Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Earth Day is just around the corner… and I can’t think of anything more that represents
the flavors of the earth more than Falafel. 

If you’ve never tried it or heard of it before, let me tell you this… it’s so delicious  you’ll wonder how you’ve gone so long with out ever eating them! 
It’s a fantastic balance of flavors from the  chick peas, cumin, coriander, cayenne… truly Mediterranean tastes, but really earthy.

We aren’t big fryers in our house… but this is one fried dish that’s the exception.  It’s healthy, it’s hearty and it’s a relatively inexpensive meal…and it’s not as hard as you think.  I know there are some powdered mixes out there, but just give this one a try.  I promise you’ll be patting yourself on the back at how proud you’ll be over making them!

Falafel in a Pita

      1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained (if you can find    dried  ones and rehydrate them in 2 cups of water, even better!
                  1 onion, chopped
         1/2 cup fresh parsley
         2 cloves garlic, chopped
         1 egg
         2 teaspoons ground cumin
         1 teaspoon ground coriander
         1 teaspoon salt
         1 dash pepper
         1 pinch cayenne pepper
         1 teaspoon lemon juice
         1 teaspoon baking powder
         1 tablespoon olive oil
         1 cup dry bread crumbs
         oil for frying
      Tahini Sauce…
1/2 cup Tahini paste
1/2 lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil

         Shredded Romaine Lettuce
         Chopped Tomatoes

In a large bowl mash chickpeas until thick and pasty; or place in a blender on coarse… don’t make it too thin. Remove from blender and place in a bowl… then process onion, parsley and garlic until smooth. Stir into mashed chickpeas. (I like to do mash the chickpeas by hand with a masher… hand for the record, I think it gives a better consistency but if you must use a blender.)
In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together- don’t make it too dry as the falafel will then be to dense and not cook well.  Add more or less bread crumbs, as needed.
Form 8 balls with two spoons…(a little larger than a ping pong ball size) or use an ice cream scooper… there are also special falafel scoopers that you can find in some specialty gourmet food stores. 
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (enough to cover patties) Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides- approx 3-5 minutes.
Remove & drain on a paper towel.

Serve immediately while hot.

Cut Pita bread in half… add lettuce, tomatoes, onion… split a falafel ball in two and place inside and top with Tahini sauce.

I sometimes even like to mix a little yogurt, fresh dill & cucumbers together and use that as a topping…

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lemon Chicken Zsaziki Gyros

Lemon Chicken Zsaziki

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lobster Rolls

I'm addicted.  I love them. They're delicious. They're my favorite.  I think I could eat them for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  I do not lie about this.  Lobster Rolls are what I like to think of as sweet little sandwiches, where the roll just wraps it's self around sweet pieces of lobster meat and gives it a big hug. 

I will not keep you waiting anymore!  

Lobster Rolls

2 or 3  1 ½ lb. live Maine Lobsters
1 onion cut in half
½ cup dry white wine
Fresh thyme
Coarse Salt

Fill a very large pot with water and add the wine, onion & thyme to a rapid boil.  Add the salt.  Then add the live Lobsters (head first) and cover the pot.  Now walk away and say a little thank you to the lobsters and come back in 11-13 minutes… and it’ll all be over.  Remove the lobsters and set aside and allow to cool for about 15-20 minutes. (SEE BELOW FOR ADDITIONAL HOW TO'S FOR COOKING THE LOBSTER) 

Then you can get crackin’! Remove all of the lobster meat.  Start with the tail, twist it off the body and then using kitchen shears, cut on the inside of the tail all the way down the middle… the tail meat should come out fairly easily.   Then using a mallet, crack the claws and pull out the claw meat.  Using the kitchen shears again, cut the knuckle on the claw- it’s got the sweetest part of lobster meat in it!  Cut all of the meat into a large dice. Don’t cut them too small! 

Reserve in a bowl, put in the fridge. 

½ cup lowfat mayo- or you can make your own- (egg yolks, lemon juice, oil & a smidge of Dijon) 

½ lemon juiced
1 tsp. fresh thyme minced
2 celery stalks diced
2 green scallion or onions sliced thinly
½ tsp. Dijon mustard

½ stick melted butter (optional… but oh so good!!!)
1 tsp. Paprika

Mix all the ingredients, except the butter and paprika, in the bowl with the lobster meat.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

4 Hot Dog Buns

Brush the hot dog buns with the melted butter.  Put face side down on a grill or a skillet and allow to turn golden brown.

Layer with Ice Berg lettuce and the Lobster Salad mixture.  Sprinkle some paprika on top! And if ya got a little bit of that extra butter left... a little drizzle of that wouldn't hurt either on top! 


**If you're a bit squeemish about boiling your own lobster- when at the market or fish monger- you can ask them to steam them for you- most of the time they will!  If you can do it on your own... here's a pretty detailed guide on how to. 

**How to Boil a Lobster**

  • Boil enough water to cover the lobsters in a large pot.
  • Add the lobsters head first carefully into the water then partially cover the pot.
  • When the water comes back to the boil reduce the heat to a low boil and begin timing.
  • How long to boil a lobster:   Boil for 10 minutes for the first pound, then add three minutes for each additional half pound. So a one and a half pound lobster will be cooked in 13 minutes, a 2 pound lobster will be cooked in 16 minutes. Multiple lobsters can be cooked in a pot with this timing – just make sure your water comes back to the boil before starting the clock.
  • Remove the cover entirely when the water begins to foam up to avoid spilling over.
  • When cooked the lobsters will be bright red.
  • Drain the lobsters carefully and let cool until they can be handled.

    Special Note:  It might be tempting to grabbed the pre-cooked whole lobsters you see in the seafood case, but don't do it!!!  If the lobsters were not alive when they were cooked, the meat will be very off-tasting and mushy. There is an enzyme that's released by  lobsters when they die and any delay in cooking them will result in a very gross tasting lobster.  Some stores will fish any dead lobsters from their tanks (it happens…) and cook them to avoid throwing them away. If you are not absolutely sure buy one that’s live and kicking!