Chicken Shawarma

I haven’t been able to get enough Indian or Middle Eastern food lately. I’ve been craving the stuff. Everything from potato aloo, to saag paneer, to all kinds of curries and different sauces and spices. I think that is one of the things I love about that cuisine, and it is getting to the point where it is competing with other cuisines I love so much such as Thai and Mexican. As you recall, I recently made a batch of shawarma spice seasoning, only to be used, for the most part, this recipe. Chicken shawarma is something you need to make, and traditionally done over a spit, I decided to bake mine as the weather on this particular day was not in my favor.

Shawarma can be many different types of meat, but it essentially relates to a sandwich. Think of your favorite gyro place where they are slicing meats from a spit, and placing it inside of warm pita or flatbread, along with sauces and vegetables. That’s shawarma, and this is my take on it. Did I mention my entire family was totally in love with this?

Chicken Shawarma Sandwich Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thick strips
  • 3 tbsp shawarma spice seasoning
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite hummus
  • 1/4 cup of tzatziki sauce
  • 2 tbsp tahini sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • sliced cucumbers, to your liking
  • sliced tomatoes, to your liking
  • 1 whole pita bread, warmed
  • 1/2 cup cooked french fries, per sandwich, optional

OK, let’s get this going. Now you have options here. You can go with adding the seasoned strips to a skewer and adding them onto a grill, or you can bake them, as I did. You decide.

Start by marinading your chicken. To a mixing bowl, add the chicken, and the oil. Toss to coat, then add in the shawarma spice mix. Toss again to make sure all of the chicken is coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Chicken Shawarma Ingredients

During this time, prepare your tzatziki, hummus, and tahini sauce. They all go pretty quickly, and can be used throughout the week. That’s always a great thing.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Add the chicken to a baking sheet, and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Once cooked, let it cool slightly, then chop into bite sized pieces.

Keep the oven on, and cook your french fries.

Heat a skillet on high heat, then add in the chicken, to get a nice sear on the pieces, tossing along the way. Once you get a nice sear, remove from the heat, and set aside until you are ready to make your sandwich.

Take your warmed pita and smear on the hummus.

Top with pieces of the chicken, drizzle on the tahini sauce, then top with the tomatoes and cucumbers. Add a couple of dollops of tzatziki sauce, the top with the french fries and drizzle with some more that tahini sauce.

Now you are ready to dig in. Fold that pita, open wide, and take this bad boy on. This chicken shawarma is so good, and the entire flavor combination just makes this an awesome one. The chicken itself is so warm and addicting in the spices, then you get that creamy hummus, and the garlic tahini. Whoa, this one is great, and again my entire family devoured them. A must make if you are looking for great all-around Middle Eastern flavors and a killer sandwich to boot. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Shawarma
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwiches
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thick strips
  • 3 tbsp shawarma spice seasoning
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • ½ cup of your favorite hummus
  • ¼ cup of tzatziki sauce
  • 2 tbsp tahini sauce
  • ½ cup shredded lettuce
  • sliced cucumbers, to your liking
  • sliced tomatoes, to your liking
  • 1 whole pita bread, warmed
  • ½ cup cooked french fries, per sandwich, optional
Instructions
  1. OK, let’s get this going. Now you have options here. You can go with adding the seasoned strips to a skewer and adding them onto a grill, or you can bake them, as I did. You decide.
  2. Start by marinading your chicken. To a mixing bowl, add the chicken, and the oil. Toss to coat, then add in the shawarma spice mix. Toss again to make sure all of the chicken is coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  3. During this time, prepare your tzatziki, hummus, and tahini sauce. They all go pretty quickly, and can be used throughout the week. That’s always a great thing.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Add the chicken to a baking sheet, and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Once cooked, let it cool slightly, then chop into bite sized pieces.
  6. Keep the oven on, and cook your french fries.
  7. Heat a skillet on high heat, then add in the chicken, to get a nice sear on the pieces, tossing along the way. Once you get a nice sear, remove from the heat, and set aside until you are ready to make your sandwich.
  8. Take your warmed pita and smear on the hummus.
  9. Top with pieces of the chicken, drizzle on the tahini sauce, then top with the tomatoes and cucumbers. Add a couple of dollops of tzatziki sauce, the top with the french fries and drizzle with some more that tahini sauce.

 

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Mustard Glazed Salmon

I’ve been trying to serve more fish to my family. The only problem with this is fish is so freaking expensive right now. Actually, what is not expensive any more? I do all of the grocery shopping, and I look at prices all of the time. Everything is going up! I often joke with my wife that we need to sell our house, and take whatever profit and buy some land, and raise our own animals, and grow our own produce, among other things. Wishful thinking I suppose. Regardless, some nice salmon was on sale the other day, and I decided to pick up a fillet. As I was not certain what I was going to do with it, and as I was leaning towards smoking it, I decided to go another route, and coat this bad boy with a nice mustard glaze.

Mustard Glazed Salmon Recipe

 

I don’t know what I loved more about this mustard glazed salmon, the glaze, or the crispy skin. Trust me, this was a huge hit with my wife and kids, well two of the kids.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 lb salmon fillet
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Start by adding the mustard, honey, and garlic to a small mixing bowl. Mix really well and set it to the side.

Next, heat a large skillet on medium heat. Let it heat until it begins to lightly smoke.

Add in the oil, give it a swirl, and then add in the salmon fillet, skin side down. Season with salt.

Let this cook for about 4 minutes, then with a large spatula, carefully flip it over. The skin should be nice and crisp.

How to make mustard glazed salmonNext, start brushing the mustard and honey mixture on top of the salmon. Continue to brush for the next few minutes. Add in the pad of butter, and swirl it in the skillet. Cook until the salmon is fully cooked, about 10 minutes total.

