Showing posts with label sandwich. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sandwich. Show all posts

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Waffled Falafel Sandwiches

Waffled falafel sandwiches are made by cooking your homemade falafel mix in a lightly oiled waffle iron which gets the falafels crispy outside and fluffy inside without frying. Stuff them in flatbread, drizzled with tahini sauce.
Food Lust People Love: Waffled falafel sandwiches are made by cooking your homemade falafel mix in a lightly oiled waffle iron which gets the falafels crispy outside and fluffy inside without frying. Stuff them in flatbread, drizzled with tahini sauce.

We were living in Sydney almost 30 years ago when my husband came home from work one day with the news that he had been offered a transfer to Abu Dhabi. What did I think? 

We had been in Australia for a number of months on a temporary project, and I had resigned from my dream job to follow along. The friendly yet unaccommodating folks at Australian immigration had stamped my passport Employment Prohibited and, because of strict quarantine laws, we had left our furry son in the care of friends. 

My first question was, can I work there? The second was, can we import the dog? When the answers were yes and yes, we looked the United Arab Emirates up on the map and made our decision.

Abu Dhabi in the 1980s was a special place, a city that felt like a small town. The only fast food joints were Kentucky Fried Chicken – where the only choice was original recipe – and the small, family run shawarma and falafel places. After a busy day at the office, we’d stop by and order shawarma sandwiches to go. 

The falafel guy sat on the sidewalk just outside the small cafĂ©, his enormous pot of boiling hot oil heated by a gas burner, much like the ones we use in the US to heat water for boiling crawfish and crabs. As we waited for our wrapped sandwiches, he’d hand us each a freshly fried falafel in a bit of paper, compliments of the house. They reminded me of southern hush puppies. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. In a word, just perfect.

When we left the Middle East for Southeast Asia a couple of years later, I pined for the falafel guy. Eventually I got over him, but I’ve never forgotten how a real, freshly cooked falafel should taste.

Sure, you can buy falafel mixes at the grocery store, but homemade falafels are super easy and so much more tasty. You control the salt and spices and all the ingredients are wholesome and good for you. The only downside of falafels, healthy-wise, it that they are fried. I know, I know, some people say you can bake them, but I’ll be honest, if I’ve managed to get them crunchy on the outside, the inside is often dried out.

Food Lust People Love: Waffled falafel sandwiches are made by cooking your homemade falafel mix in a lightly oiled waffle iron which gets the falafels crispy outside and fluffy inside without frying. Stuff them in flatbread, drizzled with tahini sauce.

Waffle iron to the rescue!

Homemade falafels are as quick to put together as the mixes but just require a little advance planning since the chickpeas need to be soaked first overnight. Some cookbook writers will tell you that you can use canned chickpeas – I’m looking at you, Nigel Slater. And don’t even get me started on Jamie Oliver who serves his canned bean falafels in wholewheat tortillas. – but don’t listen to them. 

Waffled Falafel Sandwiches 

Using raw soaked chickpeas is not only more authentic but the traditional recipe is the best because the resulting falafels taste right and have the right texture. Trust me.

For the falafels:
1 1/2 cups or 285g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cool water
1 small onion, (about 100g roughly chopped)
1/4 cup, packed, or 13g chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup, packed, or 13g chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg

1 tablespoon vegetable oil for your waffle iron – oils with a high flash point are best. I use peanut oil.

For the tahini sauce:
1/2 cup tahini sesame seed paste
1/3 cup lukewarm water, or more for consistency
1 clove raw garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
Good pinch salt (or more to taste)

To assemble the sandwiches:
Arabic or Lebanese flatbread or pita
Tahini sauce
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced onions
Sliced cucumbers

Cover your dried chickpeas with ample cool water and leave them to soak overnight or even as much as 24 hours. Drain your chickpeas.

Put the soaked, raw chickpeas in a food processor and pulse a few times until the chickpeas look like big crumbles. It should still be very loose and dry. Add in the onions and herbs and seasoning and pulse until quite fine. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides a couple of times.

