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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fatteh




Fatteh is Arabic for "crushed" or "crumbs." This dish is basically a layered dish that starts with stale flatbread, then topped with meat and a chickpea mixture, then yogurt and nuts. As you can imagine, there is a lot of room for variation. This is definitely a dish to make when cleaning out the fridge. My pal Irene and I recently took a cooking class for cooking on a budget at Whole Foods, and this was one of the featured recipes....so not only is it delicious, but it's also easy on the pocket. I'm going to list the exact recipe below, but please improvise. I ended up throwing out my chicken after the first serving and eating it vegetarian style because I wasn't happy with the quality of the meat I had purchased from a new store. I used pistachios instead of pine nuts too....it's what I had at home...and worked perfectly. And I didn't have any stale flatbread to use up, so I just bought a bag of pita chips...just perfect!



Ingredients:



For the chicken and marinade:

2 t. sweet paprika

1 t. cumin

1/4 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. garlic powder

1/4 t. salt

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 T. cooking oil, like canola or grapeseed

4 small chicken thighs (about 3/4 lb), skins and bones removed


For the pita and chickpeas:

Three 6" round flatbread or pitas

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for cooking

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tomato, coarsely chopped

one 14 oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed

1 1/2 cup chicken broth

salt & pepper


For the topping:

1 cup strained yogurt, at room temperature

juice of half a lemon

3 T. cooking oil, like canola or grapeseed

1/3 cup pinenuts

3 T. honey (optional) - I recommend

6-8 mint leaves, torn into small pieces (optional) - I skipped this...no like mint.


Marinate the chicken: Combine the spices in a medium bowl. Add the oil and stir into a thick paste. Add the chicken and use your hands to rub the mixture into the meat. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.


Prepare the bread: Preheat the oven to 450. Cut each piece of bread in half to make into 2 thin rounds. Brush one side of each round with some olive oil, then cut each round into 8 triangular wedges. Place the braed slices on a sheet pan and bake until crispy and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, turn off the oven, and set aside to cool.


Cook the chicken: Coat pan with oil and heat over med-high heat. Cook chicken above 4 min or until golden brown. Flip and cook until done, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.


Cook the chickpeas: Heat 2 T. oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until lightly browned. Add tomato, chickpeas and the broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.


Assembly: Spread the bread chips on a large shallow bowl or rimmed platter. Spoon some of the broth over the chips to soften them. Tear chicken into bite-size pieces and place them over the chips. Spoon the chickpea mixture over the chicken and drizzle in the rest of the broth. Top with yogurt and a squeeze of lemon. Top toasted nuts over, then drizzle with honey and sprinkle with mint.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Potato Salad, Lisa Style


Potato salad in New York is gross. It's just so....white. I grew up on the yellow stuff, and that's what I like. This potato salad recipe is for the mustard-based potato salad lovers ONLY! Everytime I make this, I always get asked for the recipe. It's the closest thing to traditional southern potato salad served at meat & 3's down home.

Ingredients:
5 lbs. potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 cups mayonnaise (don't touch that diet crap here..or really ever for that matter)
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1 cup chopped onions
2 T. prepared horseradish
sea salt to taste
8 hard cooked eggs, chopped
3 dill pickles, chopped
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a serving bowl. Stir the onion, salt and pepper into the potatoes while they are still hot to soak in the flavor. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Add the mayonnaise, mustard and horseradish to the potatoes and mix well. Gently stir in the eggs and pickles. Finish off with a generous grinding of black pepper on top and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

This recipe makes enough for a large bbq party....I usually half it and still have too much.