Tag Archives: food

Dave’s Chili

serves: 8-12

  • Olive oil, for sautéing
  • 2 large cooking onions, chopped
  • 1 cup celery stalks, chopped
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

 

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • (or 2lbs of ground meat, whatever kind)

 

  • 2 x 800ml can diced tomatoes
  • 1 x 710ml can crushed tomatoes/passata
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 400ml cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 400ml can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 400ml can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

 

  • 3 green peppers, chopped
  • 454g mushrooms, sliced and sautéed previously OR 2 cans mushroom pieces, no need to sauté
  1. In a large dutch oven, heat oil and add the onion, celery, and garlic, along with a pinch of salt.  Sauté until softened, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Add the meat, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Discard the fatty juices that have formed in the pan.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, spices, beans, and chickpeas.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered for about 2.5 hours.  Stir occasionally.
  4. Add green peppers and sautéed mushrooms, and simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes.

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Filed under dinner, food, Main Course

Asian Inspired Coleslaw

This is from Bonnie Stern

Slaw:

  • ½ head Napa cabbage or green cabbage, shredded
  • ½ small red cabbage, shredded
  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • Handful chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (use less if desired)

Dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp liquid honey
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp hot chili paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated or minced
  1. Place cabbages and carrots in a large bowl.  Pour boiling water over and drain well.  Rinse with cold water, and drain again (I skip this step)
  2. Toss green onions and cilantro with cabbage
  3. To make dressing, combine all of the ingredients until well blended.
  4. Toss dressing with the slaw.
  5. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

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Filed under food, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Balsamic Maple Vinaigrette

This recipe is courtesy of Chuck Hughes.  It is fabulous on a green salad that includes crumbled blue cheese and crumbled bacon.  SO GOOD!

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup Canola oil
  • Salt & pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and mustard.  Slowly drizzle in the canola oil, whisking until the dressing emulsifies.  Taste, add freshly ground black pepper and salt until it’s just right!

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Filed under Salads

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

These will keep for about two weeks when refrigerated.  I do not “can” these.  They are not as high in salt as prepared pickles.  They are very crunchy!

  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • approximately 3/4 to 1 pint small “Kirby” cucumbers (the small, very rough/bumpy ones, meant for pickling), quartered lenghtwise
  • 1 cup chopped FRESH dill

 

Toast the mustard and fennel seeds in a large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the water, vinegar, sugar, garlic and salt, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Combine the hot brine, cucumbers, ad dill in a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and flavourful, about 10 hours.  These can be refrigerated in their liquid, in an airtight container  for up to two weeks.

Drain well before serving.

 

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Filed under Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Stir Fried Vegetables

We’ve been on a years-long quest for a stir fried veggie recipe that duplicates takeout, and have recently found it via Grace Young, author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, and posted at the Kitchn.  Wonderful photos and tips are included with the recipe, as well as wok care etc.  This is the adaptation for our own kitchen:

Vegetables

  • 4 cups of chopped firm vegetables, OR 8 to 12 cups of leafy greens — such as baby bok choy cut into lengthwise halves, or other greens cut into 1” wide pieces

Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons dry sherry or rice wine
  • 1 Tablespoon chicken broth (we use organic vegetarian cubes to mix up with water for this small amount)
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce

Aromatics

  • 3 medium cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno chilies, with seeds (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cut up the ingredients:  it is extremely important that all of the ingredients are cut as directed!  Each piece must be of uniform size.  Cut the vegetables and set them aside in a bowl.  Prepare the aromatics as directed and set them aside as well.
  2. Make the sauce:  In a small bowl, combine the sherry, broth, and soy sauce.
  3. Heat the wok:  Turn on a stove burner to high.  Set a 14” wok over the burner.  The wok is hot enough when droplets of water dropped into it evaporate within 1 to 2 seconds of contact.  Do not overheat the wok!
  4. Pull the wok off of the heat and add the oilSwirl it around until it coats the sides and bottom.  If the wok smokes wildly the moment you add the oil, it is too hot.
  5. Add the aromatics to the wok:  Put the wok back on the heat.  Add the garlic and chilies, and stir them for 10 seconds, until fragrant.
  6. Add the vegetables:  Push the garlic and chilies up the sides of the wok and add the vegetables
  7. Season the vegetables:  Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the top. 
  8. Set a timer for 2 minutes.
  9. Stir-fry the vegetables for 1 minute, or until the vegetables begin to wilt.
  10. Add the sauce:  Pour the sauce mixture around and down the sides of the pan instead of directly into the centre.  Stir-fry and toss to coat the vegetables.
  11. Cover and cook for 15 seconds.
  12. Uncover and stir-fry for another 30 to 60 seconds, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender and brightly coloured.

