Shawrma Seasoning Spice Mix

It was not too long ago when I decided to stop by a local fast food place called Golden Gyros because I had a craving for a great gyro, and this place got great reviews. The only other places are in downtown Milwaukee, of which I do not want to drive to just to get a gyro. So when I went into this small place, it was packed with people ordering food. As my default decision was to go for the gyro, others were ordering the chicken shawrma. As I went to order, I was almost drawn in to ordering the chicken, but then the gyro platter spilled out of my mouth. A good decision to say the least, and now they are probably my favorite in town, but I could not get the shawrma off of my mind. That’s when I decided to come up with the spice blend and make it my own.

Shawrma Seasoning Spice Mix Recipe

This stuff is really delicious and adds just the right earthiness to any Middle Eastern meal. I’ve been using this on chicken and beef and everyone loves it.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp all spice
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Add the cumin seeds and black peppercorns to a small skillet and cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Stir along the way.

Next, add everything to a spice grinder, and grind until you have a fine powder.

Shawrma Spice Mix Ingredients

Sprinkle this on chicken, beef, vegetables, or lamb, heck even fish before cooking on the grill or oven.

If you can imagine all of those spices mixed together, geez the aroma alone is awesome. Store in an air tight container and use throughout any grilled recipes. Hope you enjoy!

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Asiago Jalapeno Bagel Burger

A mouthful not only in the title of this one, but a delicious mouthful when biting into this mammoth of a burger.  There are always different ways to serve up burgers, and for the last year or so I have been going with the smashed burger route on a large cast iron skillet. I’ve said it before, but anytime I ask my kids what they would like to eat, the oldest always shouts out ‘burgers’. As my wife had other plans to help out with her parents this past weekend, I decided to opt-in on the burger suggestion as it was only going to be me and my son hanging out that night.

So, as I went to the store to shop for the ingredients, I decided that I would get some nice rolls from the bakery. I was going to buy two of these awesome butter top buns that are just perfect when holding up to big, juicy burgers, but then something grabbed my attention; the asiago jalapeno bagel. I’ve never thought of using a bagel as the bun, but now after experimenting with it, I’m sold.

Asiago Jalapeno Bagel Burger

Now you can go any direction with your burger, whether plain, cheese, onions, etc, but I thought this one worked out well.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients: (makes one serving)

  • 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 3/4 inch sliced red onion
  • 2 slices of cooked bacon
  • 2 slices of American Cheese
  • head lettuce to your liking
  • 1 Asiago Jalapeno Bagel, sliced
  • pickles to your liking
  • brown gravy, optional
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste

Start by forming your patty and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. While those rest, prepare the rest of your ingredients, as well as get your charcoal lit for your grill. If you are not using charcoal, then use your gas grill, or stove and large skillet. Again, no preference here.

Once your grill is nice and hot, add the burger. Cook to your desired temperature (I prefer medium with a bit of warm pink in the center), but when you flip, add the American cheese to get it nice and melted.

I also place the onion on the grill for a few minutes, as well as the asiago jalapeno bagel to warm those through.

asiago-jalapeno-bagel-burger-ingredients

Now I stated brown gravy. If you don’t have any, don’t worry (but it did give a nice, additional flavor to this burger. I only used it because I had some leftover from making my poutine potato skins.

Let’s build this burger.

Take the bottom part of your bagel and smear the warm brown gravy onto it. Add the sliced red onion, the bacon, the burger, the lettuce, and then a couple of pickles. Top with the top of the bagel, press down, then get into this thing.

I was blown away with every bite. The bagel in itself was exceptionally good, but the combination of all of this, along with some of that mild bite from the jalapeno, just made this one of my favorite burgers. I’ve made enough in my time, but seriously this is up there as being on of my top favorites. So the next time you are cooking burgers, think of the bagel as the bun. It was a real game changer. I hope you enjoy!

Asiago Jalapeno Bagel Burger
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ lb ground chuck
  • ¾ inch sliced red onion
  • 2 slices of cooked bacon
  • 2 slices of American Cheese
  • head lettuce to your liking
  • 1 Asiago Jalapeno Bagel, sliced
  • pickles to your liking
  • brown gravy, optional
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by forming your patty and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. While those rest, prepare the rest of your ingredients, as well as get your charcoal lit for your grill. If you are not using charcoal, then use your gas grill, or stove and large skillet. Again, no preference here.
  2. Once your grill is nice and hot, add the burger. Cook to your desired temperature (I prefer medium with a bit of warm pink in the center), but when you flip, add the American cheese to get it nice and melted.
  3. I also place the onion on the grill for a few minutes, as well as the asiago jalapeno bagel to warm those through.
  4. Now I stated brown gravy. If you don’t have any, don’t worry (but it did give a nice, additional flavor to this burger. I only used it because I had some leftover from making my poutine potato skins.
  5. Let’s build this burger.
  6. Take the bottom part of your bagel and smear the warm brown gravy onto it. Add the sliced red onion, the bacon, the burger, the lettuce, and then a couple of pickles. Top with the top of the bagel, press down, then get into this thing.

