By The Spicy Stiletto

Falafel is by far one of my favorite late-night guilty pleasures. When my best friend Matt used to live in the West Village, we would always make a pit stop to Mamoun's after a night out to grab falafel before we headed back to his apartment for a night-cap. I've been wanting to recreate my own version for some time now, but the process of soaking and mashing the chickpeas seemed far too tedious. It also doesn't help that I now only live a few blocks away from the East Village location, and that the size of my kitchen has been reduced to half of my old place.

Anyways, this recipe came to me by accident - my overly eager finger pulsed the tofu one too many times and changed the texture of the mix - while I was playing around with baked WestSoy tofu. So upon frying up and taste testing, the recipe went from meatball to falafel. The crispy exterior and soft interior, mixed with added spice and topped with creamy melted feta is the perfect guilty pleasure without all the extra work.

Baked Tofu Falafel
makes 1 dozen

2 packs WestSoy Mediterranean Baked Tofu
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic
1 egg
1 cup stemmed and chopped flat leaf parsley, plus 1/4 cup for garnish
1 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Salt
Bread crumbs
Olive oil
Goat cheese

In a food processor, pulse tofu, shallots, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and egg for about 2-3 minutes or until mixture is a thick paste. Form mixture into medium-sized balls, about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of mixture. Pour bread crumbs in a separate shallow plate, roll each ball in bread crumbs until evenly coated.
In a large sauce pan, heat about 1 inch of olive oil on medium high. Fry until golden brown (2-3 minutes).
Serve on its own with goat cheese crumbled over and garnish with parsley. Also great in a pita filled with lettuce and tomatoes. Click through the gallery above for more pictures.