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Turkey Burgers

This is from America’s Test Kitchen, and is very good.

  • 1 ¼ lbs ground turkey
  • ½ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • (I tablespoon canola oil, if cooking in frying pan)

Combine the ground turkey, cheese, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a medium bowl until blended.  Divide the meat into 4 portions.  Lightly toss one portion from hand to hand to form a ball, then lightly flatten the ball with your fingertips into a 1” thick patty.  Repeat with the remaining portions.

Grill/BBQ:

Grill the burgers over medium fire until dark spotty brown on the bottom, about 7 to9 minutes.  Turn them over, and continue to grill for 7 to 9 minutes longer.  The centre needs to be completely opaque.

Stovetop:

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until very hot.  Swirl the oil to coat the bottom.  Add the burgers and cook over medium heat without moving them until the bottom of each is dark brown and crusted, 3 to 4 minutes.  Turn the burgers over; continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer.  Reduce the heat to low, and cover, with the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape, and continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes longer, flipping once if necessary to promote deep browning, or until the centre is completely opaque.

Serve on crusty buns with lettuce, tomato slices, red onion slices and mayo.

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Filed under Protein

All-dressed Cheese Oven Fries

This is adapted from a  recipe at “Skinnytaste.com”, which I highly recommend!  Reminds us of New York Fries’ “The Works”

  • 2 medium potatoes, yukon gold or russet, washed and dried (peel if desired)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 slice center cut bacon, cooked & finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp diced scallions
  • 1 tbsp sliced pickled Jalapeno (jarred on canned)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly coat a large cookie sheet with olive oil.
  2. Cut each potato lengthwise into 1/4 inch thin slices; then cut each slice into 1/4 inch fries.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cut potatoes and oil; toss well.
  4. Add seasoning (paprika to salt and pepper). Toss to coat.
  5. Place potatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased large baking sheet.
  6. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes or until tender, turning once half way through.
  7. Remove from oven, place fries into two small oven safe dishes (or one large dish for sharing), top with cheddar cheese, sliced jalapenos, scallions and bacon bits and return to oven for  about 2 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
  8. Serve with sour cream.

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Avocado Dip

This is a cousin of guacamole, but tastes quite different; one benefit of using avocado this way, is that the dip stays bright green.  Adapted from a recipe by Ingrid Hoffmann.

  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted and scooped out
  • 1/3 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 green onions, white and light green part only, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

 

Place all ingredients, except for salt and pepper, into a blender or small food processor.  Blend for about 1 minute, or until very smooth. Taste, and add salt and pepper.  Serve as a dip for sweet potato fries, or anything else you like.

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Filed under Appetizers

Grandma Ruth’s Banana Bread

Ruth's Banana Bread

The finished results of my Mom's recipe for banana bread.

I do love my whole-wheat-nutrition-packed recipe for banana bread, but sometimes I just crave my Mom’s!

  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup room temperature butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • ½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped roughly
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 cup bananas, mashed
  1. Mix dry ingredients together with whisk.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream butter; add sugar gradually until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and beat well.  Stir in nuts and rind.
  3. Add flour alternately with the mashed bananas.  Do not over mix.
  4. Bake in a greased 8”x4”x3” loaf pan, at 350F for 55 minutes, or until done (toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean).
  5. Store for at least 6 hours before cutting/serving, preferably overnight.

