tablespoon of the cumin.

 

DSC01914

 

Add the pork to the pot and allow it to brown on all sides.  Add the onion back into the pot along with the bay leaves, dried oregano and chicken broth.  Bring everything up to a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Simmer the soup for about 3 hours, until the pork is fork tender.  Add the rehydrated chiles, garlic and remaining 1 tablespoon of cumin along with about 1 cup of the soaking liquid into a blender.  Season the mix with salt and blend until completely smooth.  I strained my chile sauce through a fine-mesh sieve just to get rid of any large pieces left behind.  Cook the chile sauce in a separate pot for a few minutes just to deepen the flavor.  Before adding the chile sauce to the soup pot, spoon any oil off the top of the stock.  Send your stock and pork through a strainer as well.  Keep the pork separated and allow it to cool enough to handle it.  Clean any fat from the pork, remove bones and cut the pork into bite-sized pieces.  Return the stock liquid and pork to the pot and add the chile sauce.  Add the rinsed and drained white hominy to the pot.  Cook all together for another 30 minutes, adjust seasoning accordingly and serve with the garnishes of your choice.

 

 

DSC01918

 

 

 

 

Love Always,

Xristina Marie

Xristina Miros ©2014

REMAKE: California Pizza Kitchen’s Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Salad

23 Jun

I was on an adventure to the mall the other day.  I say adventure because I literally never go to the mall.  I actually am not one for shopping.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the final outcome of shopping, but not the actual process.   I made a stop at California Pizza Kitchen because of all the food options available at the mall,  it seemed like the best one.  My being directly outside the entrance  also weighed heavily in my decision to dine there.  I ordered the half portion of the Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Salad.  It was exactly what I felt like eating and it was good; for a salad from a major chain.  I have a problem dining out at most establishments like this because I know I can make anything on the menu and make it better, for even less money.  This is where the inspiration came to duplicate this salad in my own home for a dinner date with my mom.  With the summer heat being obnoxiously present, nothing is better than a light and satisfying meal.

 

 

 

 

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what you’ll need for the salad:

2 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, diced
1 avocado
2 beets, diced
1 carrot, shredded
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 dates, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons almonds, chopped or slivered
Salt

Here is what you’ll need for the chicken:

4 chicken breasts
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon chili powder

 

Here’s what you’ll need for the dressing:

1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey

 

 

Preheat oven to 425º.

Place the peeled and diced sweet potatoes in a large pan with olive oil and salt.  Roast for about 20 minutes or until softened.  I like to remove the sweet potato before it gets too soft, that way it still has a slight bite to it and holds up well in the salad.  Boil the bite-sized beets until they are cooked through.  Chop the remaining ingredients, making everything small enough to get all the flavors into one bite.  Place all the ingredients for the salad portion into a bowl.

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and liberally rub the Moroccan spice mix onto the chicken.  Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  I used thinly-sliced chicken breasts so it only took about 3-4 minutes on each side until they were cooked through.  Remove the chicken onto a clean plate and allow it to rest while preparing the dressing.

In a bowl or food processor, combine the grated garlic, honey and vinegar and either whisk it together, or pulse with the food processor.  Slowly stream in the olive oil to allow the dressing to emulsify and come together.  Dress the salad and season with salt.  Chop the chicken breast and serve over the salad.

 

Why I like my version better:

For one, the chicken is a better quality and tastes fresh, not as though it was cooked ahead of time and refrigerated for hours.  My dressing is slightly sweet to compliment the flavors of the salad but does not come with an artificial aftertaste; the one that comes only when you know a dressing is loaded with sugar.  It cost me a fraction to recreate this recipe for two people.   For someone who is pressed for time, it is so easy to do and it tasted way better than the big-name restaurant version.  Most importantly, it was made with love and love tastes good.

 

 

 

 

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♥   Xristina Marie

Xristina Miros ©2014

REMAKE: Panera Bread Egg Souffle

12 May

 

Egg Souffle

 

 

I went to lunch the other day at Panera Bread with a couple of my girl friends.  When one of my friends ordered a mini egg soufflé, it was so adorable and intriguing, I had to go home and make one.  Now, I never actually tasted the soufflé, I only looked at it long enough to get a basic idea of how to go about making one myself.  I love recreating recipes from major establishments and making them even more delicious and more importantly, healthier.  This was the perfect dish to add to my Mother’s Day brunch menu.

