Once in a while, a friend or fan will email me with the suggestion to read a blog that I may not have seen before. I love to read and be inspired by food blogs and I always enjoy another cooks perspective from their own kitchen. On more than one occasion, I’ve received the link for crockpot365.blogspot.com and if you like the ease of cooking with your crock pot, this is the blog for you. What began as a New Year’s resolution to use a slow cooker every day for a year has developed in to an incredible index of simple crock pot recipes and I am simply mesmerized. While sifting through the pages, I found this unusual recipe for crock pot falafel and it just sounded impossible. I mean, how can you cook falafel balls in a crock pot? Will they be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside like a beautifully fried falafel ball from a restaurant in Israel or even from Moshe’s Falafel food truck in Manhattan? I just had to find out!
Crock Pot Falafel Ingredients
slightly adapted from crockpot365.blogspot.com
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, also known as chic peas, drained
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp olive oil
I’ve always heard that the chic peas need to be raw to make the perfect falafel ball but the beans in a can are much easier and quicker.
In a food processor, I combined all of the spices, onion, garlic, egg and lemon juice. You might notice in the picture below that the chopped garlic looks a bit square. Since I was already taking a shortcut by making the falafel balls in a crock pot, I figured I would use another fantastic shortcut: pre-chopped frozen garlic. It’s frozen while fresh so the flavor is incredible and you don’t have to do any of the chopping yourself.
I formed the mixture in to ten golf-ball sized patties of falafel and set aside. I poured the olive oil in to the bottom of the crock pot and added the falafel. I flipped to cover both sides with oil then nestled the balls in together. I had a bit of space between each but it’s okay if they overlap.
Next came the wildest part! I actually covered the crock pot and turned it to high for 3 hours. It just felt wrong to cover the falafel balls while they cooked since they would essentially be steamed at that point. But, incredibly, they came out perfect! If you don’t totally trust the process, you can flip the balls half way through, but I left them for the full 3 hours to cook on their own. That’s the whole point of the crock pot, right?
Check out that dark brown color, bite in to the crunchy exterior, and savor the soft and flavorful interior of the falafel ball. Justin helped me put together a traditional plate of hummus, eggplant salad, and chopped veggies and we devoured the entire plate.