Tag Archives: Middle Eastern Food

A Little bit of Chicken Fry Hummus Pita

A Little bit of Chicken Fry Hummus Pita

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken-Fry Greekish Pita
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This is a mash up recipe that is sort of Greek, Middle Eastish with an American twist. I think. Recently I was in Canada and one of my buddies wanted to take me to this Shwarama joint for lunch. It was like a Chipotle or Freebirds but served Greek food. Unrelated to that experience, I recently saw a review of a new joint in town and the picture had french fries in the burrito.

So I decided that the potatoes would balance out the lemony garlicy chicken I was making so came up with a Pita filled with fresh made hummus, grilled chicken and french fries that were seasoned with my fry seasoning. It turned out great. The hummus and chicken pared well given the lemon and garlic and then the fries give it a nice texture balance but also some seasoning depth with my Fry Seasoning. It was really good and might be a nice departure from tacos, burritos, sandwich or hamburger.

Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Pita
Chicken Breasts (cubed into kebab size)
Marinade
1 lemon juiced and zested
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbs of Worchestershire
1/4 cup of Ranch Dressing
2 tsp of Tabasco

Packaged Shoestring Fries
My French Fry Seasoning https://whiskeynwry.com/?s=Fry+Seasoning

Hummus

2 cans of garbanzo beans (reserve liquid if needed to thin it out)
1/4 cup of Tahini paste
4 cloves of garlic
2 lemons juiced (add a little at a time and taste)
2 tbs of Olive Oil
1 tbs of Tabasco
pinch of cumin
Kosher Salt

Directions:
1. Make your hummus by adding the beans, olive oil, tahini, garlic, tabasco into a food processor and slowly add your spices and lemon juice tasting along the way. Store it in the fridge until needed.

2. Go ahead and fire up your french fries and cook according to the package. About 3/4 of the way through the cooking process, sprinkle the fry salt and give it a toss. Finish cooking your fries.

3. Get your grill fired up and skewer your chicken pieces leaving a little space between them. Don’t smash them up or you might end up with some raw chicken or have to grill it longer. I cooked them for about 8 minutes over the fire to put some char on them. Then I moved them to other side of the grill and cooked until done.

4. The pitas I bought didn’t have a pocket so I had to go with the fold over. I heated the pita in the microwave to soften it up. I spread hummus over the entire inside. I added my seasoned fries and then my chicken. Topped it with a little more hummus and served.
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Middle Eastern Chicken Kebobs, Turmeric Rice with Naan

Middle Eastern Chicken Kebobs, Turmeric Rice with Naan

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Middle Eastern Chicken Kebobs, Turmeric Rice with Naan
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So I made a homemade tandoor oven for summer kebab cooking. So on my first fire I went Middle Eastern and found a recipe from a delightful site called Once Upon a Chef http://www.onceuponachef.com/ by Jenn Segal. Not sure how I found her but she has some great looking food with great pictures.

Also when I watched the video to build my tandoor the guy was slapping dough on the inner walls of the pot to bake the Naan bread. So I wanted to try making some Naan bread and went to my favorite Indian chef Aarti Sequeira.

Finally I took my bone broth/stock and made a turmeric and saffron rice pilaf. I am going to leave that recipe off because it’s basically the same recipe I used prior but instead of water I used stock/broth and added some turmeric and saffron.

The chicken turned out great as did the Naan. I am not sure why I feel this way but when anything bread related turns out it feels like an accomplishment. Baking and breads remain mystical because of the steps and necessary measuring etc.

We enjoyed it with some Rahr beer brewed in Ft. Worth. I went with the Amber Red. Good stuff!!

Let’s cook
Ingredients
Kebabs
2 chicken breasts (cubed into large bite sized pieces)
1 cup of plain greek yogurt
juice of one lemon
5-6 minced garlic
1 tbs of paprika
2 tsp of cumin
2 tsp of cayenne
2 tbs of pickle juice
2 tbs of olive oil
1 tbs of Kosher Salt
1 tbs of Black Pepper

Naan by Aarti
1 tsp of dry yeast
2 tsp of sugar
2 cups of AP flour (sifted)
1/8 tsp baking powder
2 tbs of greek yogurt
2 tbs of olive oil
3/4 cup of warm water
Butter and salt for topping

Directions:
1. Best to marinate your chicken 24hrs. IF you can’t do your best to marinate it as long as possible. Take all your ingredients and mix them in a bowl. Taste it. Adjust as necessary. Cube your chicken and put it a bag or in a bowl and cover.
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2. Skewer your chicken and if you can leave a little room between each piece. Cook them in your homemade tandoor or grill if you don’t have a tandoor.

3. Naan bread. You need start this about 4hrs prior to eating because the yeast has to do its thing.
Take a bowl or measuring cup and fill it with 3/4 cup of water. Warm it up in microwave for 15 seconds. Add sugar and yeast. Stir and let it get frothy for 8 mins. IMG_9976

Take your other dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar, baking powder) and sift into a large bowl.

