<![CDATA[Falafel Waffles Etcetera - Recipes]]>Sun, 17 Dec 2017 13:16:41 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Ras El HAnout]]>Thu, 21 Jul 2016 20:29:37 GMThttp://falafelwaffleetcetera.com/2/post/2016/07/ras-el-hanout.htmlThe below discussion of Ras El Hanout, was contributed by my husband Randy. (Recipe by me at the bottom). Enjoy!
"      Ras El Hanout is a spice mixture of North African Origin. The name is Arabic and translates as "Head of the Shop" or "Top of the Shop." I've heard two equally logical explanations for the name. One is that it is similar to the phrase "top shelf" as might be used to indicate the highest quality available. The other explanation was that the concoction was the personal recipe of the proud shop owner.
That second definition brings me to a confession: I am not going to give you my recipe! Why? Is it my trade secret? Nope. Is it full of innumerable exotic ingredients that the average home cook can't obtain? Rarely. The truth is, were you to show up for my house some evening when I was cooking a tagine, I would likely have no clue exactly how much of which spices I'd used for this particular batch. I like to grind many of my own spices (coriander, cumin, cardamom, for example). I usually realize that I'm running short or even out of Ras el Hanout when I reach for the jar! So I use up whatever is left, then grind up and mix another batch, influenced by the style of the current dish. I might omit an ingredient, or increase the proportion of another. I might grind the coriander a bit rougher. Am I making lamb with prunes? A bit more cinnamon! Chicken with green olives and preserved lemon? More cumin! Rose petals! If I don't end up using all my new mix, it goes into the jar as the base of the next batch.
It's also easy to adjust the seasoning as you're cooking. Most powdered spices will quickly blend into the dish. Allow a bit longer for fresh-grated or rough-ground ingredients to marry. Its particularly useful to be judicious about the initial cayenne dose -- you can always add a pinch at the end or offer it at table so each diner can choose their preferred heat level. And I'm sure Asia will eventually wax poetic about harissa . . .
Some ingredients, such as ginger, can be grated fresh into the cooking pot. If you have pesticide-free roses available, pick a partially open bud, give it a rinse and an inspection for six- or eight-legged hitch-hikers, then pull off and discard the green calyx from the petals, stamens and pistils. Chiffonade (slice the still-rolled flower into strips) and add during the last 10 minutes or so of cooking. The perfume and flavor are subtle but when mixed with the symphony of scents from the other spices it can induce hallucinations of strolling through a Maghreb souk.

Here's a partial list of my favorite ingredients in rough order of proportion I might use, were I to include them all in a single mix.
Coriander seed
Cayenne pepper
Black pepper
Dried mint
Dried parsley
Ginger (fresh or powder)
Rose petals (fresh or dried)
Turmeric (freshly grated or powder)
Okay, since Randy didn't give you a recipe, and most of you are probably not experts in the blending of North African Spice Mixes, here is my recipe.

Ras El Hanout

1 tablespoon coriander seed powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoon ground black pepper (freshly ground is superb)
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika powder (do not use smoked paprika)

1 tablespoon dried mint flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
2 teaspoon rose petal flakes

1/2 teaspoon mace
1 teaspoon turmeric

Mix all ingredients in a jar or other container. With the herb flakes, I often like to give them a short pulse in a spice grinder (or very clean coffee grinder) to break them up just a little more. Doing this helps your mixture stay together better (avoiding vigorous banging and shaking each time you use it if it has settled for a while).

<![CDATA[Low-Carb Lamb "Tagine" for backpacking]]>Mon, 11 Jul 2016 21:56:45 GMThttp://falafelwaffleetcetera.com/2/post/2016/07/low-carb-lamb-tagine-for-backpacking.htmlPicture
A Tagine is a type of cooking pot that is used for making stews and meats in Morocco and surrounding areas, and it is also the name of the types of dishes that are cooked in them. The photo is a picture of what a Tagine might look like. This recipe is larger, so I made it in a dutch oven instead.