Add in the egg and pulse until you have a fairly smooth paste where little bitty bits of chickpea are still visible. Scrape down the sides of the processor as you do.

Transfer the paste into a clean bowl and cover well with cling film. Refrigerate for half an hour.

Preheat your Belgian waffle iron. That’s the kind with the deep squares that makes thick waffles.

Use a spoon to scoop our about on one tenth of your paste. It should fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. Form it into a patty of even thickness.

Lightly oil the waffle iron with using a pasty brush and place the patty in it.  Make more patties and add them to the waffle iron as well.

Some Belgian waffle irons have four squares. Some, like mine, have only two. Close the lid and let gravity determine how it falls. Do not push down on the lid.

Cook until the light on your waffle iron says "ready" then leave them in for about another minute or so to ensure that the outsides are lovely and crispy.

Keep the waffled falafels warm in a slow oven until all are cooked and you are ready to serve.

To make the tahini sauce

Crush the garlic clove with a garlic press or with the side of a knife. Add it to a small bowl with the lemon juice and good pinch of salt. Whisk in the tahini paste then add the water, whisking well until you achieve the consistency you want.

Slice up your tomato, cucumber and onion.

To assemble the sandwiches, put a few slices of tomato and cucumber on the flatbread. Top with the falafel, drizzle on the tahini sauce and sprinkle with the sliced onions.


I love creative waffles, don't you?

Here are a few I've loved and make sure to scroll down to see a great list of others from my Sunday Supper group.

Food Lust People Love: Cheesy Ham Waffles made with smoky ham and lots of cheese in a buttermilk waffle batter.

Cheesy Ham Waffles made with smoky ham and lots of cheese in a buttermilk waffle batter. 

Food Lust People Love: Cauliflower Cheese Waffles with steamed cauliflower, loads of cheese and a little English mustard.

Cauliflower Cheese Waffles with steamed cauliflower, loads of cheese and a little English mustard.

Food Lust People Love: Loaded Baked Potato Waffles with potatoes, cheddar, green onion, sour cream and, of course, bacon!

Loaded Baked Potato Waffles with potatoes, cheddar, green onion, sour cream and, of course, bacon!

Guess what? June 29th is National Waffle Iron Day! Who knew, right? My Sunday Supper group is celebrating by bringing you a plethora of wondeful waffle recipes, both sweet and savory. Many thanks to Sue of Palatable Pastime, our host for this tasty event, as well as Renee of Renee’s Kitchen Adventures, our campaign manager.

Sweet and Sinful Waffles

Savory Brinner Winners:

Pin it! 

Food Lust People Love: Waffled falafel sandwiches are made by cooking your homemade falafel mix in a lightly oiled waffle iron which gets the falafels crispy outside and fluffy inside without frying. Stuff them in flatbread, drizzled with tahini sauce.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Stuffing Bread with Dried Cranberries

The perfect bread for turkey sandwiches or to use for stuffing, this tender flavorful loaf also slices up beautifully for Thanksgiving breakfast toast that hints of the delicious dinner to come later.

If you’ve been reading along here for a while, you know that I like to bake bread. I love the smell of the yeast as it comes back to life in a little warm water. I love the heft of an enriched dough as I knead it and the springy bounce as I spin it in the oiled bowl of my mixer in preparation for the first rise. But the very best part of baking bread is the way the whole house smells as the bread bakes. When my girls were still living at home, nothing brought them out of their rooms and downstairs faster than the aroma of bread in the oven. Well, and the eating, of course!

But I understand that not everyone feels they have time to bake bread. So it is my great pleasure to introduce you to a book that solves the “no time to bake” problem. Make Ahead Bread divides the process into manageable parts, allowing you to make the dough ahead of time and leave it in the refrigerator overnight or even for a day or two, depending on the recipe, until you are ready to bake and enjoy.

