Posts Tagged ‘Middle Eastern’

Skewering meat dates back forever when soldiers would skewer their meat and vegetables with their swords in order to cook them over an open fire. In fact, this method of cooking was preferred because it required no additional equipment to prepare meals for armies as they devastating their opposition.

But in the 21st century, I hate kabobs. I really do. They take too long to skewer, the meat and vegetables often placed alongside rarely cook at the same pace and the quality of finished product is never nearly as good as grilling each item individually. I’d wager that I spend the same amount of time standing over a grill turning each vegetable and protein as I would standing in my kitchen skewering meat and hoping that I didn’t send one of them through my hand.

This is a Thai inspired Coconut Chicken with Grilled Vegetables is easy to prepare and even easier to cook.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/3 c coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp green curry paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Note: You can substitute 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger and 1 small jalapeño pepper for the green curry paste. The more jalapeño you put in, the spicier your chicken will be.

1. Take all ingredients except the chicken and place them in a large zippered freezer bag. Zip the bag and shake around to combine the ingredients. You may have to squeeze the green curry paste a bit to break it up.

Note: You can also choose to place the ingredients in a bowl and then whisk before putting inside of the bag. This will create more dishes to clean, but it will accomplish a more thorough blend.

2. Place the chicken in the bag with the marinade ingredients. Remove as much air as possible and place in the refrigerator. Allow the marinade to work its magic for 4 hours or longer.

Note: I always like to place my marinating bags inside a larger container just in case there is a leak. This will take up more space in your refrigerator, but it’ll safe you any potential cross-contamination in the future.

3. Chop the vegetables into chunky bites. I like quartering peppers and grilling them as is for easy turning. Soft flesh vegetables like onions and zucchini should be cut large so they don’t fall apart on the grill. Toss the vegetables with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with a little kosher salt.

4. Spray your grill with non-stick spray before grilling. Allow the vegetables to char before turning. The chicken will be pretty tender due to the marinade, so be gentle when flipping them over to finish cooking. Chicken should cook for around 2 to 3 minutes on each side, depending on how big your chunks are.

5. Serve hot with a filling side dish like Bulgar Pilaf.

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You’re going to have to trust me on this one and try this. Don’t think about, just do it. Forget the fact that bulgar rhymes with vulgar. Forget that it’s a whole grain and 1 cup of it contains more energy and nutrients than the grains you consume in an entire day. Forget that you are going to find this in the organic or natural food aisle of your local grocery store. Forget that this is a staple of Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine where people eat healthier and live longer. This is good stuff all the way around.

I was introduced to bulgar through the Power Foods cookbook put out by Weight Watchers. No, I myself am not a Weight Watchers member, but I was cooking with a friend of mine who had this cookbook. I found the cookbook itself to be really good and the recipes inside introduced me to healthy ways of incorporating a lot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern spices into my everyday cooking. The idea behind the Power Foods cookbook is to eat more meals that contain power foods which fill you up faster and take longer to digest so that you don’t go back an hour or two later to consume more.

This bulgar pilaf combines the sweetness of golden raisins with the light, nutty taste of bulgar complimented by various spices used through the Middle East. I strongly encourage you to give this recipe a try as a side to your next dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2c chicken stock
  • 1 1/2c medium, quick-cooking bulgar
  • 1/2c golden raisins
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

1. In a medium sauce pot, place 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Place the onions in the pan and sauté until nearly translucent. Add the garlic and combine until the garlic is fragrant.

2. Add the spices to the pan. Combine with the onions and garlic and cook until the spices are fragrant. Add the chicken stock to the pan and turn up the heat to high. Bring to a boil. Add the bulgar and raisins to the pan, cover with a tight lid, and turn off the heat.

3. Allow the bulgar to sit for 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve warm.