Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Tastes from Home with Frito-Lay recipe contest! And giveaway....

Ok, so I'm a HUGE fan of Frito-Lay products and inspired by one of their latest products, Lays Regionally Inspired Flavors, I was invited to participate in a cool contest to come up with an inspired recipe that reminds me of home.

Well, coming from a home that cooks regularly, this is pretty easy to do (thanks for teaching me Mommy)!

When I think of home Falafel comes to mind. This dish is SO simple, yet SO tasty to make. It can be a snack or meal depending on how you serve it.

This isn't technically from my home, it reminds me of my heritage and traveling to Israel, both of which make me happy.


1 cup dried chickpeas (or 1 can well drained)
1/2 large white onion rough chopped
2 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon finely chopped hot green chili pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes (optional)
All purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying


1. Soak the dried chickpeas over night in enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Drain off all water once soft. If using canned, simply drain and rinse in fresh water.

2. Place chickpeas, onion, cilantro, parsley, salt, garlic, and cumin into a food processor and blend until it just starts to come together. If you enjoy some spice in your food, add in the fresh or dried pepper now too.

3. Combine the baking powder and warm water and add to the mixture still in the food processor, blend everything together until mostly combined, but still slightly chunky.

4. Transfer to a clean bowl, tightly cover, and refrigerate at least a half hour, more is fine. At this point, the mixture should be like a slightly wet dough, if it's too wet add some all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon at a time.

5. Form chickpea mixture into walnut sized balls and place on an oiled cookie sheet.

6. Pour enough oil into a cast iron pan to deep fry the balls, usually 3-4 inches, but you might need more if you have a larger pan. Heat oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Put a few falafel balls in the oil at a time, making sure not to over crowd the pan and make the oil temperature go down. Fry until they are golden brown on all sides.

8. Remove from oil using a slotted spoon and place on a platter lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Serve warm.

You can use them as an appetizer with tzatziki, tahini or hummus to dip them in.

They can also be stuffed into a pita pocket or wrapped in lafa with hummus, tzatziki or tanini, chopped tomato, cucumber, lettuce, and Israeli pickles for a VERY filling meal.

I'm getting hungry just thinking about this now....looks like I know what I'll be eating sometime soon! :-)

Coming soon....details on how to get your hands on some yummy Frito-Lay chips of your own. I'll keep you posted on the details shortly!

By the way, some interesting information on the Lay's Regionally Inspired Flavors:

These chips were inspired by popular American regional cuisine and include the following tasty flavors:

1. Northeastern U.S. – Lay’s Honey Mustard
2. Midwestern U.S. – Lay’s Creamy Garden Ranch
3. Northwestern U.S. – Lay's Balsamic Sweet Onion
4. Southwestern U.S. – Lay’s Chipotle Ranch
5. Southeastern U.S. – Lay’s Cajun Herb & Spice

You might not find those flavors in your local stores since they are only available in the region they are inspired by. However, that's a great excuse for a road trip or something to look for when you're taking a well deserved vacation!

Also inspired by the Southeastern U.S. is Lays Tangy Carolina BBQ and inspired by the Midwestern U.S. is Lays Garden Tomato Basil. Both of those flavors are available Nationwide.

All of the Lay's Regionally Inspired Flavored potato chips are made with all natural ingredients, and are cooked in healthier oils so they contain 0 grams of trans fats per serving!

There’s also less sodium in them than you might think – a 1-oz serving of the Lays Regionally Inspired Flavored potato chips contains less salt than a plain bagel!

Note: Frito-Lay is sending me some of their chips for sending in this contest entry. Thanks Frito-Lay!!