An Arabic Feast – Part 3: Main Players

Part 3 from our metho correspondent, Stephen.

So now I needed a couple of heroes. In keeping with the Arabic theme I went for falafels, a good vegetarian option, though with a difference. Let’s make them more like chick pea patties than anything resembling what you could identify as falafel.

I also wanted to do some poaching and thought about meatballs, but finally went with lemon chicken, but with a twist. I decided on a kind of cevap style sausage.

chick pea patties being cooked

Chickpea patties

  • Tin of chickpeas, drained and washed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • Half a slice of bread
  • Flour for coating
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • A few sprigs of coriander
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne
  • A few leaves of baby spinach (because I had them handy, but you could use any green leaf or herb)
  • plenty of butter

Blitz the chickpeas with all ingredients except flour and butter.

Knead the mixture until soft (add water if necessary)

Form into balls

Coat with flour

Melt butter in frying pan

Flatten out felafel balls in your hand so that they look like patties.

Melt butter

Fry patties until golden brown – you will probably have to add some extra butter as you go.

Drain on paper towels

 Lemon chicken cevaps

  • ½ kilo of chicken thighs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of bread
  • handful of tarragon or basil
  • 100g of a hard cheese (like parmesan)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Salt
  • Chicken stock

Blitz up the chicken thighs into a mince. Put in a bowl and leave aside

Blitz up bread, egg, cheese, zest and herbs

Mix with chicken mince

Add salt to taste

Form into small sausages

Add chicken stock to frying pan

Lie sausages in the stock – the stock should cover the sausages, but if it doesn’t, don’t fret, you can always turn the sausages when the bottom is done.

Poach till done.

One of the beauties of poaching over frying on Maxie is that the end product is moist and plump. If you tried frying these things they’d get all tight and chewy.

And a little tip: rather than throw the used up stock away, toss some small pasta in it and let it soak it up, or use it for couscous.

So there you have it: a meal for 6 that took almost all afternoon. But, hey, what the hell. I was on holiday and listening to my favourite music all day long while having fun with my pals Maxie and Oskar.

You’ll be pleased to hear that, like the third Goldilocks bear, the guests ate it all up. It must have been just right.

Parts 1 and 2 of Stephen’s Arabic feast are here and here

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