Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

Get information here about her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gluten-Free Falafel

The gf falafel mixture before adding flour

I'm embarrassed that I don't have that beautiful, focused in the foreground-blurry in the background photo of my completed falafel. We got so caught up in the making/eating, we forgot! I promise they looked just like what you would expect; crispy brown on the outside and greenish-flecked on the inside. 

It annoys me that 99% of the falafel found in the US has gluten; falafel are traditionally made with chick pea or garbanzo bean flour. It's also traditionally vegan; no animal products, like eggs or milk, are needed. Yea! 

So here are the important tips:
-The onion and garlic add a lot of flavor. Use less garlic if you don't like it spicy. 
-The mixture should not be wet (I made this mistake). Make sure to add enough garbanzo and/or gluten free flour to bind it together. 
-I used a combo of cilantro and parsley because that's what I had (and we all love cilantro). Use what you have. 
-Although you can bake these at a high heat, frying (even if it's just pan-fried) will give the best texture. 
-If you have more time, the traditional way to make falafel is to soak about 1/2 cup of dried garbanzo beans (so that you have the right amount for this recipe; you can always soak more) in water for 12 hours. Drain and rinse. Use this in place of the can of garbanzo beans. However, this requires at least a half of a day's worth of planning which we don't always have.
-I couldn't find fresh tahini sauce so I served it with hummus. Use what you have. It will be delicious.

-If you can't find or don't want to make fresh gluten-free pita, serve in lettuce wraps or a gluten-free roll. I like the ones from Schar. My husband brought these gluten-free pita back from the UK; they are the best I have had so far (and notice they are almost all gone).
Gluten-Free Pita from Sainsbury's, a UK based grocery store

Enjoy the recipe and don't be afraid to try these. They are easy, quick and delicious. I showed my husband how to make them so I think we have a new rotation in our household!

Gluten-Free Falafel
Makes 13-14 2” patties

1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped into 4-6 pieces
1/4 onion (or 1/2 small), cut into chunks
1/4 cup fresh parsley, rinsed and dried off, big stems removed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, rinsed and dried off, big stems removed (or use all parsley)
1/3 cup chick pea or garbanzo bean flour 
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1/4-1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend (without xanthan gum)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying

1. Place all ingredients except flour blend and vegetable oil in a food processor. Puree until slightly chunky but almost smooth, scraping down the sides at least once. If it's too chunky, add a teaspoon of water and process again. Remove and place in a medium bowl. 
2. Add 1/4 cup flour blend and stir. You should be able to make patties that do not fall apart. If the mixture seems too dry, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time. If the mixture seems too wet, add more flour. It should be moist but able to form into a patty.
3. Form into patties and fry in large pan with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook until golden brown on each side. Serve with tahini sauce and/or hummus.

No comments: