All posts tagged canapes

Homemade Falafel with Israeli Salad

 Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

This deep-fried treat is popular throughout the Middle East. Although it originates from Egypt, paired with this fresh Israeli Salad, it becomes the perfect snack for any soiree.  Crunchy on the outside and creamy inside, the chickpea concoction has loads of flavor.  The Hostess Handbook suggests serving with hummus and harissa for an even yummier party-ready canapé!

Homemade Falafel

1 can of ready-soaked chickpeas
1 onion, finely diced
½ tsp red hot chili flakes
a bunch ea. of finely chopped parsley and cilantro
2 cloves of garlic, made into a paste with salt
½ tsp ea. of cumin and paprika
½ tsp of baking powder
3-5 tbl A.P flour
vegetable oil for frying


Israeli Salad

4 large tomatoes on the vine, concasse,
½ cucumber, peeled, deseeded and finely diced
1 red onion, finely diced
a bunch ea. of parsley and dill, finely chopped
olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper


1-   1-  Drain the chickpeas and put them in a large bowl of a food processor together with the chopped red onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, red chili flakes, cumin and paprika.  Blend until smooth but not a puree.

2-    2- Sprinkle in the baking powder and enough flour so that you can roll a small ball of dough without it sticking to your hands. Put dough into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

3-   3-  Meanwhile, prepare the Israeli Salad:

a.     Mix together the first four ingredients (hold off on the lemon juice and olive oil until the falafel balls are ready).

b.     Season with salt and pepper.

c.      Once falafels are finished frying, add the lemon juice and a few drizzles of olive oil over the salad and mix to combine.

4-    4- Once the dough has been refrigerated, form small balls from the dough, about the size of a walnut, using the palms of your hands.

5-    5- Heat the oil in a deep pot to 375 degrees F and fry one ball to test – if it falls apart, add more flour.  Fry the balls a few at a time for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.  Serve with the Israeli Salad and Hummus.


Tasty Tip- Arancini “Fried Risotto Balls”

 Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove

 Although these delicious fried risotto balls are a Sicilian street food, they make a fabulous party canapé.  I made them for our flat warming party and they were quite a hit – the combination of gooey melted cheese, crunchy fried goodness and warm rice is truly sublime.  They can even be made ahead of time and reheated when your guests arrive – just serve with a good bottle of Nero d’Avola for the perfect transformation from Sicilian street to tasty party treat.

 6 small mozzarella pearls         

(or cut a big ball into 6 small pieces)

¾ cup day-old risotto

⅔ cup bread crumbs

2 eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup of flour

2 liters vegetable oil
1- Take your day-old risotto out of the fridge.  Grab a handful of the risotto and lay it flat against the palm of your hand.  With your other hand, put a small mozzarella pearl in the middle, and roll the rest of the risotto around it to form a ball. Roll it around between your hands to smooth it out.  Repeat until all of the balls are formed.
2- Put the flour, lightly beaten eggs and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls.  Using one hand for the dirty work and keeping the other one clean, roll each ball around to cover starting with the flour first, then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs to coat.  Once they have been dipped, rolled and covered, use your clean hand to place the balls on a clean plate.
3- Pour the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan or wok and bring the heat to medium-high.  You can check the heat by throwing in a bit of flour – if it begins to sizzle, it’s ready.
4- Carefully drop each risotto ball into the oil and fry until golden brown – approx 2-3 min.  Regulate the heat as necessary.
5- Once the arancini have been fried off, place them on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil. Serve immediately, or store and reheat at 400 F for 5-7 min. Strain the oil and reserve in a glass jar for the next time you want to deep fry something.