Remove it from the skillet, and pour over any additional sauce.

My family devoured this one. As my wife is not a fan of mustard (I did not tell her that was part of the glaze), she loved it. We ate this for dinner, and lunch the following day. I took the honor of eating the crispy salmon skin. I love that stuff. So if you are you looking for a great salmon recipe, give this one a shot. Hope you enjoy!

Mustard Glazed Salmon
Author: 
Recipe type: Fish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1¼ lb salmon fillet
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the mustard, honey, and garlic to a small mixing bowl. Mix really well and set it to the side.
  2. Next, heat a large skillet on medium heat. Let it heat until it begins to lightly smoke.
  3. Add in the oil, give it a swirl, and then add in the salmon fillet, skin side down. Season with salt.
  4. Let this cook for about 4 minutes, then with a large spatula, carefully flip it over. The skin should be nice and crisp.
  5. Next, start brushing the mustard and honey mixture on top of the salmon. Continue to brush for the next few minutes. Add in the pad of butter, and swirl it in the skillet. Cook until the salmon is fully cooked, about 10 minutes total.
  6. Remove it from the skillet, and pour over any additional sauce.

 

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Indian Dabeli Sandwich

Oh, the dabeli sandwich. I should say ‘get into da belly’. I’m sure, and maybe not, that many of you have not heard of a dabeli, but it is this funky Indian sandwich, think of it as a slider, that it’s main ingredient is mashed potatoes. Yep, a mashed potato sandwich. This thing is so crazy, but it is one of India’s popular street and snack foods. This sandwich is really unique, due to the fact that texturally it is a bit off-putting but thankfully you get some added texture from the crushed peanuts, and sev. Dabeli and Sev. Two new words for you in this culinary world.

I made this sandwich only to use up leftover potato I had from making those poutine potato skins, so if you are looking for an interesting sandwich that is packed full of flavor and spices, give this one a try.

Did I mention that cilantro chutney?

Indian Dabeli Sandwich Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the Sandwich:

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cup of cooked mashed potatoes
  • 1 pinch of salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chutney
  • 1/4 cup of roasted peanuts, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup of Sev (Indian chickpea crunchy noodles)
  • 2 small (slider style) hamburger buns

Ingredients for the Spice Mix:

  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp whole black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

OK, let’s start.

Heat a small skillet on medium heat. Add all of the spice mix ingredients, and gently stir, cooking for only about 3 minutes, if that. As soon as you start to get all of those aromas, it is time to turn the heat off and go to the next step.

Add the spice mixture to a spice grinder and pulse into you have a nice powder mixture.

Set to the side. This mixture will be added when we finish cooking the already cooked and mashed potatoes.

Ingredients for making Indian Dabeli

Next, wipe out the skillet. Return to a medium heat, and add in the canola oil.

Toss in the cumin seeds, and let them fry for about thirty seconds, then toss in the mashed potatoes. Give this a good stir, then add in the spice mix, and give that a good stir.

Cook this mixture for a couple of minutes, then add in the sugar, salt, and water.

Continue to stir until the potato mixture forms into a nice, thick paste and all of the water has evaporated into the potato mixture.

During this time, heat a larger skillet on medium to high heat, and add the buns to lightly toast them. Remember, this one it all about the texture. You do not want soft, on soft, or at least in my opinion you do not.

OK, let’s build the sandwich.

Take the bottom lightly toasted bun, and and half of the potato mixture. Top with half of the peanuts, half of the cilantro chutney, and then the sev. Where has sev been my whole life (or this sandwich for that matter)? Top with the other bun, and then repeat and build your second dabeli.

Dig in. Now I admitted that this is a funky sandwich. Texturally it’s bizarre, but bizarre in such a way that those Indian spices just blow you away. It’s a punch, not only with the cilantro chutney with it’s brightness, but those spices… Whoa. I can see why this is one of India’s favorite snack. Don’t even get me started on so many of the other awesome Indian dishes out there (well, maybe you should), but I’m sure those are coming down the road anyway. Anyway, let me know your thoughts on this one. Like, or no like.

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Cilantro Chutney

It was not too long ago where I ventured out to one of Milwaukee’s hidden gems (Best Food Store) to pickup some lentils and spices, among other things. I’ve written about this place before, and I love it. I love pretty much everything about an ethnic store, whether it be Latino, Asian, or Indian, or anything European. With that said, I’m a big fan of Indian spices. The cumin, the coriander, the turmeric. I could go on and on. I haven’t mentioned the pickled vegetables, and the chutneys either. Chutney is a popular dipping sauce, or condiment if you will for many Indian dishes. They are vibrant, and full of flavor whether they are of the dry or wet kind. In this particular recipe, and one of my favorite dishes, I used cilantro.

Cilantro Chutney Recipe

This cilantro chutney is so good in so many ways. A dipping sauce, or a condiment for an upcoming recipe that really makes it stand out. It’s vibrant and bold to say the least, and is perfect if you have a a bunch of cilantro to use up.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, washed
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 whole green chilies, stems removed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Simple stuff.

Add everything to a food processor or blender.

Cilantro Chutney Ingredients

Pulse until you have a smooth sauce. Add more water if you need to. Taste, and season with any additional salt if you prefer. I think the 1/4 teaspoon of salt is just right.

You can use this cilantro chutney in so many different ways. Think of mixing it with some mayonnaise for sandwiches or for a dipping sauce, or even better, mix it with some yogurt and toss some hot fried chicken wings with it, or wait for an upcoming Indian recipe that will get your taste buds fired up. Regardless, this is like the Indian pesto, and it’s really, really good. You can store this in the refrigerator for about 4-6 days. Hope you enjoy!

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