Anxiety is delicious.
It's been a very anxious summer for me - multiple job interviews, waiting to hear back, waiting to hear if I had a job at my old school, getting hired in a new county, knowing nothing about how said county works...oh and running out of money. Cooking is usually an empowering, cathartic experience for me, but not tonight.
I made falafel and grilled five spice peaches with noodles. The falafel recipe I cobbled together from The Food Network and a cookbook I have, Easy Vegetarian. I knew something may go wrong with the falafel when I saw that my cookbook recipe didn't include egg. Egg, in case you didn't know, is pretty much a necessity when you're making patties. If I hadn't run out of egg this morning, I would have included it - but my patties turned out to be a big mess. More on that later.
The ingredients for the falafel (Check Thug Kitchen for Peaches/Noodles ingredients)
28 oz of garbanzos
1 small onion or 3-4 scallions
zest and juice of 1 lime or lemon (I used lime)
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp cayenne, or to taste (I think I used a bit more, and it made it a bit spicy)
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup cilantro (I used dried parsley and cilantro, and halved the portions)
--all this goes into the food processor.
Additional ingredients for later stages:
6 tb flour (I used whole wheat flour, which I love love love)
4 tb or more (I think I used more) of olive oil
basil (didn't use) and salsa (did use) for garnish - or the Food Network recipe has a different kind of garnish.
To avoid creating undue anxiety, I prepared all the ingredients while my garbanzos were cooking and put them in my food processor. This is a halved portion - I was worried my garbanzos wouldn't fit - but they did, and I put in the other half of the ingredients. So, if you try this, the ingredients should look about double from this.
A note on food processors - they are far superior to blenders and far worth the money. If something calls for you to use "food processor or blender" - food processor all the way. I broke my blender trying to make edamame pate...
Then, I prepared the ingredients for the peaches - below is the five spice powder, oil, and lemon juice (I forgot the salt). I also put together the sauce for the noodles.
Then, tossed the peaches in their sauce.
After I drained and rinsed my cooked garbanzos I dumped them into the food processor and blended to this consistency:
Everything up unto this point was fine, just fine. My anxiety increased when I started to mold the falafel mixture into patties - they wouldn't stay together and fell apart around the edges. I formed them into balls to try and keep the portions correct.
The mixture is supposed to form 4 patties, but I made it 8, preferring smaller patties. These are supposed to be coated in flour (about 6 tb). Since they were falling apart, I had to take the falafel balls and smush them between my hands, and dump the flour on top, pressing it into the patty. The flour helped them stay together, somewhat, but I think they ended up having too thick of a flour "skin."
After coating in flour, I fried them with olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Be sure not to raise the heat on non-stick pans over medium - it results in dangerous fumes.
By this time, I was incredibly frustrated. My kitchen was a disaster. I hate not being able to do dishes as I go. And I had so many damn dishes, I can't even tell you. You can see from the photo above that the flour and falafel made a mess. That was driving me bonkers. I kept expecting Drew to get home to help me with dishes - but he stayed late at work to finish a puzzle. A puzzle. Meanwhile my irritation rose and rose.
One completely fell apart -
When I tasted it, it was quite tasty. That made me feel a teeny bit better.
As I was finishing up the last patties, I grilled the peaches on my George Foreman grill, so they didn't turn out as pretty as Thug Kitchen's. I made some brown rice noodles (I bought them ages ago and haven't used them, and they are similar to the thicker-style Asian noodles). I poured my prepared noodle sauce over that and topped with the peaches. It was quite tasty. The falafel I topped with Publix's medium salsa (which isn't my favorite, as it is a little too sweet for my taste) - and it was perfect. I still feel that hard feeling of irritation and anxiety in my chest - but at least the meal turned out well.
The cleanup, however, was awful. At least I had help from the boy.
Kitty time! My poor Ichi isn't feeling well - he has a sore throat, maybe? His meows sound weird. Look at that sad face.
He's in the "basket" part of our cat tower, and his 20 pounds of fat-assery takes up the entire thing.
Oh, to be as relaxed as Ena...
(who needs to put it away.)