 

Here is what you will need:

5 eggs
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 yellow onion, caramelized then chopped
4 artichoke hearts, chopped
1 box frozen spinach, thawed and strained
1 ounce feta cheese
Salt
Pepper
1 tablespoon water
1 box of puff pastry, thawed

 

 

I caramelized the onions the night before to save some time.  The recipe is as follows:

1 large yellow onion, sliced in discs
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Heat the olive oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and season with salt.  Once the onions are soft, about 5 minutes, add the sugar.  Cook the onions for about 30 minutes, constantly scraping the brown bits from the pan.

 

Preheat the oven to 375º.

Chop the caramelized onions, artichokes and spinach and add them to a bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together 4 of the eggs and the heavy cream.  Season the egg mixture with salt and pepper.  Add the eggs to the vegetables.  Add the feta cheese crumbles and beat everything together with a fork.  Roll out the puff pastry large enough to fit an 8 inch tart pan with enough for the edges to hang over.  I used a tart pan with a removable bottom to make it easier to transfer the soufflé onto a plate.  Place the puff pastry into the tart pan keeping the edges hanging over the sides.  Pour in the egg mixture and fold the edges over top of the egg.  Brush the puff pastry with an egg wash made with the remaining egg; one egg beaten with about one tablespoon of water.  Bake the soufflé on top of a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown.  Serve the soufflé while it is hot.

* If you would like to create mini soufflés, follow the recipe exactly as is.  The only difference would be that the puff pastry would be cut to fit the mini tart pans.

 

Along with the soufflé, I threw together the perfect breakfast drink.  I put equal amounts of mango and peach nectar into a pitcher with some club soda.  It is so simple but so delicious and refreshing.  You could always replace the club soda with champagne for a more exciting version of a mimosa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egg Souffle

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day ♥

 

 

 

Xristina Miros ©2014

How to make Falafel

28 Apr

 

Falafel

 

 

 

Falafel was always intimidating to me.  Not for any specific reason except that I never had much experience with it.  I am the type of cook who can make basically anything once I have eaten it.  It helps me figure out the flavors used, the cooking methods and techniques and also the textures needed to replicate the dish.  Making falafel was no different.  After acquiring some basic falafel knowledge, I decided to try it out one night and was surprised at how shockingly simple it is to make; not to mention, how perfect they turned out.

 

 

First thing is first.  You MUST use dried chick peas.  
I don’t care how many recipes tell you it is acceptable to use canned 
chick peas in a pinch.  The canned chick peas will never give 
you the right texture or consistency.
I am all for the canned beans in a variation of recipes 
but this is not one of them.  

Now that we got that all straightened out, here is what you will need:

8 ounces dried chick peas; half of a 1 pound bag ( 8 ounces will make about 12 falafel)

1 small yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Salt

The only thing you really need to do for this recipe is soak the chick peas ahead of time.  Soaking the chick peas overnight helps them plump up and slightly soften to achieve the perfect texture for falafel.  Besides soaking the chick peas, the rest of the recipe is literally just throwing the ingredients in a food processor.  Slowly pulse the food processor until the falafel starts to come together but not enough to turn the mixture into hummus.  You want it to be a sandy consistency that will hold together.

 

Falafel

This is what the falafel mix should look like. Notice there are still some slightly chunky pieces of chick pea. That is what gives the falafel such a great texture.

 

 

 

The only thing left to do is form small balls from the falafel mix and fry them in vegetable oil.  Any oil that has a high smoke point and neutral flavor will work.  It does not take much time to fry.  You just want them to cook enough to get a nice brown crust on all sides.  Drain them out onto a paper towel and season with salt.

 

 

 

Falafel

 

Falafel

 

 

I served the falafel with a warm pita and tahini sauce.  The tahini sauce is so simple to make…

1/2 cup tahini paste
The juice of 2 lemons
Salt to taste

Blend the ingredients in a food processor or whisk together by hand.

 

Falafel

 

Falafel with pita, tahini sauce and a tomato and cucumber salad.

Falafel with pita, tahini sauce and a tomato and cucumber salad.

 

 

 

Happy Cooking,

The Refined Palate

 

 

Xristina Miros ©2014

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