Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Middle Eastern/African /Greek Dinner

Tonight I made chicken kebabs with Middle Eastern spices, Moroccan style couscous and a Greek style salad. I know, weird combination but it all worked rather nicely together. I'm nothing if not a creative chef ! The salty acidity of the salad complimented the sweetness of the couscous. And the kebabs were nicely seasoned. I basically marinated the chicken in a puree of plain yogurt, onion and spices, paired with a dried fruit and nut couscous seasoned with warm spices You could serve it with toasted Mediterranean pita bread and a Tzatziki sauce if you are inclined. All in all, a nice meal.

Chicken Kebabs - Serves 4

1  1/2 pounds boneless chicken (I used a mixture of breast and thigh meat) cut into two inch cubes.

1/2 Sweet Onion, like Peruvian or Vidalia
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon ground Coriander
1/4 Teaspoon Paprika
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Mint or 2 Teaspoons fresh Mint chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Parsley
1 Tablespoon Iranian Spice 
1/2 lemon Juiced
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon fresh ground Pepper

Puree onion and garlic in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and process until well mixed. Taste to check to see if it need more salt, pepper or heat (cayenne).
Marinate chicken cubes all day or overnight if possible. Thread on skewers. Grill over a medium flame or broil about 3-4 minutes per side. (Check for doneness)
Serve with Tzatziki if desired. (Plain yogurt mixed with fresh garlic, shredded cucumber, lemon juice and a touch of olive oil.) See my post for an exact Tzatziki recipe.

Moroccan Couscous

1 cup Couscous
1/2 Red Onion, chopped
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
3-4 Green Cardamon seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/4 Teaspoon All Spice
Handful of Raisins
Handful of dried Cranberries
Hanful of Almonds, chopped coarsely
1 3/4 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cups chopped Cilantro
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Roast chopped nuts in a dry pan for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Saute onion and red bell pepper in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients (including nuts) except broth, salt and pepper. Stir and let flavors blend about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add broth.  Check seasonings. Add salt if needed and a little ground pepper. Stir to mix, cover and let sit for about 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve with Kebabs.

Greek Salad

Romaine lettuce, torn into bite side pieces. About 1/2 a head.
Finely sliced red onion, a handful
Finely sliced red bell pepper, a handful
1 Cucumber, seeded and cut into chunks
4 Ripe plum tomatoes, cut into chunks
Feta cheese, crumbled about 2 ounces
1/2 14 ounce can baby artichoke hearts, quartered.
Garbanzo beans (optional) 1 small can, drained

1/4 Cup good quality Olive Oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Teaspoonon crumbled feta cheese

Mix dressing ingredients together and let sit while you prepare salad. Remove garlic from dressing. Taste for seasoning. Add additional salt if needed, but keep in mind the feta on the salad adds saltiness too. Toss salad with dressing right before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment