Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Crispy on the outside, tender and juicy - perfect filling for homemade Pita Pockets.
Ingredients you will need.

Herbs and garlic all minced and ready.

 Mushrooms sliced and sauteed.
Chop the mushrooms

 Panko crumbs are added to the herb mixture.
All ingredients are combined in a large bowl.

Here I test to see if adding an egg is needed.  I decide
that I like the texture when 1 egg is added.

Cooking the falafels in a bit of oil, browning and crisping them up.


8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup shallot or yellow onion, very finely diced 
3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1/2 cup cilantro or flat-leafed parsley and 1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped 
1 tsp. ground cumin, optional - the cumin will give it a more falafel-y flavor
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1 egg, slightly beaten (optional)
In a large frying pan, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the pan. Heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until the moisture they release has evaporated, about 10-12 minutes.
    Transfer the mushrooms to a cutting board and let them cool for a while. When they are cool enough to handle, chop them well.  The shallot, garlic and herbs you can definitely chop up in a food processor.)
    In a large bowl mix together the mushrooms, chopped shallot/onion, garlic, herbs and panko breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt. Then, stir in the ricotta cheese and egg if using.
    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone pad. Use your hands to scoop up small handfuls of the mushroom mixture and press them into little patties about 1 1/2-2 inches across.   Transfer the patties to the lined baking sheet as you make them. Then, put them in the refrigerator for an hour.   This allows them to set and firm up so they don’t just fall to pieces when you cook them.
    When ready to cook the falafel's, preheat your oven to 350F. Heat a couple of Tbs. of olive oil in a large frying pan then add as many patties as you can fit into the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, until nicely browned. As they are done frying, transfer the patties to another baking sheet (or the same one). Then, put the baking sheet of mushroom-falafels into the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
    Remove from the oven and serve warm. Put a couple of patties on a pita/flatbread add your favorite veggies and dollop generously with tzatziki or as my husband likes to eat them.....with homemade salsa.

    "Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words."

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