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Filed under "Sweets"/Cakes/Etc, Breads/Muffins/Biscuits, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Aarti Sequeira’s Saag Paneer, with a tweak or two

After searching for at least 25 years for a Saag Paneer* recipe that really hits the spot, we found one!  This recipe is incredibly easy and relatively quick; it is well worth taking the few minutes it takes to make your own paneer.  I’ve made a couple of minor tweaks to the recipe.

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces paneer, cut into 1” cubes* (see recipe and photos below)
  • 1 16oz package frozen spinach
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • ~ 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced finely
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 large Serrano chili, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup water
  • generous pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • (or ½ cup plain yogurt, with no cream)

In a large bowl, whisk together the turmeric, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons of oil.  Gently add the paneer cubes, and toss very gently.  Let the cubes marinate while you prep your other ingredients.

Thaw the spinach in the microwave, in a microwave-safe dish,, 5 minutes on high.  Puree the spinach in a food processor until smooth, or mince by hand.

Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add the paneer as the pan warms.  In a couple of minutes, give the pan a shake and turn the paneer cubes.  You want the cubes browned on two or more sides.  Remove the paneer onto a plate (this also tastes good without seasoning and frying the paneer; just cube it and add it at the end of cooking the spinach).

Add the ghee/oil to the pan.  When melted and hot, add the onion, garlic, and chili.  SLOWLY sauté the mixture until golden and the oil is shimmering on top, about 15 minutes.

Add the garam masala, coriander, and cumin.  Cook, stirring often, for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the spices are well toasted.  Add a few drops of water if it is drying out and burning.

Add the pureed spinach and stir well, incorporating the spiced onion mixture into the spinach.  Add generous pinch of salt, and the ½ cup water.  Stir and cook for 5 minutes with the lid off.

Turn the heat off, add the cream/yogurt a little at a time to prevent it from curdling.  Once the cream/yogurt is well mixed into the spinach, gently add the paneer.  Turn the heat back on, cover, and cook until everything is hot.

Serve with basmati rice, and/or naan.

*Paneer

paneer making

Making the Paneer

  • Cheesecloth to line a colander
  • 8 cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Line a colander with two layers of cheesecloth (available at the grocery store)
  2. In a large, wid pot, bring the milk to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning the bottom.  Be patient!
  3. Add the lemon juice and turn the heat down to low.  Stirring gently, you should almost immediately see the curds and whey separate.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and carefully pour the contens into the cheesecloth-lined colander.  Gently rinse with cool water to get rid of the lemon flavour.
  5. Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and twist the ball of cheese to squeeze out the excess whey.  Tie the cheesecloth to the kitchen faucet and allow the cheese to drain for at least 5 minutes.
  6. Twisting the ball to compact the cheese into a brick, place it on a plate with the twisted part of the cheesecloth on the side.  Set another plate on top, and weight it down with tinned food, or a very heavy pot.  A ziplock bag full of water will also work.  Press for at least 20 minutes. In the photo to the right, I’ve used our very heavy granite mortar on top of a plate.

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Filed under food, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Marinated Goat Cheese

  • 8 oz creamy goat cheese log

Marinade:

  • 3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1⁄2 cup sundried tomatoes, julienned (soak dried ones in hot water or can use a combination of dried and jarred ones in oil)
  • 1⁄4 cup black olives, pitted, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of thyme (or can use fresh thyme)
  • Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (1/2 c oil, about as much as provided by the jar of oil- packed tomatoes, is adequate)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and let stand to let flavours blend.
  2. Spoon over the cheese, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Serve on large platter with crisp toasts,crackers, and/or fresh sliced baguette.

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Filed under Appetizers, food, Marinade, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Pickled Beets in 24 hours

pickled beets

Slice the Beets and the Red Onion

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked, sliced fresh beets (roast or boil them, then remove skins)
  • 1 small sweet red onion, sliced and separated into rings
  1. Layer beets and onion rings into a lidded container (the large Ziplock screw-top containers work well); you could also just toss everything into a bowl.
  2. In saucepan, combine the sugar, mustard, salt, cloves, garlic, vinegar and water; bring to a boil and pour over the beets and onion rings.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 day.
  4. Every once in a while, when you think of it, give the container a little toss so that the marinade ingredients move around amongst the vegetables.

