Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The Awful Falafel Waffle Baffles Me
I can’t follow directions—got that on all of my report cards. I need to find my own path, and it is the harder one. Yes, there is a point. The recipe is a plan I can’t follow and that is part of who I am.
I read of Falafel Waffles on Don’t Loose Your Lunch. It was so clearly the answer to some major pending issues in my life---how can I make and freeze lunches; how can I have something quick for the baby; how can I use that pesky waffle iron that my sister-in-law gave me for my wedding. (Mind you we love the iron, so no offense, okay). However, I chose not to read the recipe that Wes used. Why? Because of my essential self. Essential self, you ask? There is something that you are—happy, sad, sensitive, whatever. And, that essential self will never change. So, my difficult self just missed his recipe altogether. So, instead, I used a recipe that I concocted myself using Claudia Roden’s Book of Middle Eastern Recipes. I decided to use a combination of chickpeas and fava beans.
I am not quite sure if the recipe was too moist or what. But, the result was maddening. It had the form of a waffle, but it was burnt at the crests and uncooked in the valleys. To make things worse my little falafel would not release from my beloved iron. We picked at it with a spatula and finally got it out chunk by chunk. The little falafel bits were basically a sad pale green; and the elements that did brown were a discouraging reminder of what didn’t occur in our waffle iron that night. Instead of declaring failure, we battled back. Clearly the problems were multifold—not enough oil and need for a warmer iron. The second waffle was like the opposite sister to the first—very black exterior and pale green mushy interior. Both waffles however were exact in their fragmented nature.
At this point, we were hungry and I began to think falafel waffle was all awful. I was very close to deep frying them to a lovely crisp, but then we decided to bake them in heart-shaped muffin tins. The falafel was actually very tasty. The next day we ate them in homemade naan (though we used soy milk). Have falafel waffle’s totally eluded me? Stay tuned.