Back to your yeast brew and wet ingredients. Add olive oil and yogurt to the yeast brew and stir to break up the yogurt. Now add to your dry ingredients and combine until you have a sticky mess.

I turn my oven on to 150 degrees for 30 seconds and then turn it off. It gets just warm enough and I cover my dough with plastic wrap and a towel and put it in the oven (Turned off). Just a shot of heat in there. Let it sit for 4 hours.

When ready to make it split this dough into six equal pieces. When ready to make use a cast iron skillet or your tandoor and roll each piece out to about 1/4 inch thickness and slap it on the wall or cast iron. It will bubble up a bit and should be ready to eat after 3-4 minutes. Top with butter and a little pinch of salt.
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Shish Tawook Chicken Kabob with Hummus, Rice Pilaf and Naan

Shish Tawook Chicken with Hummus, Rice Pilaf and Naan

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Shish Tawook Chicken Kabob with Hummus, Rice Pilaf and Naan
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We used to live in the “M” street area when we were newlyweds. We gave the restaurants up and down Greenville Ave a good amount of business. One joint we discovered is Ali Baba which fancies itself as Middle Eastern fare. Candidly I didn’t venture too far on their menu outside of lamb and chicken. We always split the Shish Tawook (Taouk) and a bowl of hummus.

I love this stuff so much. It’s lemony, garlicky, savory moist chicken kabob. The way I eat it is like a Middle Eastern fajita. I spread the hummus on my Naan bread and then top with rice then Mediterranean pickles and chicken.
It’s a great conversation meal as you talk and tear off your naan and build each bite according to your tastes and ratios. Sometimes more hummus, or just chicken and rice or hummus and chicken.

The recipes I used for these were just sensational. My hummus, chicken and rice were absolutely perfect. Dare I say as good as the real deal? I do. Think about Greek food’s cousin if you haven’t experienced Middle Eastern or specifically Lebanese food.
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Ingredients:
Store bought Naan bread

Shish Tawook Chicken Kabob
4 chicken breasts (diced into kabob pieces)
1 cup of fresh lemon juice
15 cloves of minced garlic
6 tbs of plain Greek yogurt
6 tbs of olive oil
2 tbs of red wine vinegar
1 tbs of tomato paste
2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp of ginger powder
1 tsp of oregano
1 tsp of paprika
Pinch of Kosher salt and Cayenne (optional)

Hummus from scratch
1 lbs of dried chickpeas
6 cloves of garlic
1 cup of tahini paste
3/4-1 cup of lemon juice
Olive oil
Paprika
Kosher Salt

Lebanese Rice Pilaf
1.5 cups white rice
1/4 clarified butter
1/2 cup of vermicelli pasta (broken into 1 inch pieces)
3 cups of boiling water
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
There are three recipes here so I will take each of them separately but if you make this one night you will soak your chickpeas and marinate your chicken over night (12hrs min). The day of cooking it will take about an hour for the chickpeas to cook so while that is cooking you can do all your prep. Then I suggest making the hummus and then knock out the rice and while it cooks you can grill your chicken. Those will come together at once.

1. Hummus – first off this is time consuming but really good. For many it might be just easier and certainly faster to buy it. I wanted to see how it turned out doing it from scratch. Rinse the chickpeas and then put them into a bowl filled with water and 1/2 tsp of baking soda. 12 hours. Rinse thoroughly and then add them to a pot with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer with lid on for 60-90 minutes. You should be able to smush it with your fingers(cooled first)

When the chickpeas are done. Strain the water and rinse well. Add to food processor with a cup of warm water. Let it grind smooth for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and half the tahini, salt pepper, paprika, and half of lemon juice. Grind for another 3 minutes. Taste it and add lemon juice, olive oil and tahini a little at a time. Tasting as you go. I refrigerated it to serve cold/cool. IMG_9776

2. Rice Pilaf – Measure your white rice and put into a colander and run water over it until it runs clear. Set aside.
Now take a good sized pot and melt your butter. (clarified/ghee if possible). Break your pasta into one inch pieces and add to the butter. Put three cups of water in a microwave safe bowl and heat to a boil while your stirring your pasta. You want to put a nice brown color on your pasta. That said be careful not to burn it. I stopped a little short so mine could have gone longer but the taste wasn’t compromised. Once pasta is browned add the white rice and stir for 2 minutes.

Add the boiling water and stir once. The whole pot should be boiling. Cover with a lid and turn it on low. Don’t touch it for 15 minutes. Precisely at 15 minutes remove from the burner and fluff with a fork. Perfection!!!
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3. Chicken – While your rice is simmering. Grill your chicken on a kabob. You can add other veggies if you want. I used a red onion I had on hand. Get some nice grill marks. Add the chicken to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam and rest. IMG_9769IMG_9775

Serve all of this together with warm Naan bread. So dang delicious.

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