Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spicy Chicken Shawarma

 A shawarma and a Morgan!

Anyone from the Mankato area will tell you that Massad's is the place to eat if you are at the mall. The chicken shawarma's there are to die for, even if they leave you with unfortunate breath for a day or two. Since I no longer live in the area, I have been forced to find my own version, and this one comes pretty close. I don't think Massad's could ever be replicated unless you got the actual recipe, but this one comes close enough to tide me over until the next guarantee of a Massad's shawarma, Black Friday. An bonus, it's pretty healthy!

Spicy Chicken Shawarma
Source: Adapted slightly from Cooking Light

  • 2  Tbls  finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2  tsp  salt
  • 1/2  tsp  crushed red pepper
  • 1/4  tsp  ground ginger
  • 1/4  tsp  ground cumin
  • 1/8  tsp  ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbls  plain low-fat Greek-style yogurt, divided
  • 2  Tbls  fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1  pound  skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
  • 2  Tbls  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  Tbls  tahini
  • 4  (6-inch) pitas, halved
Optional toppings:
  • 1/2  cup  chopped cucumber
  • 1/2  cup  chopped plum tomato
  • 1/4  cup  chopped red onion
  • lettuce
1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in 2 tablespoons yogurt, 1 tablespoon juice, and 2 garlic cloves. Add chicken; toss to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until browned and done, stirring frequently.

2. While chicken cooks, combine remaining 1/4 cup yogurt, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, remaining 1 garlic clove, and tahini, stirring well. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons yogurt mixture inside each pita half; divide chicken evenly among pita halves. Fill each pita half with desired toppings.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have finally returned to the land of the blog! The past two months have been a blur, between writing my clinical competency exam, writing parent assessments, spending time with Abby and Mason, keeping the house clean, weddings, friends, family etc. I have not had any spare time to blog my adventures. And honestly, the adventures were few and far between:/ But I'm back, with a backlog of things to post, so hopefully I can keep up!

Ah the chocolate chip cookie. So simple, so delicious, and yet they so easily snuck under my radar. I'm sure everyone has their go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, I mean a cookie is a cookie right? Wrong. Sorry mom, but these cookies beat out your recipe we have been making for years. 

The technique to these cookies is a bit untraditional based on other cookies I have seen/made. From what I gather from America's Test Kitchen, when the melted butter mixes with the dough, the flour proteins grab onto freed water molecules from the butter, forming elastic sheets of gluten. In other words, gluten=chewy cookie. Science aside, these are just damn good cookies. Thick, chewy and chocolate-y. Even if you have a go-to recipe already, I strongly urge you to give these a try and compare.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: Adapted slightly from American Classics, from the editors of Cooks Illustrated

2 cups plus 2 Tbls all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbls unsalted butter, melted and cooled until just warm
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg plus one egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle racks; heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together dry ingredients.

3. By hand or with stand/electric mixer, beat melted butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla; mix until incorporated and smooth. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful to not overbeat. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.

4. Roll a scant 1/2 cup dough into a ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull the dough apart into two equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and place on baking sheet with jagged surfaces up, leaving enough room between each ball.

5. Bake for 11-14, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking, until outer edges start to harden but centers are still soft and puffy. Cool cookies on baking sheet until they can be moved to cooling rack without breaking.