This is a very flavorful stew recipe, that includes lamb, artichoke, and sun-dried tomatoes. Usually served with bread, or couscous to soak up the juices, this recipe instead includes cauliflower. You can eat this stew fresh, or dehydrate it to make some delicious backpacking food. When Randy and I cook this, we often eat half for dinner, and dehydrate the rest. I have omitted all but a little fat from this recipe, for ease of dehydration, but I love to serve it with copious amounts of flavorful olive or argan oil drizzled on top, making it ideal for those who are attempting to eat low-carb high-fat while out and about. Why would you want to eat a low-carb dinner backpacking? More on that in this(add link) blog post.

Note: To add a little more protein, some bulk, and a few complex carbohydrates to this recipe, you can add some chickpeas (garbanzo beans). I like to pre-cook them, peel them, and dehydrate them separately. I then package them in their own little Ziploc, and I add them to the re-hydrating water first, since they are very dense.

Ingredients (4 generous servings)
1.5 lbs. lamb leg, trimmed to 0" fat, 1/2" dices
2 cups small cauliflower florets
2 - 14 oz. cans quartered artichoke hearts in water, undrained (here)
1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomato juliennes
1 large bell pepper, 1/4"/2" strips
2 tbsp. Ras al Hanout spice mix (recipe) (or buy it here)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
4 large cloves garlic, coarsely minced
1 cup beef bone broth (recipe) (or buy it here)
2 tablespoons light olive oil or ghee*

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

*For browning the meat, you will want to use an oil with a high smoke point while avoiding the potential harmful effects of vegetable oils. To find out more about this, click here(add link). For this recipe the ghee or olive oil match the flavors the best.

Heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven like this
spatula or wooden spoon for stirring
dehydrator (get the best here!)*
fruit leather sheets*

*You can also use an oven. Some ovens will  have a dehydrate option, or you can set it very low (around 140 F) and prop it open just a bit to let the moisture out.
* when dehydrating, you will want to use the sheets that come with your dehydrator to keep the juices and seasonings from escaping. If you are using an oven, you will want to use a jellyroll pan or cookie sheet with a silicone or wax paper liner.

1. Heat your dutch oven or pot on the stove on medium high. Once hot, add oil , and meat. Make sure you don't overfill the pan. There should be only one layer of meat. If necessary, do this in two batches using half of the oil and half of the meat at a time, removing the meat in-between batches. Brown the meat thoroughly.
2. Add the garlic, and give it a light sautee with the meat. Sprinkle the rest of the seasonings over the meat, and toss to combine. Now, slowly add the juices from one can of artichokes, and then just enough of your bone broth to almost cover the meat. With the lid on, simmer on medium-low until your lamb is tender to the fork, but still has texture (you don't want it falling apart). This may take between 15 and 30 minutes. Check liquid level and stir every 5 minutes taking care not to let it dry out. Add more broth or the juice from the artichokes if necessary.
3. Remove lid, and add the cauliflower, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until cauliflower is cooked, but not soft. Drain (if necessary) and add the artichoke hearts and heat through. Remove from heat. Let rest for 20 minutes and serve drizzled with olive oil, or let cool to around 100 F before dehydrating.
4. When cool, spread a single layer of food on each dehydrator tray with mat, or cookie sheet, until you run out. Dehydrate on high heat (140-150 F in the oven) for 12-24 hours, or until all of the components are dried thoroughly. Let cool at room temperature to ensure that all of the leftover liquid either evaporates, or distributes evenly throughout the batch. Package in airtight containers. If processed correctly, these will last up to a month in Ziploc bags, 2-3 months in vacuum sealed bags, or 1-2 years in vacuum sealed bags and stored in the freezer.

To re-hydrate, place contents in your cooking device, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and leave lid on to cool for a few minutes. This is the best method. The energy saving but not as reliable method, is to boil your water first (about 1 cup per serving) and add your food, and let sit until re-hydrated. Drizzle with olive oil (1 tablespoon per serving).

Net Carbs 16.7 g per serving
Nutrition Facts Serving Size 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 659
Calories from Fat 326
                                           % Daily Value*
Total Fat 36.2g                   56%
Saturated Fat 7.9g             40%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 153mg            51%
Sodium 560mg                   23%
Potassium 1822mg            52%
Total Carbohydrates 30.5g 10%
Dietary Fiber 13.8g             55%
Sugars 5.1g
Protein 57.8g
Vitamin A 30% • Vitamin C 190%
Calcium 14% • Iron 42%
  * Based on a 2000 calorie diet

<![CDATA[Perfect Pizza Dough]]>Sun, 10 Jul 2016 03:36:48 GMThttp://falafelwaffleetcetera.com/2/post/2016/07/perfect-pizza-dough.htmlPicture
So guess what? Did you guess yet? I will have to tell you I suppose. I am currently eating low carb high fat, AKA ketogenic. And through the process of an elimination diet, I have noticed that I may have some sort of terrible reaction to wheat. . . But, luckily for you, before that, I did tons of research and experimentation to find the recipe for the perfect pizza crust.