Make Ahead Bread was written by the witty and knowledgeable Donna Currie of Cookistry, a blog you might already be familiar with. If you aren’t, do go over and say howdy. Donna never fails to crack me up with her quips and I often had to watch that I didn’t have a mouthful of coffee in the morning when she shared the antics of her husband, Bob, because he could make me snort coffee out of my nose. Sadly, Bob passed away suddenly just a few weeks ago. In typical food blogger fashion, a group of us decided we’d honor his memory by helping Donna promote her bread book, a project he deeply supported, as he did all of Donna’s endeavors, hopefully sending a few customers her way through the power of social media.

I’m not just recommending this book to be nice though. I really love it! I am quite the cookbook junkie but I’d like to tell you that this was THE ONLY cookbook I asked for for my birthday this year! Yep, it’s that special. I was so delighted when my mom arrived in Dubai with Make Ahead Bread that I couldn’t help but share a photo of me and it on Facebook.

I haven’t shared recipes from it before now but I have special permission from Donna to share this one and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! You can get your own copy of Make Ahead Bread at better bookstores as well as on*

This recipe is from Make Ahead Bread – 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day © Donna Currie. Used by permission. (I’ve added the metric adaptations.)

1 cup or 240ml lukewarm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces) or 318g bread flour
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried chives
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup or 35g dried cranberries
Non-stick baking spray (the kind with flour in it)

Note: I had to subsitute fresh herbs so I doubled the amount since dried herbs are always stronger in flavor than fresh. Another confession, I wasn’t reading with my cheater glasses so I thought it was 1 tablespoon of both parsley and chives. I don’t think the extra chives were a bad thing though since I’m a fan.

On Prep Day
1. Combine all the ingredients and knead by hand (mix first in a large bowl, then turn out and knead) or in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, until dough is elastic.

2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or place it in a large plastic bag and seal the ends. Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

Going into the refrigerator.

The next day after a long, slow rise in the cold. 
On Baking Day
1. Spray the 9x5-in or approx. 23x13cm bread pan with baking spray. (I also chose to line the pan with parchment for easy clean up, something Donna mentions in the introductory part of her book as an option.)

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a rough 8 in or 20cm square. Fold the top half to about the middle of the dough and press the edge down to secure it. Fold the top over again, this time to within about an inch or so of the bottom. Press the edge to deal. Now pull the bottom of the dough up to meet the dough roll you‘ve created and seal the seam. Pinch the ends closed and place the dough, seam side down, in the prepared pan.

3. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set aside to rise. The dough is ready when it has risen about an inch or 2 centimeters over the top of the pan, about 1 hour in a warm room.

4. About 30 minutes before the loaf is fully risen, heat the oven to 350°F or 180°C.

5. When the dough has risen, remove the plastic. Bake until the bread is richly browned and the internal temperature of the loaf reaches 195°F or °90.5C on an instant read thermometer, about 55 minutes. Remove the bread form the pan and cool completely on a rack before slicing.


The hardest part of this whole recipe? Finding space for the dough bowl in my ridiculously overstuffed refrigerator.

Make this bread. Buy Make Ahead Bread.* You won’t be sorry!

Check out the fabulous list of breads we've baked for Donna from her book:

UPDATE: Win your own copy of Make Ahead Bread
Follow this link to enter:

*Affiliate links.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Muffuletta Grilled Cheese #FoodieExtravaganza

Olive salad, mozzarella, salami, mortadella, ham and provolone, grilled in between two well buttered slices of a crusty loaf make a non-traditional muffuletta that, frankly, (Please don’t come at me with spears, New Orleans folks) is better than the original.

This month my Foodie Extravaganza group is celebrating grilled cheese sandwiches in all their glorious forms, sweet and savory. I am not a huge fan of sandwiches in general, but grilled cheese is one of the rare exceptions to that rule for me. As are muffulettas. It seemed like the perfect time to do a mashup and create a muffuletta grilled cheese sandwich. Seriously, as much as I enjoy a traditional muffuletta on a big circle of yeasty bread, using the filling on crusty artisanal bread and toasting the whole thing on a hot griddle till the cheeses are warm and melty, well, I like it sooooo much more. See if you don’t agree.

