Kofta B’siyinah, Sumac Spiced Eggplant, and Falafel

This week we are eating Israeli food. As usual, there was no real reason for us choosing Israel. Actually, that’s not true. Our two options were Israel and Egypt and when searching for recipes, Israel won out because I found easier recipes. I’ve had a lot going on this week so I knew I would be short on time and patience. In order to preserve my marriage and sanity, I went with the easier option. Also, I was familiar with many of the ingredients after having already prepared foods from other Mediterranean countries like Greece, Morocco, and Turkey. The only additional ingredients I had to buy were the sumac for the eggplant, tahini, and pine nuts. Bit of advice on pine nuts: if you can, buy in bulk because you can control the amount and it’s significantly cheaper. I paid just under $3.00 for eight ounces of pine nuts; that’s typically how much you’d pay for a two ounce package. Thank you Davod’s Mediterranean Grocery!

Kofta B’siyinah and falafel made many of the Must Eat lists; the Sumac Spiced Eggplant was just found by browsing different dishes. I had some experience with kofta from Turkish week when I made bulgur and lentil kofta (they call it kofte) Kofta are meatballs. The recipe I used called for a beef and lamb mixture but I just used lamb. I thought I’d probably like it more than just regular beef meatballs. The kofta itself was enjoyable but I liked it more when it was dipped in the tahini sauce. It subdued the gaminess of the lamb, which is definitely less prominent in ground lamb but it still there.

I’ve also made falafel before. For some reason I went on a big falafel kick about ten years ago and made it almost weekly for two weeks. It’s really easy to make and my old recipe made it easier because I used canned chickpeas. The recipe I used this week said NO CANNED CHICKPEAS so I used dry ones. Um, I think Miss Tori Avey, whose recipe I used, knows what she’s talking about! This falafel was vastly superior to my old falafel! The texture was similar to a very crumbly biscuit whereas my old one was just flavored mush, well, at least compared to the new one. I probably won’t go on another falafel kick any time soon but I will save this recipe for the future.

The eggplant was meh. It takes a lot to make eggplant interesting and frommy experience, breading and frying it do not. It wasn’t anything special. I had never eaten sumac before, at least not that I know of, and I still can’t tell you what it tastes like. Supposedly it has a lemony, tart flavor but I didn’t taste that at all.

This was a lot of fried food for one meal and I should have planned it a bit better. Added a flippin salad or something…The girls had PB&Js because I knew they wouldn’t be into it. The baby tried the falafel and spit it out so I guess we won’t be taking her to Israel any time soon. Way to ruin my summer plans, kid!

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