It took a little work, because making pizza dough in small batches is tough. But here is the foolproof method (assuming the fool knows how to follow directions, and has the necessary tools...) for pizza dough, which can be stretched thin for New York style pizza, or baked as a traditional style crust (as pictured), or in a pan for a nice Sicilian or Chicago style pizza.

Pizza Dough
Serves 4-6 people, 2-3 12" pizzas (depending on crust thickness)
Note: Using a food processor ensures that your dough is properly developed without overoxidizing, which can affect flavor. Do not overfill your food processor. For a small food processor, you may only be able to fit half a recipe.

4 1/2 cups good quality bread flour + about 1/2 cup for dusting/adjusting.(King Arthur's is the best I have used as of yet, and is commonly available at most stores.  Or get it here)
1 1/2 tbsp. granulated cane sugar (raw or white works)
3 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil*
1 3/4 cup warm water
2 tsp. or one packet instant dry yeast*
2 tbsp. other seasonings if desired (my favorite is an equal mix of red pepper flakes, thyme, basil, and oregano, or 1/2 tablespoon each)*
1/4 cup cornmeal or semolina flour

Food processor
Mixing Bowls
Measuring Cups and spoons
Quart bags, or other sealable containers
Rolling pin
Pizza Pan, or Pizza Stone
Pizza Peel (optional, but very useful)

*or extra light olive oil for a dessert pizza.
*you can use active dry yeast, but you will need to soak it in the warm water for a few minutes before adding it to the mixture.
*Or 1/2 tablespoon of red pepper flakes and 1 1/2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning.

1. Combine 4 1/2 cups bread flour, sugar, salt, instant dry yeast, and seasoning in bowl of food processor. Pulse 3-4 times, until evenly mixed. Add olive oil and water. Run food processor until the mixture forms a ball that rides above the blade. Continue processing another 15 seconds. This process can take anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute.
2. Transfer dough ball to lightly floured surface and knead by hand until the dough appears smooth, and feels soft, but bounces back when you touch it. To test to make sure it is smooth and stretchy enough, take a ball, and stretch it between four fingers. You should be able to stretch it thin enough that you can see your fingers through it on the other side without any tears. This is called a windowpane test. More on that here. Divide the dough into 2-3 even parts and place each in an airtight quart sized bag, or deli container. Place in the refrigerator, and let it rest at least 24 hours, and up to 5 days (I have stored it up to seven, but the taste will become slightly more sour after 5).
3. At least two hours before before baking, remove dough from refrigerator and shape into balls by gathering dough towards the bottom and pinching together. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until roughly doubled in volume. If the room is cold, and the dough is not rising well, you can put it in the oven at between 90 and 115 degrees to get it started.
4.a. (New York Style or Classic Style Pizza Crust) 1 hour before baking, adjust oven rack with pizza stone to middle position and preheat oven to 500°F. Turn single dough ball out onto lightly flour surface. Gently roll out dough into rough 8-inch circle, leaving outer 1-inch higher than the rest. Gently stretch dough by draping over knuckles into a 12 to 14-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle a small amount of cornmeal onto pizza peel, then transfer dough to pizza peel and top with your favorite sauce, full fat dry grated mozzarella cheese, and up to three toppings of your choice. If you add too many toppings it may be hard to transfer the pizza to the oven. Cook until crust is risen and golden brown and cheese is bubbly, or to your desired texture.
4.b. (Pan style) 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack with pizza stone to middle position and preheat oven to 425 °F.  Add some olive oil to the bottom of your pan, and stretch dough into the edges of the pan. Top with desired toppings, and cook until the crust is risen and golden brown.
5. Remove from pan or pizza stone immediately onto a cooling rack or cutting board. Let rest 10 minutes and serve!