Pub-Style Falafel Eggs

Pub-Style Falafel Eggs
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First Place: Felice Bogus, Raleigh

Makes 8

For the eggs:

10 large NC eggs, divided use

1 Tbs. olive oil, plus extra for rolling

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Tbs. cumin

1 Tbs. ground coriander

1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/4 c. chopped Italian parsley

2 ½ c. whole wheat breadcrumbs

5 Tbs. flour, plus extra for dusting

¾ c. panko crumbs

4 Tbs. sesame seeds

Vegetable oil, for frying

Moroccan Harissa Sauce:

½ c. plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbs. harissa paste

2 tsp. chopped thyme

½ tsp. grated lemon zest

Tahini Sauce:

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp. salt

¼ c. tahini

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbs. water

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. minced Italian parsley

1/8 tsp. cumin

Pinch Aleppo pepper

Tzatziki Sauce:

¼ c. plain Greek yogurt

¼ c. sour cream

¼ c. peeled, grated cucumber, squeezed dry

½ tsp. minced garlic

1 ½ tsp. olive oil

1 ½ tsp. chopped fresh mint

1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice

½ tsp. grated lemon zest

Make the eggs: Place 8 eggs in a saucepan filled with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook 5 -6 minutes.  Immediately plunge eggs into and ice bath and let cool completely.  Peel eggs and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté onion and garlic until softened and beginning to color lightly, about 7 minutes.  Add cumin and coriander and continue to cook an additional 2 minutes.  Turn onion mixture into a food processor work bowl and process well.  Add chickpeas, parsley, and 1 egg and pulse until finely chopped but not pureed.  Stir in breadcrumbs, 5 Tbs. flour, and salt and pepper to taste.

Divide chickpea mixture into 8 and flatten each into a large, flat disk.  Roll each boiled egg in some flour and wrap chickpea mixture around each egg, enclosing completely.  Beat remaining egg lightly in a shallow bowl and mix together panko and sesame seeds in a pie plate.  Dip each wrapped egg in beaten egg, then panko/sesame seed mixture.  Place on a plate and refrigerate until ready to fry.

Heat oil to 350° in a deep fryer or deep saucepan and fry eggs, 2 at a time, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.  Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  Serve either warm or at room temperature with one or more of the sauces.

Directions for Sauces

Make the Harissa sauce: Mix together yogurt, harissa, thyme, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.

Make the Tahini sauce: Mash minced garlic to a paste with salt.  Whisk together garlic paste and remaining ingredients until well combined.  Serve at room temperature.

Make the Tzatziki sauce: Combine yogurt, sour cream, cucumber, and garlic in a food processor work bowl and puree until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and fold in olive oil, mint, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Combine well and season to taste with salt and pepper.