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Filed under Appetizers, Marinade, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

A Facsimile of Boston’s Creamy Chicken Curry Pasta for Niall

  • 3 cups dry penne
  • 2 Tablespoons or so of butter, or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons hot madras curry powder
  • pinch of dried chili flakes
  •  2 to 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces*
  • ¼ cup to ½ cup pineapple, cut into bite-sized pieces (fresh or canned, drained)

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a rolling boil.  Add dry penne, stirring to prevent it from sticking together.  Cook according to package directions, approximately 7 or 8 minutes.  Drain well, but do not rinse!

Meanwhile, melt the butter or heat the oil, and add the red onion.  Stir and cook until it begins to sweat, and then add garlic and red pepper.  When they are softened, but still have a bit of a “fresh bite”, add the curry powder and chili flakes.  Stir and cook for a minute or two.

Stir in the heavy cream, bring to a very gentle boil and cook until it begins to thicken to the consistency you like for your alfedo-ish sauce.  Gently stir in the cooked chicken pieces and the pineapple, and cook till they’re heated through.

* to cook the chicken, one can bake in the oven or cut into bite-sized pieces and sauté with the vegetables until no longer pink.  To bake ahead, put two boneless, skinless chicken breasts onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Turn twice, two coat the entire breast.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, then bake for 40 minutes or so in a preheated 350F oven.

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Filed under food, Main Course, Protein

White Sauce: four ways

This is a very good, basic recipe to have in your repertoire.  It is a base for so many things, such as cheese sauce, and with added flavours, can substitute for processed canned soup in other recipes.

Ingredients:

I.  Thick:

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed up
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

II. Medium

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed up
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

III. Medium Thin

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed up
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

IV. Thin

  • 1 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed up
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Melt butter over medium-low heat.  Blend in flour, and cook, stirring constantly until smooth; cook for a minute or two.  Add the warm/hot milk, stirring constantly.  Cook over medium heat until sauce thickens and comes to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer for two or three minutes to remove floury taste.

For added flavour, toss in whatever you feel like.  For example, try one of the following, or a combination:

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of dried mustard, or Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of shredded cheese
  • hot pepper flakes or Tabasco
  • sautéed minced onions (sauté in the butter before adding the flour)
  • herbs, fresh or dried
  • sautéed vegetables, minced

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Filed under food, Sauce, Soups

Candied Pecans

  • ½ large egg white
  • ¼ cup granulated white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon sea, or kosher, salt
  • Large pinch to 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons water
  • 2 to 3 ½ cups raw pecan halves
  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.Using an electric mixer, or a whisk, beat egg white until foamy, about 1 minute with the mixer.Add sugar, brown sugar, spices, salt, vanilla and water.  Whisk until well combined – it will get thick-ish – about 45 seconds with the mixer.Gently stir in pecans until well coated. The original recipe calls for 2 cups of pecans for this amount of “candy”, but it will coat almost 4 cups very nicely.Pour nuts onto baking sheet, and spread out so that they are in a single layer.Bake for a total of 40 minutes, taking out and stirring/flipping the nuts after the first 20 minutes.Remove from oven and cool completely.
  3. Break apart into single nuts.
  4. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

These are great on a spinach salad dressed with citrus vinaigrette.  For nuts that are great “out of hand”, try Maple Roasted Almonds.

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Filed under Appetizers, food, Protein, Salads, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

West Indies Style Rub for Pork Tenderloin Kebabs

Toast over medium heat in a dry skillet (about 2 or 3 minutes):

  • 2 Tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 Tablespoon coriander seeds

Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature. With a mortar and pestle, grind to a fine powder.  Transfer to a small bowl and add:

  • 2 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon ground red pepper

Stir well.  Will keep for a few weeks if kept airtight and dry.

Cut the tenderloin into large cubes, and rub the spice mixture into it.  “Marinate” in fridge for a minimum of 2 hours to a maximum of 24 hours.  Tastes better if marinated longer.  Thread onto skewers and grill.