 

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Grilled Flatbreads

My in-laws wedding anniversary this past weekend. 46 years. Yep, 46. I think (such a guy not knowing) we have only been married for 14, but 46? Great stuff to say the least. As my wife wanted to plan to take them out for dinner, I made the suggestion to have them over to our house and cook them a comforting meal. I had no idea what I was going to make, but then quickly took into account what I thought they might like. I decided on a couple of appetizers, of which one was a grilled flatbreads, an array of cheese, and a couple of roasted chickens with wild rice and roasted asparagus. The meal turned out great, but one thing I really loved (besides the cheese, of course) was the grilled flatbreads.

How to make Grilled Flatbreads

One thing I love about making these flatbreads, much like making pizza, is that you can go in any direction in terms of cheeses, spices, and sauces. I went with simple flatbreads, using simple ingredients.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • plastic wrap
  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella balls
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dry parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

To a mixing bowl, or KitchenAid, add the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. With your dough attachment, give it a good mix. Use a wooden spoon towards the end to finalize your mix.

On a low mixing speed, slowly add in the water, and mix until the dough begins to form. Once it is loosely formed, turn off the mixer, and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

After ten minutes, increase the speed to medium, and mix for about 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water at a time if the dough seems too dry. Be careful not to add too much water.

Once the dough is kneaded using your mixer, drizzle in the olive oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a room area of your kitchen, and let it rise until it has doubled, if not more, in size.

How to make grilled flatbread

Once the dough has risen, punch it down, and place on a lightly floured board or counter.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces, and gently roll each one into a ball. Let rest for about 20 minutes.

Next, take a ball, lightly flour, and stretch, or roll with a baking pin into a 1/4 to 1/2 inch round, almost like a pizza. It does not have to be perfect.

Heat your grill. If you are using coals or gas, heat only one side. You will cook the pizza over indirect heat. Me? I used my KettlePizza (I love it).

Once heated, finish your flatbreads.

Add the oil and parsley together and give a good mix.

Brush each flatbread with the oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper, then add some mozzarella balls, sliced tomatoes, and fresh dill. Arrange to your liking.

Slide a flatbread onto your grill, and cook, moving around when the dough begins to cook on the bottom.

Cover, and cook until the flatbreads are cooked, about 5-7 minutes per flatbread. Repeat with the remaining flatbreads.

Not only are these a perfect appetizer, but they are also a really great side dish. The dill and lightly charred underside of these really make these flatbreads shine. So happy anniversary in-laws. May you have many years ahead!

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Thai Lemongrass and Ginger Dipping Sauce

I thought it was funny the other day while driving my daughter on one of my errands, that when prompting her with the classic ‘what do you think we should have for dinner?’ question, she immediately responded with lettuce wraps and sticky rice. I find that funny because most kids here age would probably say things like pizza, or hot dogs, or burgers. Sticky rice and lettuce wraps. I’m glad my kids not only are able to experience new things that I make for them, but they appreciate and have fun interacting with things like sticky rice.

Anytime I make sticky rice, I always, always make a batch of some type of dipping sauce. Some of my favorites are the Thai shallot sauce, as well as a Thai three sauce, but one dear to my heart is a very simple sauce that is so addictive. It’s the Thai lemongrass dipping sauce.

Thai Lemongrass Dipping Sauce

This sauce is not only great with dipping your sticky rice into, but you can drizzle it on grilled meats, lettuce wraps, and everything in between.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole Thai bird chilies, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced into a paste
  • 1 tbsp lemongrass, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 1/2 whole lime, juiced
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar

Add everything to a small mixing bowl, and let it sit out on your table until you are ready to serve. How to make a Thai Dipping Sauce

 

You could go as simple as the chilies, garlic, lime, and fish sauce and that still makes an awesome sauce, but the addition of the lemongrass and ginger really enhance this sauce. My daughter, who is curious with various chilies, was dipping a bit of her rice into the sauce, and it’s funny when they do explore the reaction on their faces. This was a bit too hot for my youngest, but I have a feeling years from now she will be answering me when I ask what she would like to eat that it is going to be something along the lines of ‘sticky rice with that spicy dipping sauce’.

Hope you enjoy!

 

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