Recipes that I like

These from Mike & Susan Cross, and are excellent! Mike, if these were a secret, tell me ASAP and I will pull them off the web.

Hummus

in a food processor or a very good blender, put:

2 cloves garlic, (or, but only in an emergency, 1 tsp garlic powder)

6 Tbl lemon juice (juice of 1 large lemon) bottled juice OK, but fresh is better 3/8 cup

6 Tbl olive oil (more if you like) 3/8 cup

1/4 tsp. Paprika (Hot paprika if you like)

1/4 tsp. pepper, freshly ground

a dash or more of cayenne pepper

Blenderize (Put in the bender to make a paste) Peel, but no need to chop the garlic first.

When the above is liquified, add

3 Tbl Dark Roasted Tahini (ground toasted sesame seed paste) The more roasted it is the better we think.

2 cans, about 800g total net, of drained chickpeas. Actually, canned or jars are better than cooked from dry beans.

Drain the garbanzo beans well, but keep the liquid to add some of it later. Also, reserve about 2 tablespoons of beans for later garnish use. Combine the 800gm of beans with the above and blenderize and stir well to get it a uniform paste. Don’t grind the end off the rubber spatula as you move it into the blender. <wink>

When very smooth add perhaps 2 Tbl bean juice or water, but only if needed to get the consistency correct. Some canned beans do not need ANY liquid added and are still too runny. You want a “good dip consistency”.

Try 1 tsp salt (Be careful. Use less salt at first and adjust at the end. Some canned beans are very low salt and need even more. Some are already very salty. We think that it tastes flat if not enough salt. One way is to remove about 1/4 to 1/3 of the final result and then add salt until it is a little too salty and then return the unsalted portion to lessen the salt.

You get the idea. It takes more salt than one may think, but all agree that too much is too much, and then what do you do?)

Put in a bowl and garnish with up to 10 springs parsley, & olive oil, & paprika,

Pita or lavish bread, or vegetable spears to serve

(If you are worried about double dippers, you can serve individual servings. Put a mound of about 3 tablespoons on the center of each salad plate. Press the back of a spoon on the mound and turn the plate so that the Hummus will be spread evenly all over the plate. Garnish with a few whole beans in the center, a drizzle of your very best olive oil, a sprinkle of red paprika, perhaps Hungarian hot paprika and a spring of parsley.

A 540 gm can has a drained weight of 400gm. (One brand is 800gm/400gm net) If adding home cooked beans, add 666gm of drained beans. But, this not an exact science. Most people much prefer the consistency that they get using canned beans. The home cooked are not as tender, but perhaps we need to cook them longer.

Feel free to vary the ratios to suit your tastes. Really good ingredients make a big difference.

USA Measures:

1 tsp = 1 teaspoon = 4.92 ml = about 5 ml

1 Tbl = 1 Tablespoon = 14.75 ml = about 15 ml,

1 Cup = 236 ml

1 pound = 453.6 grams

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FALAFEL – adapted from “Popular Food from Israel 2000” – Ruth Sirkis

FOR ABOUT 75 BALLS (enough to feed an army of 15 or so)

Falafel is the most popular snack in Israel. It is a complete light meal comprised of Pitah (flat round bread) filled with little fried balls, very piquant and spicy made of garbanzo beans. The Pitah is also stuffed with salad, pickles, and topped with Tahinah dressing.

1 lb. dried garbanzo beans (chick peas)

2 tsp. baking soda

2 slices bread

4 garlic cloves, peeled

1/4 cup parsley

1 Tbsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. coriander

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. paprika

1/4 cup cracked wheat (bulghar)

2 tbsp. bread crumbs

oil for frying

Soak the beans overnight in 10 cups of water and the baking soda. Drain and grind twice in an electric grinder. Set in a large mixing bowl. Wet the bread under running water then squeeze and grind with the garlic, and parsley. Add to the ground beans. Soak the cracked wheat for 20 minutes in a cup of hot water. Add the wheat, seasonings and bread crumbs. Mix well. Let stand for 15 minutes. Form 1 inch balls, placing them on waxed paper. In a deep skillet heat 3 inches of oil to 350°F. Fry the balls until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately, while hot in Pita bread as sandwiches; or with toothpicks, as party snacks.

By “electric grinder”, I think she means a meat grinder—the thing with a crank and screw that our mothers had. I use a food processor. Put everything except the bulghar and bread crumbs in the food processor and process until it is finely chopped—maybe about 1/8” mesh or a little less. Don’t make it into a paste—leave some texture.

I have a falafel-maker that I got at the sok (public market) in Jerusalem, so I don’t make the 1” balls, and don’t place them on waxed paper. I just pack the goop into the falafel-maker and then pop it into the oil. I have made them by hand, and it works fine, the falafel-maker just makes it easier.

I like my falafel very spicy, so I use 5 (five) times as much spice (the cumin, coriander and pepper) as the recipe calls for. So feel free to experiment. The falafel-maker works better with wetter mix, so I add some more water, and more salt.

At 350°F, the inside isn’t done by the time the outside is, so I use 300°F to 325°F.

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