Something different for Memorial Day


H.hristov, Wikimedia Commons

Taboulleh salad goes great with garbanzo-based falafel when tucked into pocket bread.

 

Many of us decide to enjoy a barbecue for Memorial Day, and that is great. For anyone who is considering trying something different this year, I would like to share my own meal plan.


I confess, however, that I have not yet decided if I am going to use this meal plan for Memorial Day or Father’s Day. Since Memorial Day (May 30) is coming up sooner, Father’s Day being on June 17, I will probably choose Memorial Day so I don’t have to wait.


The food I plan to make is not usually considered as home-grown and patriotic as Mom’s apple pie and hamburgers, but if that can be excused, the fact remains it is very tasty. Dessert can always be some of that apple pie.


I will now share my recipes for tabbouleh salad and falafel. They fit right in for celebrating a special day, as far as food goes.


Tabbouleh


I use the boiling water method.


3/4 cup cracked wheat (bulgur)


1 1/2 cups chopped parsley (I use the curly kind)


3 medium tomatoes, chopped


1/3 cup chopped green onions, tops included


2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint


1/4 cup olive oil


1/4 cup lemon juice


1 teaspoon salt


1/4 teaspoon pepper


1. Cover cracked wheat with cold water; let stand 30 minutes. Note: For a softer texture, cover cracked wheat with boiling water and let stand for 1 hour. Drain; press out as much water as possible.


2. Place wheat, parsley, tomatoes, green onions and mint in glass or plastic bowl.


3. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over wheat mixture. Toss, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Garnish with ripe olives, if desired. Makes 6 servings.


Falafel


I use canned garbanzo beans for this.


2 cups water


1 cup dried garbanzo beans (or 2 cans (15-oz. ea.) garbanzo beans, drained (reserve liquid)


1 egg


1 small yellow onion, finely chopped


3 tablespoons minced parsley


2 tablespoons flour


2 teaspoons minced garlic


1 teaspoon salt


1 teaspoon ground coriander


3/4 teaspoon ground cumin


1/4 teaspoon baking powder


Dash of ground red pepper


Vegetable oil


1. If using dry beans: Heat water and beans to boiling in 2-quart saucepan; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 1 hour. Add enough water to cover beans if necessary. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer until tender 1 to 1 1/2 hours or as long as it takes for them to become tender. Drain, reserving liquid.


2. Mash beans; add 2 to 3 tablespoons reserved liquid if necessary. Do not puree beans in blender or food processor. Stir in remaining ingredients except for the oil. Mixture should be thick. Cover and let stand 1 hour.


3. Pinch off 1-inch pieces; shape into rounds and flatten. Let stand 30 minutes. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a 3-quart saucepan to 375. Fry 4 or 5 rounds at a time in hot oil, turning once, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Pocket bread meal


This is what I do with the tabbouleh and falafel.


Tabbouleh salad


Falafel rounds, cooked


Fresh alfalfa sprouts


Plain yogurt


Pita or pocket bread


1. Slice each pocket bread in half. Place 2 or 3 (depending on size) falafel rounds inside each half.


2. Fill in the gaps with a spoonful or two of tabbouleh salad.


3. Tuck desired amount of fresh alfalfa sprouts (or salad greens if you prefer) into each half.


4. Top each pocket bread half with a dollop of plain yogurt and serve.


Mom’s apple pie


Pie crust (recipe follows)


7 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch slices


1/2 cup sugar


1/2 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed


2 tablespoons flour


1 teaspoon cinnamon


1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1 lemon (zest and juice)


1 large egg, lightly beaten


2 tablespoons sanding sugar (or regular)


1. Place oven rack in the center position and Preheat oven to 400.


2. In a large bowl, combine the sliced apples, sugar, light brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and the zest and juice of one lemon; toss to coat evenly.


3. Remove prepared crust from refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll one disk into a 12-inch circle that is 1/8-inch thick. Carefully lay the crust into the bottom of a deep-dish pie plate.


4. Spoon the apple filling over the bottom crust and discard juices at the bottom of the bowl. Roll out the second disk of pie crust until it is 1/8-inch thick and lay it over the apple filling.


5. Use a sharp knife to trim the dough along the outside edge of the pie plate. Lift the edges where the two pie crusts meet, gently press to seal and fold them under. Rotate the pie plate and repeat this process until edges are neatly tucked under themselves. Cut 4 slits in the top of the dough to allow steam to vent. Place the pie on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400.


6. Brush the surface of the pie crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Cover the edges with a pie shield or a strip of foil to keep them from over browning during the first 25 minutes.


7. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the pie shield, turn the oven down to 375 and continue to bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the juices are bubbly. Cool at room temperature for at least 3 hours.


Pie crust


2 1/2 cups flour


1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes


1 teaspoon salt


1 teaspoon sugar


1/2 cup cold water, plus 1 ice cube


2 teaspoons white vinegar


1. Drop an ice-cube into a measuring cup and fill the measuring cup up with water to the 1/2 cup mark. Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and set aside.


2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and toss with a fork to mix evenly. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs.


3. Pour the water mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, into the flour/butter mixture and toss with a fork until the dough is evenly moist. Add water slowly to get the right texture.


4. Use your hands to quickly bring the dough together in the bowl. Do not over work the dough. Divide the dough in half and flatten into disks. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Bake according to the recipe you are using.