 

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Filed under food, Main Course, Marinade, Protein

Niall’s Summer Pasta Salad

Really an “anything goes” kind of salad, adapted from LLL’s “Whole Foods for the Whole Family

The Salad Ingredients:

  • ½ lb pasta, cooked and drained
  • ½ cup celery, chopped small
  • ¼ cup red or Vidalia onion, finely diced (use spring onions if you don’t have)
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • ½ red or green pepper, diced
  • 2 tins water-packed tuna –no hydrolyzed plant protein – flaked
  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded, a handful
  • ½ cup cucumber, seeded and chopped

The Dressing/dip Ingredients:

This makes way more than the above recipe requires!

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Gently combine all of the salad ingredients.  Add dressing, tossing, until the salad is coated to your preference; it’s likely that you’ll have about 2/3 to ½ of the dressing left over.  Refrigerate until flavours mingle.

The left over dressing makes a great raw veggie dip.


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Filed under food, Grains, Main Course, Protein, Salad Dressing, Salads, Vegetables

Grilled Chicken Kebabs, with Dressing and Dip

Read through the entire recipe before beginning, as there are several steps and components to this meal.  Six hours maximum is required for marinating the chicken, but you may marinate for three hours if necessary.

Total amounts of common ingredients – that require prep — for all three components:

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

The Chicken:

  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes

Whisk together yogurt, olive oil, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.  Transfer to a large ziplock freezer bag, and add cubed chicken.  Marinate, refrigerated, for approximately 6 hours, or a minimum of 3 hours.  Do not marinate longer than 6 hours!

The Veggies:

Prepare the following to put on the skewers:

  • 2 red bell peppers , cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion. peeled, with outer 3 layers cut into 1-inch pieces*

The Kebabs:

When six hours have passed, remove chicken from the marinade and discard remaining marinade.

Thread each skewer with the vegetables and chicken as follows:

  1. 2 pieces pepper
  2. 1 piece onion
  3. 2 pieces chicken
  4. 1 piece onion
  5. 2 pieces pepper
  6. 1 piece onion
  7. 2 pieces chicken
  8. 1 piece onion
  9. 2 pieces pepper
  10. 1 piece onion
  11. 2 pieces chicken
  12. 1 piece onion

The Dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Whisk all ingredients together, and set aside for later.

The Grilling:

Grill the kebabs over high heat, on all four sides, for 3 minutes per side.

Transfer to a serving platter, and brush the kebabs all over with the dressing.  Serve with the following dipping sauce.

The Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded then finely chopped

Whisk the yogurt, olive oil, garlic, basil, mint, salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl.  Stir in the cucumber.  Let rest for at least 30 minutes, or refrigerated, for several hours.

*Cut the root and growing end of the onion off, peel it, then cut onion in half lengthwise.  Remove the centre of the onion, leaving the three outer layers intact.  Cut each half lengthwise into two pieces.  Now cut each chunk of onion into three pieces lengthwise.  Cut each of the remaining pieces crosswise into three pieces.  Aim for approximately 1″ squares which are three layers thick.  Save the centre of the onion for another purpose.

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Filed under food, Main Course, Marinade, Protein, Vegetables

Raita/Cucumber Salad

We eat a few different versions of raita, but this one goes nicely with these beef kebabs.

  • 1 English cucumber, halved, seeded and chopped finely
  • 1 cup yogurt, plain
  • 1 tablespoon mint, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced

Mix all of the ingredients together; eat within an hour or two.

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Filed under food, Main Course, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Indian Flavoured Kebabs

Soak 9 bamboo skewers in water while making the meat mixture.

Mix together in a large bowl:

  • 1 cup very finely minced onion (1 large)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • one 2 ½“ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Add and mix with hands until evenly combined:

  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef

Shape this mixture into 9 flattened sausage shapes, approximately 4” long, 1 ½“ wide, and 1” high.   Carefully thread each sausage shape onto a skewer.

Grill on a barbecue until browned and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.  You may also broil them in the oven, for 3 to 5 minutes per side, using a slotted broiling tray.

Serve wrapped in a warm naan or pita, or with basmati rice, and raita.

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Filed under food, Main Course, Protein