September 24, 2017

Falafel Fail (SJRNR week -2)

Last week I was moderately successful with a baba ganoush experiment (I modified the recipe to make it too garlicky -- but it was still delicious).  So, I decided to try the falafel recipe from the same site.

You only soak the garbanzo beans, you don't cook them!
Falafel is one of my favorite foods.  I try not to have them more often than once every couple of weeks because they are fried.  But the comments on this recipe indicated that some people had successfully baked these falafel and they were delicious.  I took the advice from one of the commenters and added some eggs so that they would stick together without the deep-frying and decided to give it a go.

Falafel mix, ready to cook.
I'd hoped I could just put them onto the cookie sheet but the texture, even with the eggs, made me suspect they would fall apart without some additional structure in place, so I decided to try using muffin tins.  Once I'd packed the tins, I poured a drip of canola oil over the top of each falafel to see if I could get just a slight hint of oven-fried deliciousness.

Not the perfect browned results I was hoping for.
Turns out, while the tops were cooked perfectly with this approach (400F 'til starting to brown, followed by 90 seconds of broiling), the bottoms stuck to the muffin tin, so I extracted a bunch of partially destroyed falafel at the end of the cooking cycle.

Hah!  I had a brilliant idea.  I'd put all of the leftover bits that stuck to the tins *back* into the oven and make a couple of twice baked falafel.

Did you know that Silicone bake-ware can catch fire?
(Note the oil spatter)
I put the muffin tin (not really a tin, as it was silicone, in a metal supporting rack) into the oven and started plating our dinner. 

2 minutes later, I smelled fire.

E knows the drill (I set a kitchen fire on a not infrequent basis), so he immediately opened the kitchen door and turned the hood on high while I grabbed the on-fire muffin tin with silicone hand protectors and walked it outside.  We're a well-oiled kitchen fire extinguishing machine at this point, thankfully.

See, I'd forgotten that I'd put the oven on broil for the last few seconds of the full set of falafel.  It had stayed on while I'd removed them all and re-constructed my brilliant twice-baked plan.  AND, all the small drizzles of oil were left on the muffin tin, both in the cups and on the top surface.  I'm not sure exactly how hot it got, but the flash point of canola oil is 600F.  Also, I've since learned that apparently silicone cookware should not go under the broiler.  Either way, there was a full on fire that took several minutes to burn itself out -- leaving behind white ash that clearly came from the silicone.  We did not eat any of the twice baked (and then charred in a chemical fire) falafel.

Dinner was good, though.
I think I'm going to leave falafel to the professionals.  After all this, it still didn't taste as good as when it's fried.  I have some frozen falafel leftovers, and if they hold up and reheat well, I *may* reconsider trying again (with pre-greased metal muffin tins), but it may be a while before I work up the gumption.

In running/fitness news, it was a good week.  I slept longer than usual and was hungrier than normal for much of the week, which is typically an indicator that I've got some big fitness gains around the corner (fingers crossed).

M: Finally made it back to the yoga studio.  It destroyed me.  I walked 1.5 miles there, did the 1 hour plus warm yoga high effort class, and left a sweaty, shaking mess, whereafter I walked the 1.5 miles home in shock at just how difficult yoga can be.  I bruised my arm doing crow pose, so I've been walking around with a nice blue mark that's still with me today.  Bonus, the core work was enough that I woke myself in the night on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday by simply rolling over and recruiting muscles like upper abs and obliques that were taxed beyond anything they are remotely used to.

T:  0.06 walk;
4 @ 11:56;
10 X 30s/90s paces (9:06; 8:50; 8:33; 9:17; 9:31; 9:47; 8:07; 8:41; 7:31; 8:08);
0.65 jog @ 12:42;
0.69 walk home from lunch

W: One of the best track workouts I've had in the last several years. Not because of the pacing (still very slow).  But just because it felt so good to run hard and beat the recommended BAA paces easily on every interval.
1.01 w/u @ 12:17;
0.4 drills w/u lap (9:22; 8:04: 7:13);
2 X 600; 600; 800 (t/p: 3:18/9:01; 3:20/9:04; 4:35/9:19; 3:23/9:05; 3:23/9:08; 4:35/9:16);
0.96 jog & walk c/d

Th: 3 @ 12:04;
1.66 walk

F: Exhausted.  Rest Day.

Sa: 1.52 jog @ 12:37;
1 mile @ 9:58;
5:10 walk R/I;
0.27 @ 10:17;
4+ min jog;
13 X 30s/90s (Paces: 8:31; 8:40; 8:19; 8:40; 9:07; 9:31; 7:59; 8:09; 8:06; 8:17; 8:42; 9:22; 8:31)

Su: 7 miles "long" @ 12:07 (including water fountain stops and a walk break to turn on headphones/audiobook)
0.15 walk c/d

Weekly Mileage: 31.86.  Most of it running.  Average paces, targeted high effort paces, and mass all still slowly decreasing.  Definitely feeling like it's been several weeks of consistent effort and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can manage to do at SJRNR.


Angela Knotts said...

Oh, man. I'm trying not to laugh but now that it's over hopefully it's kind of funny. This is exactly the kind of thing I would do, and I have that exact silicone muffin "tin," so check! Don't put it under the broiler!

bt said...

@Angela -- oh, I totally think it's funny. Laugh with me!

Arvay said...


I see what you did there!

Arvay said...

I hope you don't feelawful. :)

bt said...

@Arvay -- I knew you'd see that, and I did!

Jen said...

Oh my! I wouldn't have batted twice at putting silicone in the broiler. Thanks for experimenting for us!