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abbarubin's Profile

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Falafel

Yes, I was thinking of that, but I figured I first want to "perfect" the Israeli falafel. I think it's pretty good, but the "average" Israeli quality isn't what I strive for. So, I'll have to mess around with the texture of the inside, which is only quite good, I think, and maybe the flavor just a bit. Boy, are we eating a lot of falafel! I make the other stuff i.e. pita and humus also from scratch -- these experiments give me an awful lot to do… but, since we like eating, they're fun.

Mar 10, 2014
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

Thanks for letting me know. I'm delighted. I thought I had written that it should go into the refrigerator "uncovered." I guess I didn't. Sorry about that.
Abba

Mar 09, 2014
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

Hope it's good. It works over here. Like I said it's about an average Israeli quality. I'm going to try the comments in brackets to see if it gets any better. I have had no luck at all with freezing them. I tried defrosting and toasting and a few other things. Nope.
Abba

Mar 07, 2014
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

FALAFEL

falafel balls: total ca. 720 calories [makes 24 i.e. about 30 cal each] (my 8” pita ca 275 cal)

12 0z dry chickpeas. (soak overnight in the refrigerator). Water should be about 2 inches above the peas.
½ large red onion coarsely chopped [20 cal]
½ cup chopped fresh cilanto
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 t salt

½ t hot pepper
1 t cumin
1 t baking powder (without aluminum)
¼ cup flour [110 cal, necessity depends on humidity?)
1 t chili
1 T olive oil [120 cal]
½ t lemon juice

Put all but baking powder and flour into cuisinart. Blend but do NOT puree. The consistency should be just a bit gritty, but not too much, and a trifle moist, just enough to stick together well.

Mix in the baking powder and enough flour so it isn’t sticky. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Remove from refrigerator and form falafel balls. Put the mixture into a table spoon and spray. Then turn out onto the parchment paper. (What was the bottom is now the top. Spray again.) Bake in preheated convection oven at 380º for 25 minutes. Hope it’s good. Should be. [[. A thought, haven't actually done this: Possibly after the falafel balls are sprayed put in refrigerator, uncovered, 2-3 hours to help dry them out. Try baking for 15 minutes at 380º then drop it down to 280º for 20minutes to dry the inside]]

Mar 07, 2014
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

Oh, and when I quick spray, I make sure to get both sides.

Mar 07, 2014
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

Sure, but won't it take up too much room? How best can i do it and still be appropriate? Let me say that some of the comments on the thread are right on, e.g. I use dry chick peas, but they can't be too old. I made one batch with ones that were quite old and it was no good. The time spent by the batter and falafel balls in the refrigerator is important, I think, because it dries things out a bit. I think size is also very important because if they are too big, there is the risk that they will be mushy at the center. Israeli size falafel balls I find work well.
Abba

Mar 07, 2014
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

Well, i have my own recipe and a whole routine, but I think the thing that might be most useful for you would be a little innovation that seems to work very well. After i put the Israeli size falafel balls on parchment paper on a baking sheet, I take a spray can of pam and zip over the falafel balls. I make a quick spray of it. I don't soak them by any means. Then I turn them over and do the same thing on the other side. That tiny bit of oil makes them very crisp on the outside. There are a number of things I do to keep the inside just right, but I'm not sure that they are good because of what I do, or regardless of what I do, or despite what I do, but I do it.

Mar 07, 2014
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

Thanks for your response. Yes, I did solve the problem and I did it pretty much as you suggested. Starting with the dried chick peas makes all the difference. We have had a lot of Israeli falafel and what I make in terms of quality i.e. taste, I'd say it's about middling... which I think is very good. I make the pita and the humus so everything is fresh. It's pretty good.

Abba

Apr 25, 2013
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

Scubadoo97,
Thanks for your input. It's pretty good. I make about 24 at a time, so each time I want to change something, test an improvement, we have to eat a lot of falafel.
Abba

Nov 15, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

Hi Rasam,
I did that and it helped, but it wasn't sufficient. However, using dry chickpeas to start with made all the difference. Thanks.
Abba

Nov 15, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

Hi Echoclerk,

I found that the problem I was having was solved by using dry chickpeas and soaking them overnight. We lived in Israel for 5 years and ate falafel often -- it's so good! I made some pitas, prepared some tehini sauce and my wife said that so far, I'll still work on it, they taste like average Israeli falafel. Average isn't good enough, but it's not bad. Deep frying, of course, has an advantage which is...deep frying.
Abba

Nov 15, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

Hi again and again thanks. I am soaking the dried chickpeas now. I haven't used them yet. Maybe they won't be too moist. I can always hope. I like the idea of the meat grinder. I am aware of the texture issue; I don't think that was a problem because the mixture, before baking, seemed texturally fine. Drying out the mixture seems rather difficult. I'll see how this batch goes tomorrow. I will keep the grinder in mind. It's just I'm a bit lazy about taking out the grinder and getting it dirty for anything less than a major grinding. Of course, I'm not lazy about eating so maybe I should get over it and use the grinder. I'll see how tomorrow's batch tastes.
Abba

Nov 13, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

Thanks Scubadoo97,
I agree with what you say, but the problem I'm having is that when I bake them the inside is still too mushy. I believe the problem is that the mixture, before baking, is too moist. How do I get it drier?
Abba

Nov 13, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

Thanks, Pinehurst. Actually I used canned chickpeas, but I dried them well with a paper towel. But I also wanted to see the difference if I used dry chickpeas and soaked them. Right now I've got some chickpeas that were dry soaking away. Thanks for the suggestion.
Abba

Nov 13, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Falafel

I make baked falafel, but while the outside is crisp as in deep fried falafel, the inside is too mushy. Any suggestions as to what I might do about that?

