6 Minute Meal & Deal: Michael Solomonov's Goldie Falafel

The Meal: Multiple James Beard award-winning chef Michael Solomonov's Goldie Falafel excerpted from ISRAELI SOUL 2018 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook.
Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

GOLDIE FALAFEL
Based on the master recipe we developed for Goldie, this version is not too spicy and lets the subtle chickpea taste come through. Herbs and vegetables help keep the falafel balls moist; pulsing in a food processor creates the crispy exterior.

Makes about 30 pieces (enough for 5 or 6 sandwiches or salads)
1 tablespoon baking powder
Chef Tip: The baking powder makes the falafel light and fluffy
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
Chef Tip: You can swap out the spices if there's anything you don't have or don't like. Paprika is a nice substitute.
1 pound dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight and drained
Big handful fresh parsley
Big handful fresh cilantro
Chef Tip: You can substitute the parsley and cilantro for whatever herbs you like

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons cold water, plus more as needed
Canola oil, for frying

1. Mix together the baking powder, salt, cumin, and turmeric in a small bowl.
2. Layer half the ingredients in a food processor in this order: chickpeas, fresh herbs, vegetables, garlic, and the mixed dry seasonings. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order. Add the water and pulse until very finely chopped and the mixture holds together when pinched between two fingers. If necessary, add a bit more water and pulse again to get the right consistency.
Chef Tip: Don't put the herbs on the bottom of the food processor or they get stuck in the blade

3. Scoop the batter into a colander set over a large bowl to drain while you make the balls. Squeeze out the liquid from the batter with your hands until the dough stays together, then shape into 1-inch balls. Set the balls aside on a plate.
Chef Tip: An ice cream scooper makes it quicker and easier

4. Heat a couple of inches of canola oil to 350F in a large pot. Lower the balls into the hot oil with a long-handled slotted spoon and raise the heat to high to maintain the temperature of the oil. Fry in batches for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the falafel balls are brown and crispy (but not burnt!).
Chef Tip: Use a candy thermometer to ensure the oil is at 350 degrees

5. Immediately transfer the falafel with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve hot.
6. Make a falafel sandwich by layering 2 falafel balls with salad (see below) and tahini sauce (see below) in a pita, and repeating till the pita is full.

Salad Variations

Before pita and falafel became best friends and professional collaborators, falafel had a long and distinguished career, not just packed into a sandwich but as a crunchy salad-a standalone mezze. Like most fried foods, falafel does well accompanied by a tangy dipping sauce and a generous shake of za'atar. Here are variations on the usual suspects.

Green Garbanzo Falafel with Labneh and Pomegranate
If you're lucky enough to find green garbanzos in season, these bright falafel shine on a base of labneh, fresh herbs, and pomegranate seeds.

English Pea Falafel with Herbed Tehina
Perched on a tehina- or yogurt-based sauce, richly scattered with fresh green herbs: think parsley, cilantro, basil, chives.

Goldie Falafel with Herbs and Israeli Salad
A perfect poem of crunch and green, Goldie Salad celebrates delicately spiced falafel balls with leaves of mint and dill, chunks of cucumber and tomato, a swirl of tehina sauce, and plenty of za'atar. Toss with vinaigrette and top with falafel.

FALAFEL SALAD VINAIGRETTE: Whisk together 1 minced shallot and cup each fresh lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and date molasses in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 1 cups canola oil to emulsify the dressing. Taste and add kosher salt. Refrigerated, the dressing will keep for 1 week. Makes 2 cups.

Tehina Variations (page 35)

Tehina and falafel go together like hummus and pita. Pure tehina, with its slightly bitter brashness, is the perfect partner for the mild fried falafel balls. But other bold additions can elevate a falafel: the fresh green chiles of the quickly mae green condiment schug; the smokier dried chile heat of harissa; or the fruity, fermented flavors of amba. We created these flavored sauces, based on our Quick Tehina Sauce, to customize your falafel.

Tehina Ketchup
Makes 1 heaping cup

Ketchup is the perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour, and savory. We didn't think it could be improved upon until we added the rich bitterness of tehina, the funkiness of amba, and the earthy heat of harissa. Wow! Works on absolutely everything, especially Goldie French Fries.

1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoons Quick Tehina Sauce
1 teaspoons Classic Mango Amba (page 79) or store-bought
1 teaspoon Fresh Harissa (page 150) or store-bought

Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to a week.

Schug Tehina
Makes 1 heaping cup

1 cup Quick Tehina Sauce
1 tablespoon Everyday Schug (page 151) or store-bought
Kosher salt
Lemon Juice

Mix together the tehina sauce and schug in a small bowl. Taste and add salt and a squeeze of lemon juice as needed. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to a week.

Harissa Tehina
Makes 1 heaping cup

1 cup Quick Tehina Sauce
1 tablespoon Fresh Harissa (page 150) or store-bought
Kosher salt
Lemon juice

Mix together the tehina sauce and harissa in a small bowl. Taste and add salt and a squeeze of lemon juice as needed. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to a week.

Amba Tehina
Makes 1 cup

cup Quick Tehina Sauce
cup Classic Mango Amba (page 79) or store-bought
Kosher salt
Lemon juice

Mix together the tehina sauce and amba in a small bowl. Taste and add salt and a squeeze of lemon juice as needed. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to a week.

The Deal: Dine at Goldie by Wednesday, March 27 and, if you order a half dozen falafel balls, you'll get a free order of shawarma fries if you tell them you saw this feature on 6abc.

Goldie Falafel
1526 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
267.239.0777
Whole Foods Market
2101 Pennsylvania Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
215.557.0015
Penn Food Hall
3401 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
http://www.goldiefalafel.com/

Israeli Soul Cookbook
http://cooknsolo.com/israeli_soul.html
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