Monday, October 8, 2012

SRC: Sweet Potato Falafel

I have to admit that when I got my Secret Recipe Club assignment this month I didn't spend a lot of time searching Isabelle's site - Crumb - before making a decision.  I saw the recipe for Sweet Potato Falafel Wraps and I knew immediately what I was making.  I have since spent more time checking out her site and have marked many recipes to try.

The Sweet Potato Falafel recipe looks a little intimidating at first read.  The sandwich is made up of 4 different components and while none of them are difficult to make it can be a little overwhelming at first read.

Having four separate recipes actually worked to my benefit. It was one of those days that was broken into weird chunks. I wasn't home at any one time to get everything done, but was home for enough time here and there to get parts of it done.  And, the flavors actually improve with a little bit of rest time, so if you need a make ahead recipe this is the perfect fit.

My entire family loved this dish, my son even asked if I could make it again the following week.  It is a super bright and flavorful dish, that is great anytime of year.  The creamy hummus is a perfect match with the crunch of the falafel and tabooli salad and the yogurt in the tahini sauce provides a nice tang.

With the exception of the Tahini sauce I followed Isabelle's recipe exactly. Isabelle's recipe called for half a cup of Tahini and half a cup of yogurt.  I had a a thicker Greek yogurt and the ratios of the sauce seemed a little thick, so I only used 2 tablespoons of Tahini and half a cup of yogurt.  I liked the tang the Greek yogurt provided and felt there was still plenty of the slight nutty flavor provided by the Tahini.

Homemade Falafel Wraps
Author: Isabelle Boucher (Crumb)

Printer Ready

Tahini Sauce:
½ cup plain yogurt
2 Tbs. tahini
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch salt

Homemade Lemony Hummus:
1 can (19 ounce) chickpeas
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp salt

Tabbouleh Salad:
1 cup roughly chopped parsley
½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
½ cup cooked bulghur wheat
1 cup diced tomato
1 cup diced cucumber
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Falafel Patties:
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (540 ml/19 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and thoroughly drained
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
¼ cup flour
1 tsp ground cumin
1⁄2 tsp chili flakes
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp canola oil

4 Middle Eastern style pitas
Shredded lettuce
Thinly sliced red onion
Prepare the Tahini Sauce (up to 5 days in advance):

  1. In a small bowl, stir together all of the ingredients until smooth. Cover and set aside until ready to use.

Prepare the Hummus (up to 5 days in advance):

  1. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the canning liquid. Rinse thoroughly.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, paprika and salt. Process until smooth and creamy, adding as much of the reserved canning liquid as needed to get a spreadable consistency. Cover and set aside until ready to use.

Prepare the Tabbouleh (up to 2 days in advance):

  1. Using a food processor pulse the parsley and mint until finely chopped.
  2. Transfer the chopped parsley and mint to a mixing bowl, and toss with the remaining tabbouleh ingredients until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then cover and chill until ready to use.

Make the Falafel Patties:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, process the cilantro, parsley and garlic until very finely minced. Add chickpeas, and pulse until finely chopped, but not completely pureed. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and stir in sweet potato, flour, cumin, chili flakes and salt to make a dense batter that holds its shape when rolled into a ball – if it’s too wet, add more flour, 1 tbsp at a time, until it reaches the appropriate consistency.
  2. Scoop out a dozen golfball-sized portions, and shape into a rounded patties.
  3. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, pan-fry the patties in oil for 3-5 minutes per side, or until golden and crisp (the patties are fairly fragile, so be gentle when flipping!). Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towel to drain.

Assemble the Wraps:

  1. To assemble the wraps, carefully pull apart each pita, stopping about halfway around to form a pocket with two flaps.
  2. Spread with a generous amount of tahini sauce and hummus, then fill the pocket with a handful of tabbouleh, toppings of your choice and 3 falafel patties.
  3. To close up the wraps, lay a pita down on a plate with the open end facing away from you. Gently tuck the top flap over the filling and back into the sandwich, and continue the rolling motion to create a tight wrap. (If this sounds overly complicated, you can also cut the pitas in half cross-wise, then gently separate each half to make two individual pockets.) Serve immediately.

Be sure to check out more of Isabelle's great recipes over at Crumb