Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pita Bread and Chicken Kebabs

Pin It
Right now, I am running dangerously low on EVOO, lemons and garlic in my pantry. Why? Because I cooked Lebanese, of course!

I love the flavors of Lebanese food, and even though it is easily available everywhere, I have never attempted a full Lebanese meal before. I have made hummus several times and I am a huge fan! But, this was my first time making the babaganoush, pita bread and shish taouk chicken kebabs. We ate this with crunchy lettuce, slivers of raw red onion and cucumber sticks, and lime wedges on the side. It was a hearty meal and we really enjoyed it - even my eighteen month old.

In this post, I will share my recipe for the pita bread and the kebabs. I will share my recipes for the dips in my next post.

I found the recipe in an ancient little baking booklet on breads. It has no cover and the printing looks like it was done on a home printer, and the font is very childish. I don't remember where I got it. But it has some great bread recipes.

I originally planned to make the pita bread in the oven, and I even made one 'test' pita. It turned out great! But because I was pressed for time, and my little girl was getting hungry, I made them on the stove top. They turned out fine and even though all of them didn't puff, they were still delicious! I realized I didn't roll some of them out smoothly enough, and the creases in the bread made the steam escape while they were puffing up. Never mind, they were still delicious!

Again, with the kebabs, I intended to bake them, and I am sure they would have turned out fabulously in the oven, but I just didn't have the time. So, using very little oil in a non-stick pan, I shallow fried the chicken, turning the pieces often for uniform color. They were really, really good. I loved the warmth of the cinnamon and cumin in the marinade. The recipe is a variation of an Indian kebab dish I make often. I just made some changes to make it less Indian.

Because I made this for dinner, the pictures taken at night aren't great. But the meal was! :)

Pita Bread

2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 - 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup warm water

In a large bowl, add the half cup of warm water and the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and allow it to proof for 5-10 minutes, until creamy and frothy.
Stir in the oil, salt and one cup of the flour, and mix until smooth.
Add the remaining flour, half cup at a time, until you have a soft and slightly sticky dough. For pita, you want a moist dough
Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, with your hand or using a dough hook, for about 10 minutes.
Form the dough into a smooth ball and transfer it to an oiled bowl. Cover with cling film. Set aside for anywhere between 1-6 hours to rise.
Half an hour before you bake them, punch down the dough, and shape into 10 uniform balls of dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll each one out into a smooth and uniform circle. Cover and allow them to rest until the oven and baking sheet are very hot.

If you are going to bake them, half an hour before baking, preheat your oven to 450, with your baking sheet inside the oven.
Before you bake them, spray or lightly sprinkle your baking sheet with some water. Place 1 or 2 dough circles into on the baking sheet at a time. Bake for 3-4 minutes, or until completely puffed. You don't want them to brown, or they will become too crisp. But who am I to stop you? If you want them brown and crisp, go ahead! :)

If you are cooking them on a stove top, heat the griddle and lightly grease it. Place one circle of dough and let it cook for 10-15 seconds until small bubbles form on the surface. Turn over and let it cook on medium heat for a further 30 seconds. Flip and cook until it puffs up. If one or two of them (or all of them) don't puff, don't fret. Just let them cook for about 2 minutes more and take them off the griddle. I can assure you that they will still be delicious.

Whether you are baking them or cooking them on a stove top, wrap the cooked pita breads in a slightly damp tea towel to keep them soft until you eat them.

Chicken Kebabs

4 boneless chicken thighs
4 large cloves of garlic, crushed to a smooth paste
1 1/2 tsp of cumin powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp (or more) chilli powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tsp garam masala (A combination of cinnamon, cloves, pepper corns, cardamom, cumin, fennel seeds and nutmeg.)
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1/2 tsp salt

Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and marinate for at least an hour. Or you could leave it overnight in the fridge.
Shallow fry them, turning them frequently until cooked. About 10 minutes per batch of kebabs.
Or you could bake them in a single layer on a greased baking sheet at 200 for 20-25 minutes.
Or skewer them and grill them until cooked. About 5 minutes on each side.

These kebabs are very flavorful and were lovely with the creaminess of the hummus and the smoked flavor of the babaganoush. The pita breads were perfect to make little Mediterranean 'tacos'. The ones that didn't puff made very good wraps.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,
Pin It


In Katrina's Kitchen said...

Whoa! This looks so good! And you captured some really pretty shots! I love all of the flavors you have going on here! 

A little bit of everything said...

I love Mediterranean and Middle Easter cuisines.Are my favorite. Love their way of making the food, love the use of different veggies in so many way.
I love pita bread sandwiches and make pita breads whenever short of time.
Your meal look amazing, wish I had been invited over. Well, maybe next time :)

Frugal Antics said...

 I have already had my dinner, but that meal has me drooling.  What a neat thing to make all of that from scratch.  I haven't had success with pitas yet, but I haven't given up!

spcookiequeen said...

 I think your shots came out great, you can always place a small lamp by the food too.  I love dishes like this, I've made the bread before, but now I will have to try the rest.  

Jay said...

yours looks incredibly delicious..you are so creative dear..
Tasty Appetite
Event: Letz Relishh Ice Creams  

Jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

 Marsha, I also LOVE Lebanese food but I've never made these pitas.  They look amazingly light and better than the ones you get in the restaurants ;-)  What inspiration to make them at home; and your photos are brilliant, even at night!

Mary said...

I just found your blog from One Perfect Bite (which I love) and am so glad I did. Your recipes are wonderful I think you just inspired me to make pita bread!  The chicken sounds delicious.  I just signed up to follow you!

