Archive for the ‘Barbecues’ category

Shish Taouk – Chicken Kebabs

April 10th, 2010 Leave a reply »
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On to more Lebanese grills…

Shish taouk (aka. grilled cubed chicken, also called shish kebab) is very simple to make. In Montreal, where I lived for 4 years, the term shish taouk occasionally refers to a type of chicken shawarma. But in the Middle East, shish taouk refers to cubed pieces of chicken on skewers. Shish taouk is usually served with rice or Arabic bread and is often accompanied with garlic sauce or toum. There are many ways of making shish taouk, but I will focus on two marinades.

Preparation phase: 15min (not including grilling)
Servings: 8 BBQ skewers (for each type of marinade)

Shish Taouk

Option A : Making Yogurt Marinade:

Ingredients: 2 pounds of chicken breasts, 6 tablespoons of plain yogurt, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of mustard, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tablespoon of Italian herbs, 1/2 teaspoon of ground white pepper, pinch of salt. Optional: peppers, onions, mushrooms to place on skewers

1. Place the wooden skewers in a tall cup or vase with cold water. This will prevent the skewers from burning too quickly on the grill
2. Cut the chicken breasts into large cubes
3. Crush the garlic
4. In a mixing bowl, place all of the ingredients: chicken, yogurt, olive oil, mustard, crushed garlic, ground white pepper, Italian herbs and salt


Yogurt Shish Taouk

4. Now, roll up your sleeves and dig in. Mix all of the ingredients well
5. Optional: if you wish to add veggies (peppers, mushrooms, onions…) to your skewers, cut them into large pieces and place them in the mixing bowl with the chicken & marinade
6. Coat the chicken and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours
7. Place the chicken & veggies on the skewers

Grilling: Grease the grill with oil spray and place the shish taouk directly on the grill at medium heat.

Option B: Making Tomato & Lemon Marinade:

Ingredients: 2 pounds of chicken breasts, 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 lemon, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of ground white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper, pinch of salt. Optional: peppers, onions, mushrooms to place on skewers

1. Place the wooden skewers in a tall cup or vase with cold water. This will prevent the skewers from burning too quickly on the grill
2. Cut the chicken breasts into large cubes
3. Crush the garlic and press the lemon
4. In a mixing bowl, place all of the ingredients: chicken, tomato paste, olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin, ground white and black pepper and salt


Tomato Shish Taouk

4. Now, roll up your sleeves and dig in. Mix all of the ingredients well
5. Optional: if you wish to add veggies (peppers, mushrooms, onions…) to your skewers, cut them into large pieces and place them in the mixing bowl with the chicken & marinade
6. Coat the chicken and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours
7. Place the chicken & veggies on the skewers

Grilling: Grease the grill with oil spray and place the shish taouk directly on the grill at medium heat.



Which marinade do you prefer: a white yogurt marinade or a red tomato marinade?

Kafta Meshwi – A Barbecue Must Have

March 27th, 2010 Leave a reply »
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Moving on to serious business: Lebanese grills…

Kafta Meshwi
(aka. grilled minced meat on skewers, also spelled kofta, kufta) is an extraordinary dish that both adults and kids love. After watching my 3 year-old and 18 months-old nieces gobble it as if they hadn’t eaten in days, I knew I had found a treasure: how to make kids eat healthy food at a barbecue (instead of chips & peanuts). Kafta Meshwi is a must-have at any barbecue.

Kafta Meshwi can be presented in a few ways: as meatballs or as a long strip on skewers. Here is a recipe for kafta meatballs…

Preparation phase: 15min (not including grilling)
Servings: 8 BBQ skewers

Kafta Meatballs

Ingredients: 1 pound of ground beef or lamb, ½ onion, 1 cup of parsley (about ½ bush), 1 tablespoon of Lebanese 7 spices, pinch of salt. Optional: peppers, onions, mushrooms to place on skewers

1. Place the wooden skewers in a tall cup or vase with cold water. This will prevent the skewers from burning too quickly on the grill
2. Cut the onion and parsley into very small pieces.
3. In a mixing bowl, place all of the ingredients: ground beef or lamb, chopped onion & parsley, Lebanese 7 spices and salt


Kafta Preparation

Making Kafta Meatballs:
4. Now, roll up your sleeves and dig in. Mix all of the ingredients with your hands until well blend
5. Then, make small compact meatballs
6. Optional: if you wish to add veggies to your skewers, cut them into large pieces: peppers, mushrooms, onions etc…
7. Place the meatballs & veggies on the skewers just like you would place pearls on a string. Poke the meatball with the skewers and let it slide slowly. If your meatball is not compact enough, it will break & fall. Then, place the skewers gently on a plate.



Raw Kafta



Grilling: Grease the grill with oil spray and place the kafta gently on the grill at medium heat. When one side becomes dark brown, slowly turn the kafta over. Make sure the kafta does not stick to the grill. If you don’t have a grill, broiling the kafta in the oven also works – but don’t forget to turn them over so the meatballs cook on all sides.


Kafta can also be cooked on a plate in the oven with tomatoe sauce. That is called kafta bil sanieh, as opposed to kafta meshwi which is on the grill. To be continued …


Have you ever had kafta? Tell us about it…