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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekly Recipes: October 16

Moroccan Chicken

2 lemons
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried wild marjoram (za'atar, the herb, not the spice mix including the herb) or oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon saffron
1/3 cup olive oil
3 pounds chicken

Make three or four slashes lengthwise in each whole lemon while still leaving the lemon in one piece. Microwave the lemon with the garlic in a covered container for about 5 minutes. Let cool enough to handle. Strain and reserve juice from container.

Cut lemon into wedges and scrape pulp and most of the pith out and discard. Put lemon peel, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor or blender along with all other ingredients except the chicken. Pulse to a coarse paste and marinate chicken in the paste for at least four hours. Bake, grill or broil the chicken until cooked through.


Middle Eastern Chopped Salad

This isn't an Arab dish or any other ethnicity's, it borrows the flavors and style of that area, though.

2 cucumbers peeled, seeded and finely diced
4 roma tomatoes, finely diced (or equivalent amount of other tomatoes)
2 sweet bell peppers, seeded and finely diced
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled (I use sheep's milk feta)
1/2 pound pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped spearmint
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or fresh strained lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, or equivalent amount of oregano and thyme

Toss all ingredients together in a good sized bowl and serve. This keeps for a while in the fridge.


Curried Red Lentil Soup

This is a really tasty and quick vegetarian soup. Serve with some rolls, biscuits or other bread, or with yogurt cucumber salad for a full meal.

olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
3 cups red lentils
8 cups vegetable broth or water
1 pound diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (depending on how hot you like it)
1/8 teaspoon saffron (optional)
salt, to taste

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Saute onions until translucent, add garlic and stir about a minute. Stir in curry powder and mix thoroughly with oil and onions. Add red lentils to coat with oil.

Pour in broth or water, diced tomatoes, hot pepper flakes and saffron. Bring to a low boil, then simmer for about 20 - 25 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Taste for seasoning and add salt as desired.

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