Mary@One Perfect Bite said...

Your plated meal looks delicious and your two recipes are both wonderful. I hope you have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

Christina said...

The pita looks great! I haven't tried making it before - I should put it on my list. I love Lebanese and Middle Eastern foods. The spice combinations are amazing and the food is so flavorful. 

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Katrina! I love the flavors of Middle Eastern food... So interesting how they use so many of the ingredients we use here in Indian cooking, but everything tastes so different :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

I do too! And I think I will be making pita breads more often too! You are welcome to come over for dinner anytime... India's only a day away :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

I always forget to soak the chick peas the previous night when I want to make hummus! So the hardest part was remembering that! :) So good to hear you haven't given up on the pitas! Thanks for stopping by, Kristen!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Gina! I will probably email you sometime today :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you! And thanks for stopping by :)

theharriedcook said...

 Thank you, Jill! :) They were really light and slightly crispy too... We all enjoyed them :) Thanks for your kind words about my photographs... I was just mumbling and moaning to my husband about how bad they looked and then I saw your comment :) Thanks for stopping by and spreading some sunshine :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you so much for coming over! :) I am so glad you like what you see and thanks for the follow :) I don't see if you have a blog because your comment doesn't have a link... I am going to try to find it! Thank s again :)

theharriedcook said...

 Thank you, Mary! :) I hope you have a wonderful day too!

theharriedcook said...

 I totally agree... I love the combination of the spices too... I made pita for the first time, and I really loved it! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Lizzy Do said...

What amazing pitas and kebabs!   Pita bread has been on my list to try for eons...I grew up eating wonderful pita, but the market brands taste like cardboard!  This looks like a fabulous dinner.

Kate said...

OOh Lebanese. What a wonderful idea.  I don't know if I've ever had it, but just quickly reviewing the recipe, it looks like I definitely would love it.

  I love the spice combination in this recipe. Looks like a flavor symphony.  Thank you.  :)  

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Lizzy! Pita bread was on my list for the longest time, too! I'm so glad I finally got around to making it :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

 Thanks, Kate! :) I modified the spices slightly because I didn't have some authentic Lebanese spices (like sumac), but it was still yummy! Thanks for stopping by!

Katecwall said...

This looks so tasty! I love all of the flavors and the pita bread looks so flakey and delicious!

Kim - Liv Life said...

THis is a meal my whole family would love!!  The spices are "approved" by all, and the bread would be devoured.  I've made pitas a  couple of times, but not recently.  I may have to surprise them!!

Sandra's Easy Cooking said...

 Amazing, not only your stunning photos but presentation and food itself! Delicious!!!

Peggy Labor said...

This looks like one heck of a dinner!  Everything on that plate has me drooling and wishing I had it right in front of me =)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you for your kind words, Kate! :) The pita bread did turn out awesome... Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

 I know what you mean about 'approved'. There are a few spices that none of us will tolerate here. Especially cardamom. India is all about cardamom and it is also seems to be a trendy spice at the moment, but none of us in our home can bear it! :) Pita sounds like a great surprise! :) I should cook more surprise meals for the family :) Thanks, Kim!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Sandra, for your thoughtful comment! :)  I really enjoyed cooking and serving this meal :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

 Thank you, Peggy, for your kind words! It was delicious meal and I really enjoyed making it! Thanks for stopping by! :)

sharizat shakmanova said...

 yumm! lebanese is one of my favorite cuisines… to eat! i'm still lack confidence to cook it myself, but after reading your post i'm inspired to try!

Nami said...

Ohhh Marsh!  This looks so delicious!  Homemade pita bread, I'm all in!  The kebabs' seasonings made me drool.  I love taste like that.  I'm sorry for my late comment.  I didn't know your new post was already up!  That happens when I don't check your tweet huh? :-D  Or I need to learn how to use Feed option...I still have a lot to learn. :-(  Have a great weekend!  

theharriedcook said...

Thanks, Sharizat! :) I do hope you'll give it a try... It is a little work, I admit, but so much yummier than anything you can find in a restaurant :) And I plan to make falafels soon after reading your tweet :) Thanks for stopping by! :)

theharriedcook said...

 Oh don't apologize, Nami! :) I understand... You should find the RSS feed button on the top of my page. Or the email subscription box :) I love pita bread and it was my first time making it at home. It was really good! :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

 I totally agree... I love the combination of the spices too... I made pita for the first time, and I really loved it! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Nami said...

Thanks Marsha!  I just did subscribe your email.  PERFECT!!!!!!!!

theharriedcook said...

Yay :) Thank you :)

Dara Michalski said...

The spice mixtures on these kabobs sounds fantastic and I'm so impressed that you make your own pita bread.

It is kabob/skewer week at Get Grillin’. Family Fresh Cooking & I would love it if you linked up this recipe & up to 2 other kabob recipes you may have. http://bit.ly/j9keva

db said...

My wife and I cooked this last night - both the pita and kebabs. We used lamb also. It was very very nice. (Still nice the day after too!). We grilled the meat with a small hickory wood smoke box. Also we made the baba ganoush and hummus recipe elsewhere on this site. It was pretty amazing. One thing though I think a few sauces would compliment it, like a greek style yogurt sauce and a spicy tomato based sauce. Next time I will include these and finely chopped iceberg lettuce and a little rice. Then the pita's can be sliced and we can have sandwich type kebabs. It would make the meal more moist also. We used all organic ingredients which helped.

In summary the flavors were incredible. My sights are on those zesty lime squares next. I will be a frequent visitor.

Post a Comment

Real Time Web Analytics