It’s been an incredible week foodies! I’ve won the chance to participate in a food competition set up by the people at www.tabooeats.com. On January 12th I will be serving a refinement of my Chickpea and Corn Falafels at an event where they will pick three winners, each of whom will have their recipe published in a cookbook to raise money for the Food Bank! And if I’m one of them, I go on to compete in May for the final. The winner is declared the representative of Centretown by Taboo Eats!
But let’s go back a few steps! When I heard of this competition, I knew I had to make something that was portable, since I couldn't cook the dish at their facilities. My most popular dish is my Dirty Rubbed Salmon, but it’s not portable, sadly. So I picked my falafel recipe, but I decided to change it somewhat, so that I can bring out as much flavour as possible. Rather than grate and squeeze the water out of the onion, I chose to bake it, caramelizing those wonderful onions golden brown. Then I used whole spices, baked them, to turn the taste up to 11, and only then did I grind them.
I knew I already had a good dish, but this was a competition. It had to be great. So I knew I had to come up with a sauce. I looked online and found someone mentioning a Lebanese sauce called Toum, which is pureed olive oil and garlic. Simple.
So on a Monday afternoon, mere hours away from delivery of my dish, I tasted my refined falafel recipe. It WAS better, but it still needed a sauce, and I was having second thoughts about that garlic sauce. I had a salty dish, and my mind told me the sauce had to be sweet to balance things out. Immediately I thought of the two anomalies in my falafel. Corn and corn masa. What I made was a truly Canadian multicultural Lebanon meets South America dish, and so Lime came to mind. My hand shot out and grabbed a lime to zest and juice. I added that to the oil and garlic, and threw in a helping of brown sugar. I pulsed it vigorously and ended up with what I can only describe as a near candy-like garlic sauce that went perfectly with my falafels.
I guess that’s why I got in.