Crockpot Favorites

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

{This is a re-post from earlier this year.}

Here is one of my favorite crockpot meals that you would never think could be done in a crockpot!

Do you know what falafel is? Have you ever eaten it? Falafel is a mixture of mashed chickpeas that are seasoned with onion and spices that is formed into balls or patties and then fried. It is served in a flatbread (sometimes a pita) with tzatziki sauce, lettuce and tomato. I first had falafel in Dawson City in the Yukon (Canada) and fell in love with it! Since then I have been on a search for great falafel. Last summer a friend and I went to a local falafel stand in town and were disappointed. The falafel didn't taste like I remembered. It tasted off. So I decided that I had to make my own if I was going to fulfill my hankering for falafel!

I love cooking in a crockpot. So when I found a recipe to make falafel in a crockpot I thought, "Why not!" This recipe comes from A Year of Slowcooking. I changed it a bit by reducing the cumin. In my opinion, too much cumin makes food taste like dirt! I was amazed that this actually worked and the falafel was crisp!


- 1 15oz can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
-1 T dried parsley
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 egg
- 1 t kosher salt
- 1/4 t black pepper
- 1 t ground cumin (the original recipe called for 2 teaspoons)
- 1 t ground coriander
- 1/4 t cayenne pepper
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 2 T olive oil (for the bottom of your crock)

Drain garbanzo beans. Dump them into a mixing bowl and smash them with a fork. Set aside.

Get out your blender or food processor. Blend together all of the spices, the onion, the garlic, the egg, and the lemon juice.

Pour on top of your smashed garbanzo beans. Use your fork to mix together, and add the breadcrumbs slowly until the mixture is wet and sticky but can be formed into balls nicely. I needed 3/4 of a cup of breadcrumbs.

Pour 2 T of olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot stoneware insert.

Form squished golf-ball sized patties of falafel. Dip each side into the olive oil and then nestle into your crockpot. It's okay if they overlap or are on top of each other.

Cook on high for 2-5 hours. Ours cooked on high for 3.5 hours--you will know that the falafels are done when they turn brownish-golden. You can flip them halfway through the cooking time if you feel like it, but they will brown on top even without flipping.

I LOVE Tzatziki sauce. Here is my favorite recipe:
Tzatziki Sauce
3 cups plain Greek Yogurt
juice of one lemon (about 3 T)
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced (I normally use one English cucumber).
about 1 T kosher salt for salting cucumbers
1 T finely chopped fresh dill
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Peel cucumbers, then cut in half lengthwise and take a small spoon and scrape out seeds. Discard seeds. (If you use the small seedless or European cucumbers with few seeds, you can skip this step.) Slice cucumbers, then put in a colander, sprinkle on 1 T salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out water. Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel.

In food processor with steel blade, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir this mixture into the yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. (This resting time is very important.)

This will keep for a few days or more in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it.

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