This week was one of the rare times that I was able to make a meal every evening and not have to rely on leftovers from the freezer. One of my greatest achievements this week was souvlaki. I was browsing through Jamie Oliver’s Food Escapes and found this recipe. I made my own homemade tortillas instead of using flatbreads. Jesse really enjoy the meal so I counted that a success.
3 sweet frying peppers (red and yellow)
8 flatbreads (I used homemade tortillas
4 springs of fresh mint
red wine vinegar
1 ¾ pounds chicken (cut into 1-inch cubes)
3 tbsp. fresh mint
1 tbsp. dried oregano
juice of 1 lemon
6 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
pepper and salt for seasoning
½ large cucumber
¾ cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic peeled
2 tbsp. fresh mint
1 ½ tsp. red wine vinegar
If using wooden skewers, cut 8 to fit your grill pan and soak them in a tray of water to stop them burning. Put all your kebab ingredients into a bowl and use your clean hands to mix everything together really well. Cover with plastic wrap, then pop into the fridge for 30 minutes, or longer if you want the flavours to get a bit more intense.
Meanwhile, blacken the peppers directly over a gas flame, in a hot dry grill pan or under a hot boiler. Turn them every so often and when they look almost ruined, pop them into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put to one side to steam for 5 minutes or so – this will help their skins to come off.
Make your tzatziki by coarsely grating the cucumber into a sieve set up over a bowl. Add a few good pinched of salt, then use your hands to squeeze out as much water as you can. Pour the water away, then tip the cucumber into the empty bowl and add the yogurt. Pound the garlic in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of salt until you have a paste, and spoon that into the bowl with the cucumber. Add the dried mint and red wine vinegar and mix really well. Have a taste to make sure you’ve got the balance right, then put aside.
Preheat a grill pan or grill over high heat. Thread the skewers through the marinated pork pieces, leaving little spaces between them so that the heat cooks everything evenly. Cook the kebabs on the screaming hot pan or grill for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally until done on all sides. Warm your flatbreads in the panggangan or in a hot dry pan while your kebabs are cooking.
Just before your kebabs are ready, peel and deseed your blackened peppers, then tear them into strips and put them into a bowl. Roll up your mint leaves, finely slice them and add to the bowl along with the dill. Add a few splashes of red wine vinegar, a pinch or two of salt and pepper and a lug of extra virgin olive oil. Toss and mix together, then have a taste to check the balance of flavors. Cut your lemon into wedges.
Put a dollop of tzatziki and the meat from one skewer on each warmed flatbread. Top with some of your pepper mixture, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Life doesn’t get much better.
Instead of using a fry pan I cooked my chicken on skewers in the oven. They were nice and juicy when I pulled them out. I would also recommend using the bbq to add a smoky flavour. I also blended up Jesse’s tzatziki sauce so he wouldn’t know there was cucumber in it. My trick seemed to work!
Another successful food adventure comes to a close. May your own adventures in the kitchen be very successful and blessed.