Thursday, February 18, 2010

mezze (for the Daring Cooks)

The 2010 February Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.

The two required recipes were pita bread and hummus. Both of them were easy to make and very tasty. The flatbreads were warm, soft, pillowy. The hummus had a lemony zing. The recipes are available from Michele.

I also wanted to make Leon's Sweet Potato Falafel. They would be easier to make if I had planned ahead. The night before when the oven was on for something else I could have roasted the sweet potato and let it cool. Then the same-day prep would be simple.

Sweet Potato Falafel
adapted from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes by Allegra McEvedy

2 medium sweet potatos (about 700 g)
1 1/2 t ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 t garam masala
2 big handfuls (about 30 g) fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 c (120 g) gram (chickpea) flour
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 220 C/425 F. Roast the whole sweet potatos until tender, about 45 minutes. Turn off the oven, let cool, then peel.
Put the sweet potatoes, cumin, garlic, garam masala, fresh coriander, lemon juice, and gram flour in a bowl. Mash together well.
Put into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. The mixture should now be somewhat sticky rather than wet. Add more gram flour if necessary to make a slightly sticky mixture. Use spoons or your hands to make balls. Place on a greased baking tray.
Heat the oven to 200 C/400 F. Bake the falafel for 15 minutes until the bases are golden brown.

Finally, to my mezze feast I added Spring Greens, another Leon recipe that adds a great colour to the spread.

Spring Greens
adapted from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes by Allegra McEvedy

1/2 head of cabbage
1 leek, sliced into diagonals and washed
1/2 t caraway seeds
1 c (130 g) fresh or frozen peas
1 1/2 T cider or white wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
a big handful of mint, chopped
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, heat 1 c (250 mL) water to boiling. Add the cabbage, leek, and caraway seeds. Cover and simmer for four minutes.
Remove the lid and add the peas. Stir and simmer until the veg are all cooked and the water has mostly evaporated, about five minutes.
Remove from the heat, and finish with the vinegar, oil, mint, salt, and pepper.


Hilary said...

Making your own pita bread - that is so cool! I love love love Alford and Duguid, so I'm pleased to see their recipes getting used by Daring Cooks.

OK I have a story about the Spice Shop and why you shouldn't go there :) Brusque indeed - my friends and I went there after Books for Cooks - two Canadians, an Italian and a German. I guess they heard my friend Eva speaking as we walked in and the woman behind the counter actually goes, "Oh great, more Americans." My friend Eva wheels to face her and retorts, "Actually we are NOT American, but if you're so picky about who you let in your shop then obviously you don't want my business and I will take it elsewhere!" and herds us out of the place. It was great. So we don't go there! ;)

Deeba PAB said...

What a nice spread ... I love the variety! Super yum!!

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