Pita bread may be the most practical way of enclosing a sandwich. The filling is placed in the natural pocket of the bread and the dripping, dropping and plopping is almost eliminated.
Most fillings for pita sandwiches take on a Mediterranean flavor and some of the better ones include the likes of lamb and yogurt topping. Ultimately, the fillings can be varied according to taste just as long as the enclosure remains the same. AVOCADO POCKET SANDWICH (4 servings) 1 avocado 1/2 cup chopped cucumber 1/2 cup chopped carrot 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms 1/2 cup cubed Jack cheese 1/4 cup bottled Italian dressing 4 pita breads 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1/2 cup chopped tomato
Dice half the avocado. Reserve other half. Top diced avocado, cucumber, carrot, cauliflower, mushrooms and cheese with Italian dressing. Slit the pita breads and spearate them halfway around by pulling the edges apart to form a pocket. Fill each with 1/4 of the mixture. Mash remaining avocado with folk and stir in lemon juice and tomato. Spoon inside each sandwich. EGYPTIAN FALAFEL 1 cup dried garbanzo beans 3 green onions 1/2 cup parsley sprigs, packed 3 cloves garlic 1 egg Salt, pepper 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Oil Sesame seeds
Soak dried beans in water to cover overnight (canned beans cannot be substituted). Drain and put through fine blade of meat grinder or food processor with green onions, parsley and garlic. Add egg and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add cumin. Stir in soda. Let stand at least 15 minutes (mixture will be quite soft). Heat 1 inch of oil until quite hot (about 370 degrees). Shape mixture into tiny balls or 2-inch patties. Pat a pinch of sesame seeds onto balls or patties. Carefully drop into hot oil and fry until brown on all sides. (Cakes may be fried ahead and reheated in the oven.)
Use falafel as a filling for pita bread sandwiches with desired accompaniments such as shredded lettuce, diced tomato and tabini (sesame seed sauce, which can be purchased at Middle Eastern grocery stores). ALMOND FALAFEL (6 servings) 1 1/2 pounds lean ground lamb 1 large onion, coarsely chopped 1 small eggplant, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tomato, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons dry red wine 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup plain yogurt 1 cup chopped almonds, toasted 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 3 (8-inch) pita breads, halved
In Dutch oven brown lamb with onion, eggplant and garlic over medium heat about 5 minutes. Drain off excess fat. Stir in tomato, wine, salt, and cinnamon. Continue to cook, covered, about 20 minutes until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in yogurt, almonds and cheese. Spoon about 1 cup hot lamb mixture into each bread half. Serve immediately. FALAFEL SANWICHES 1/2 cup dry split green peas 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour 1/4 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon chopped parsley 1/2 cup water 1/2 teaspoon cumin 2 cups oil 6 small pita breads Sliced tomato, onion, dill pickle Tahini dip or Humos dip
Soak split peas in water overnight. Then drain and mash. Add salt, pepper, garbanzo bean flour, onin powder, parsley, water and cumin and mix well.
Shape into small balls. Fry on hot oil and drain on paper towels. Slit, pita bread to form pockets. Fill pockets with split pea balls and a mixture of tomato, onion and pickle. Top with Tahini or Hummos. Homos Dip 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans, mashed 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste) 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon sugar
Combine garbanzo beans, oil, lemon juice, salt, tahini, garlic powder and sugar. Blend well. Use as dip for pita. Tahini Dip 1 cup tahini (sesame seed paste) 1/4 cup oil 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon ginger
Combine tahini, oil, garlic powder, salt, lemon juice, sugar and ginger. Blend well. Serve as a dip or dressing.