Home Page

Monday, July 28, 2008

Turkish Chicken Thighs

This recipe was fabulous! I made this for the first time the other night, and it was a huge hit. I have been experimenting quite a bit lately with yoghurt based marinades for meat, because they really tenderize without adding much additional fat to your meal... and well, because they taste really good!

I found this recipe for Turkish Chicken Thighs on the website Eating Well which has tons of great healthy recipes. I had to go out and buy some hot paprika (I found "Hot Hungarian Paprika") and WOW, was it good. It was so much more flavourful than regular paprika. I threw all the rest of my regular paprika out, and I will only be using "Hot Hungarian Paprika" from now on.

Right after I mixed the marinade and tasted it, it had quite a kick to it, and I thought, "uh oh, the kids will never eat this", but after 24 hours in the fridge marinating, it mellowed and the kids never complained about the heat.

The chicken was tender and juicy and the flavour was really great.

The kids were really confused by the name of the recipe, "Turkish Chicken Thighs". Claire said, "well Mom what is it? Like, make up your mind, TURKEY or CHICKEN...." (yes she really did say "like" and she rolled her eyes too). So I explained that Turkey is a country and this recipe combines flavours and spices that are sometimes used in Turkish cuisine. Marco pipes up, "So turkey's eat chicken?" Sigh. This made me think I should try making a Turducken sometime.... THAT would be a fun one to explain.

Turkish Chicken Thighs

8 skinless chicken thighs (I used boneless)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp hot paprika
1 1/2 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix together lemon juice, yogurt, garlic, ginger, paprika, mint and salt.

2. Place the chicken in a ziploc bag and pour the yogurt mixture over the chicken. Close the bag and mush it around.

3. Refrigerate overnight.

4. Preheat barbeque grill to med-high. Remove chicken from ziploc bag and discard marinade. Grill until chicken is juicy but cooked through (about 15 minutes).

5. Alternately, you could place the chicken on a broiler rack in the oven at 400F for about 15 minutes until cooked. Serve immediately.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Chicken Shawarma

Mario and I have always been big fans of Lebanese food. In particular, we love shawarmas. There is no shortage of Lebanese take out places here in Ottawa where we live and when we were in University, we frequented many of them (usually in the early hours of the morning).

I have experimented several times with making shawarmas at home, but I think it's just one of those things that you will never quite get right without the proper equipment, techniques and of course the secret recipe for that amazing garlic sauce (yum).

When I saw this recipe for chicken shawarmas in the July 2008 issue of Cooking Light magazine, I knew I had to try it. It didn't quite have the taste of an authentic Lebanese shawarma, but we thought this recipe was very good in its own right. The marinade on the chicken was great, and I could eat my chicken breasts just marinated and grilled this way anytime. The sauce was very good, and was probably way healthier than the sauce you would normally get on a shawarma.

Overall, we thought this recipe was a keeper.

Chicken Shawarma
adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, July 2008

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into strips

1/2 cup fat free plain yoghurt
2 tbsp tahini
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced

Other ingredients:
Pita bread
Chopped lettuce
Tomato slices
Chopped red onion

1. Combine first 6 ingredients of marinade. Cut chicken into strips (I cut each breast into 3 strips) and pour marinade over chicken in a Ziploc bag. Marinade in fridge all day (or overnight).

2. To prepare sauce, combine yoghurt and next 4 ingredients. Mix well. The sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge.

3. Preheat barbeque grill. Shake the excess marinade off the chicken and thread on barbeque skewers. Grill for approximately 4 minutes per side until chicken is cooked through.

4. Place pita bread on the grill for a minute or two to warm.

5. To serve, place lettuce tomato and onion on top of the pita bread. Top with chicken and drizzle with sauce.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Salami Cones

Well, it's been an unforgivably long time since I've written a post, but rather than going into a whole list of excuses (most of them would be made up anyway), I'm just going to give you all a nice new recipe.

I've gotten a lot of e-mails over the past few months, hundreds probably, and to answer the most common question I've been asked.... YES, I am STILL hungry!!

This is a nice little appetizer recipe that I've made tons of times. It's a little finicky to put together, but well worth the effort for all the compliments you will receive.

Salami Cones

1 4oz package of cream cheese
1 cup finely shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1-3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp very finely chopped red pepper
1 package (at least 12 slices) hard salami, thinly sliced
baby dill pickles

1. Mix softened cream cheese with Monterrey Jack and red pepper.

2. Mix in milk. Add one tablespoon at a time until mixture reaches the consistency of cake icing.

3. Spoon into pastry bag fitted with large nozzle (this is why you have to chop the red pepper very fine, or they will clog the opening).

4. Cut each salami slice into 2. Roll each half into a cone and fill with cream cheese mixture. Secure with toothpick and a chunk of baby dill.