Abba

Nov 13, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Refreezing already cooked meat

Thanks Greygarious. I try to defrost only what I need, but sometimes I have a large piece of frozen meat that I can't cut, so I thaw the whole thing, cook it, divide it into portions, and freeze what we don't eat that night. What else can a person do?
Abchick

Jul 26, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Refreezing already cooked meat

Thank you Cookie Monster -- I guess I should ask you about my cookies. I guess I'll find out about the taste and texture on Monday.

Abchick

Jul 26, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

Refreezing already cooked meat

So, I thawed out some meat and cooked it. It was a lot and I froze half of it. A week later I thawed out the previously cooked meat, but something came up and I had to run out, so I refroze the cooked meat. This was a little over a week ago. So the thawed meat was cooked, frozen, and refrozen. Now if I thaw it out to use it,, what should I expect? Is it safe? Will it have lost quality? Will it be dried out? Is there anything special I should do to it? (like throwing it out?)

Thanks.

Abchick

Jul 26, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

popovers

Well, I'm optimistic. Tomorrow I'll get a chance to try again. In any case they always taste good. But, of course, I want them to be what popovers are supposed to be. Thanks everyone.

May 12, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

popovers

It's always interesting to learn the history and use of various recipes. Of course, right now I'm concentrating on finding a way to prevent my popovers from shrinking. I've had some good suggestions that I'll try either today or tomorrow. I certainly am not one to know the relative importance of specific ingredients or techniques. Thanks for the information.

May 12, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

popovers

Of course, you're right, Sandylc, they do. And the results are good. I have several criteria for all the food I prepare (fish, meat, breads, buns, soup etc.). At least in theory: it must be good (not "good considering...," but flat out good); it must be good for you; it must be relatively low in calories; and in my case, it must be kosher. The theory's great and my wife says she loves the results (if she were to say otherwise, she'd do the cooking again). Whether I really succeed or not, I'm too biased to say. But that explains why I use egg white,(and it works) and I use skim milk (and that works). It's just that the popovers shrink. They rise well, and they don't collapse; they just shrink when I take them out of the oven. -- Abba

May 11, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

popovers

Hi Paulj. That sounds about right. The stiffness must be there, but how does one manage that? Hopefully the piercing will do it. I'll know tomorrow I think. This has all the tension of a fictional murder mystery. I think the plot has reached its denouement and the mystery is solved...I hope so anyway. I'll see if there are any surprising twists. Thanks. Abba

May 11, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

popovers

Yes, yes? To mention? To mention what?

May 11, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

popovers

Hi again todao. The recipe is simple:
3 egg whites—no yoke – jumbo eggs (60 cal)
1 cup skim milk (90 cal)
1 cup all purpose flour. (148 gr.) (542.6 cal)
1 level tsp kosher salt
2 tsp canola oil (80 cal)
1 tbs vanilla

Everything works well except that they shrink after rising so nicely. I think I'll try piercing them and leaving them a bit longer. If burning is a problem, I will lower the temperature to 400º after 5 minutes. If I still have trouble, I try the canola oil instead of pam -- though I'm skeptical about that.

May 11, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

popovers

Aha, important things to think about. Piercing them might let the outside air in. The problem could be unequal pressure. And lowering the temperature after about 5 minutes...hmmm. Things to try. Thanks bear. Something's sure to work.

May 11, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

popovers

You know, I've never checked to see how accurate my oven is. I have an oven thermometer; I guess I'll check. But the popovers rise wonderfully; it's the shrinking that troubles me. If the temperature were off, I don't think that would make them shrink. But I could see how that could actually happen. I'll check. Thanks for the thought.

May 11, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

popovers

If you'd rather not use pam, use canola oil. It'll just make the popovers come out easier. I've used pam a half dozen times and the popovers rise beautifully. I wish the pam or something would keep mine from shrinking. I don't think it's reasonable to suppose the pam allows them to shrink where otherwise they wouldn't, but just for curiosity, I think I'll coat the cups with canola oil next time... but I can't see why that would make a difference. Oh well, it's something to try. Apparently, only mine shrink. 

May 11, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

popovers

Hi Jbsiegel, I spray the inside of the cups with a very quick spray of pam and the popovers just about pop out. When I turn the pan over gently they just roll out. I use my own recipe -- I do that with all kinds of things; that's most of the fun for me -- but maybe if I let them sit a bit longer they won't shrink. Right now it's like wool in hot water; shriiiiink. But a little extra time might do it. I just don't want to burn them.

May 11, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

popovers

Aha! That may be it. I take them out right away. I noticed that as soon as I open the door they start on their downward sojourn. I'll just turn off the oven and after a minute I'll just open the door and after two more minutes I'll take them out and then? and then? and then we'll see. Wonderful advice, Todao. Thanks. Abba

May 11, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking

popovers

Hi Todao, I did while trying to get it right. I think I changed it by a word or two about 3 times. Obvously, I'm a novice. But I did get your answer and I appreciate the help. But, as I wrote to you -- and I have no idea if it was actually sent or not -- I cook the popovers at 450º for 20 minutes in a closed oven. After that, they are very well browned. If I leave them for longer, I fear they will burn. They shrink a lot faster than they rise. Abba

May 11, 2012
abbarubin in Home Cooking