Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Greek Meal

Who doesn't love some hummus and grilled chicken in a pita? Thanks to a little restaurant chain called Garbanzo's Mediterranean Grill, Greek food is so accessible and even a little addicting. So of course while I drooled over Greek food, I plotted on how to make my own thanks to Rachael Ray!

Spicy Hummus

1 - 14.5 oz. can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
2 rounded Tb. tahini sesame paste
Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flake
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 clove garlic, crushed
Coarse salt
1/2 lemon, juiced

Chicken in a Pita

Juice of a lime or lemon
2 Tb. olive oil
2 garlic clove, peeled
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup mint or cilantro leaves
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 Tb. chopped mint

In a blender combine juice, 1 Tb. oil, garlic, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, and mint or cilantro leaves. Process until smooth and pour over chicken to marinate. Refrigerate chicken and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. In a small bowl stir together yogurt, cucumber and chopped mint.

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tb. oil over medium high heat. Add marinated chicken and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Heat pitas under a broiler or in a toaster oven.

Hummus, grilled chicken and pita. Mmmm!

I ended up grilling the chicken breast strips instead of cooking it on the stove. I also served up some saffron rice and grilled zucchini slices. This was such a nice alternative meal. The chicken was flavorful and the hummus was zesty and delicious. It wasn't until after did I realize that I forgot to add the Tahini paste to the hummus. Despite that, it still turned out really tasty. Although the consistency wasn't as creamy as you normally find. And even though there's red pepper flake in the hummus, it wasn't that spicy. If you're not wanting it spicy, simply just leave it out.

Tahini was a little hard to find and it comes in a large container. So you'll probably end up making a lot of hummus with the jar of Tahini you find. Hope you like hummus. But the good thing is that a can of chickpeas is inexpensive, so hummus will be a cheap snacking dip.

But I was really pleased with this meal. Easy to do and prep. Wes wasn't so excited about the cucumber yogurt dip, but I really enjoyed a little of it on top of the chicken and pita. It added a cool and refreshing sauce to the chicken. This was totally a casual meal - eating with your fingers and mixing your own ingredients to your taste.

Something fun and different to try. If you like Greek food, you'll have to give this a try!

Happy cooking!

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