On the first Sunday of every month I am responsible for preparing the meal for my extended family. This month I asked for requests. You know, to give me an opportunity to hone my skillzzzz. (Not really I just couldn’t think of anything I wanted to make.) Dad suggested I make something easy, "like kebabs" he said. I laughed. Kabebs aren’t really “easy” I mean they aren’t hard, they just take a little bit of time to cut all the meat & veggies and then get them skewered. Of course I said yes and began planning…
First, which meat?...
I have issues with making decisions - remember how the enchiladas came to be? Yeah, so after much deliberation I narrowed down my options to shrimp, lamb, beef & chicken. (Don’t worry I’ve got this on my list of things to discuss with my therapist.)
Next I needed seasonings and marinades...
Salt and pepper w/ olive oil for the lamb
Carne Asada marinade for the beef
Annie’s marinade for chicken gyros – nope ran out of time, chicken gets a bottled teriyaki marinade.
Veggies on the skewers (onions and bell peppers on the red meat)
How about pineapple on the chicken? Sure!
That all seems to work. Anything else?
Yes, a side of Asparagus Gratin
Perfect! Thanks for the suggestion Dad…now please get a new grill so that I can cook the meat evenly next time. ;)
Whole-Wheat Pita Bread
Yield: 8 pitas
2¼ tsp. active dry yeast
1 tbsp. honey
1¼ cups warm water (105˚-115˚ F), divided
1½ cups bread flour, divided
1½ - 2 cups whole-wheat flour, divided
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Cornmeal, for sprinkling (optional)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, honey and ½ cup of the water. Stir gently to dissolve the yeast.
- Once yeast is dissolved, whisk ¼ cup of the bread flour and ¼ cup of the whole-wheat flour into the yeast mixture until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or lid and set aside until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes.
- Remove the plastic wrap and return the bowl to the mixer stand, fitted with the dough hook. Add in the remaining ¾ cup of warm water, 1¼ cups bread flour, 1¼ cups whole-wheat flour, olive oil and salt. Dough should be slightly loose but more flour may be needed in order for the dough to come together properly. Knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
- Shape dough into a round a transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and let rise in a warm draft-free place, about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk. (if you get busy and cannot proceed with the recipe after the dough has doubled, deflate the dough, shape it into a round and let it double in bulk again – usually 30- 45 minutes)
- Place an oven rack in the middle position. Place a baking stone on the rack and preheat to 500˚ F.
- Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. With a bench scraper or serrated knife, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- With a rolling pin or your hands, flatten each ball into a disk that is a 6 ½ to 7 inches in diameter. Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet or other work surface lightly sprinkled with cornmeal (if using. – I just let mine rest without the cornmeal). Once all the rounds have been shaped, loosely cover them with clean kitchen towels or plastic wrap. Allow them to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, until slightly puffy.
- Carefully transfer one flattened but puffy dough round at a time onto the HOT baking stone. Place as many as will fit on the stone. Bake 2 minutes, until puffed and pale golden. Gently flip the pitas over using tongs and bake 1 minute more. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining pitas.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Yield: 1 cup
8 oz. plain Greek style yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1-2-cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
splash of (fresh) lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
- Shred cucumber on the large holes of a box grater. Wrap the cucumber in a thin bread cloth a squeeze to remove as much water as possible.
- Mix together the Greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper and lemon juice to taste. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Serve as a spread or dressing with pitas & gyros.