Ingredients for each sandwich
2 slices crusty bread
1-2 teaspoons butter, softened
2 very heaping tablespoons olive salad spread (You can easily make your own or buy it online.* )
A few slices each: mozzarella, salami, mortadella, ham and provolone cheese

Butter your bread liberally - this is no time to be shy - and lay the slices butter side down on your griddle. Top each with a healthy scoop of olive salad and spread it around to cover.

Add the mozzarella to one slice.

Followed by the salami, the mortadella and the ham.

Finish by adding the provolone.

Close the sandwich and start cooking over a low fire. It’s going to take a while to heat through and melt the cheese so we don’t want the bread to toast too fast.

Cover the griddle with a heavy lid that presses down on the sandwich. This helps hold in the heat and make sure that all parts of the bread are being toasted.

After a few minutes, remove the lid and wipe the condensation dry with a paper towel. Check the bottom of the sandwich. If it’s slightly golden, turn the sandwich over carefully and put the heavy lid back on.

Cook the other side for a few more minutes, checking it and drying off the lid occasionally. You will probably turn it a couple of more times until it’s toasted a lovely golden brown and the cheeses start melting out. Cook it for another minute or so on each side, uncovered.

Melty cheeses? Check!


Are you a fan of grilled cheese? Come check out all the fabulous recipes we have for you this month! Many thanks to our host for the Grilled Cheese Foodie Extravaganza , Lauren at From Gate to Plate.

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. This month we celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month by serving up sandwiches.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in the next Foodie Extravaganza, just go to our Facebook page to join. We would love to have you!

Follow our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest board for past events and more deliciousness!

*Amazon affiliate link

Muffuletta Olive Salad (Spread)

This fresh and tasty salad, made with olives and other vegetables is the traditional spread on a muffuletta sandwich, made famous by Central Grocery in New Orleans, Louisiana. Why it’s called salad when it’s clearly a spread, I do not know. Let’s just go with it. 

First off, let’s agree that there are as many recipes for this Italian olive salad as there are Italian mamas and lovers of the classic New Orleans muffuletta sandwich. And this is mine. If you want to throw in a few more pickled onions or capers, feel free, but just make sure you’ve got a healthy mix of olives in there. It’s all about the olives when it’s called olive salad. This stuff is great spread on sandwiches or crackers or even used as a rough dip.


13.4 oz or 380g jar marinated vegetables (The jar I used had a mixture of artichoke hearts, pimentos and mushrooms, grilled, with oil. That there >)
12.5 oz or 354g jar of pimento-stuffed green olives, drained weight 7oz or 200g
3.3 oz or 95g Kalamata olives, weight before pitting
4 oz or 115g spicy pickled onions
8 or 9 cornichons (little bitty pickles) or 35g
1 heaping tablespoon capers
2 fresh green pepperoncini (Together they weighed 2.3 oz or 65g.)
3 large cloves garlic
Extra virgin olive oil, if necessary, to loosen into spreading consistency

Pit your Kalamata olives.

Cut the stem ends off of the fresh peppers and then cut them into large pieces. You can take out the fluffy white bits as well if you want but pepperoncini aren't spicy so don't worry about the seeds.

Tip the Kalamatas and cut peppers into the food processor with the rest of the ingredients, including the marinade from the vegetables. Everything else should have been drained of its brine.

Pulse, scraping down the sides until the spread is fairly smooth. If you need to add a drizzle of olive oil to make it spread nicely, now is the time. I added just a couple of tablespoons full. Pulse again.

This makes about 2 1/2 - 3 cups of olive salad spread. Store it in a clean jar, in the refrigerator, covering it with a little olive oil to keep the top from drying out. Remember to drizzle a little oil on top before you put it back in the refrigerator whenever you take a scoop out. It will keep well for weeks, if it lasts that long.


One day I'll post my traditional muffuletta sandwich using this bread, because I did make one.

Exhibit A:

But meanwhile, how about a muffuletta grilled cheese?

Best sandwich I've had in a very long time, and that includes the muffuletta above.