Kabobs

I tried a new kabob recipe tonight and was very pleased with the results.  I made the marinade before I left for work this morning and let the chicken and veggies soak all day.  Here is what I did:

Marinade

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Whisk all ingredients together.

Kabobs

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in cubes (about 1 breast per person)
  • zucchini, cut into 1 inch slices (I used two small zucchini for two of us – if zucchini are big, halve lengthwise before slicing)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • red pepper, cut into 1 inch squares

Marinate chicken and veggies for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.  Skewer and grill until done.  (I put the chicken on separate skewers from the veggies so you can make sure the chicken is done without burning the veggies.)  We had ours with rice.

Chicken and veggie kabobs

Chicken and veggie kabobs

Chicken kabobs

On weekends I like to try to get my chores done in the morning so I am free to play in the afternoon.  These chicken kabobs will make an easy dinner so we won’t be rushed tonight.

Chicken kabobs

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic halved
  • 2 TB low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • large mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 red onion, cut in quarters
  • 1 red pepper, quartered
  • rice

Cut chicken into cubes.  Mix olive oil, garlic, soy sauce and basil with the juice of 1/2 of the lemon.  Whisk.  Put chicken and vegetables in a glass bowl and cover with marinade.  Refrigerate until ready to cook.  Skewer chicken and vegetables on metal skewers (or wooden skewers that you have soaked in water) and grill about 10 -12 minutes or until chicken is cooked.  Serve over rice.

The Tapas feast report

The tapas feast was really fun.  We cooked a few things, sat down and ate them and then repeated the process.  We had 4 waves of food and liked each of the 10 things we made.  (We made the executive decision to skp the spinach and mushroom tortilla as we were getting too full.)  I would definitely recommend this as a way to spend an evening with good friends who like to cook and eat. 

Christie and I split the food shopping and cooking.  One of the keys to success was planning.  We made a chart of each item and the prep time and cooking time and coordinated our “food waves” based on how things were fixed.  We are fortunate to have a small oven/broiler in addition to our big oven and we definitely used it.  We also tried to coordinate our waves to have a mix of things in each one.  Here are all of the recipes we fixed.  We had leftovers of a number of things – this could easily serve 6 people.

First Wave

  • Patatas Bravas
  • Moroccan Chicken Kabobs
  • Mussels Vinaigrette

Patatas Bravas

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp white wine finegar
  • 1 tsp crushed, dried chile pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 lb fingerling potatoes

Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add about 2 TB of olive oil.  Cook the onion until soft.  Add garlic and stir in.  Add wine and bring mixture to a boil.  Add tomatoes, vinegar, pepper and paprika and simmer uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes or until sauce thickens.

Remove sauce and transfer to a blender.  Blend until smooth and return to pan.  Keep warm.

Cut potatoes into chunks (unpeeled).  Heat oil in a large skillet and cook poatotes over medium high heat until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.  Put potatoes in a dish and spoon sauce over potatoes.  Use toothpicks to spear the potatoes.

These are spicy and delicious.  This would make a good vegetable dish with chicken.

I blogged the chicken kabobs and mussels vinaigrette yesterday.  Both were excellent.  We all agreed that the chicken marinade would be great for whole chicken breasts on the grill and that the result would be delicous with cous cous as a dinner.

Wave 2

  • Zucchini Fritters
  • Paprika Spareribs
  • Baked clams

Zucchini Fritters

  • 1 lb Zucchini
  • 3 TB flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TB milk
  • Vegetable oil

Cut zucchini on diagonal into thin slices.  Combine flour and paprika in a bag and mix.  Beat egg and milk together in a bowl.

Toss zucchini in flour mixture until well coated.  Shake off any excess.  Heat oil in a large heavy skillet.  (Oil should be about 1/2 inch deep.  Dip floured zucchini into egg mixture and fry in batches until crisp (about 2 minutes).  Remove as cooked and drain on paper towels. 

Our recipe called for a pine nut dipping sauce.  We all agreed that a garlicky mayonnaise sauce would have been better.  The zucchini fritters were excellent.

Spareribs

  •  1 rack of spareribs
  • 1/3 cup sherry or wine
  • 5 tsp paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 TB oregano

Preheat oven to 425.  Lightly oil a large roasting pan.  Cut ribs into individual ribs and spread in a single layer in pan.  Roast for 20 minutes.

Combine sherry, paprika, garlic, oregano with 2/3 cup water in a measuring cup and whisk together.  Remove from oven and pour off fat.  Reduce oven temperature to 350.  Coat ribs with sauce and roast for another 45 minutes.  Serve hot.

These were delicious – very tender and a definite repeat.

Baked Clams

  • 1 dozen medium clams
  • 4 TB butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 TB minced onion
  • 2 TB minced parsley
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 3 tsps Panko

Shuck clams and drain.  Loosen meat and leave in shell.  Melt butter and saute garlic, onion, parsley, paprika and thyme, stirring for about 2 minutes.  Cover clams with mixture and top with panko.  Broil clams 2-3 minutes until browned and bubbly.

These were excellent – our only challenge was that we had littleneck clams and my husband found that shucking them wasn’t the easiest thing in the world.  He got them shucked without any injuries but we would definitely try to find bigger clams next time.

Wave 3

  • Garlic mushrooms
  • Fried eggplant and cheese

Garlic Mushrooms

  • 1 lb mushrooms
  • 5 TB olive oil
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • lemon juice
  • 4 TB chopped parsley

Clean mushrooms and remove stems.  Cut in half.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add garlic and cook until lightly browned (about 1 minute).  Add mushrooms and saute over high heat about 3 minutes.  Reduce heat and allow mushrooms to yield juices.  Then increase heat and saute for 4 – 5 minutes until juice evaporates.  Add lemon juice and stir in parsley.  Serve hot and spear with toothpicks.

These were delicious.  Our recipe suggested serving with bread for the juices but we were getting too full to eat any bread.  These would be a good side dish with steak or chicken.

Fried eggplant with cheese

  • 1 eggplant sliced thinly into 8 slices (recommend using a mandoline)
  • 4 thin slices of Port Salud cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • flour
  • olive oil

Place a slice of cheese between 2 slices of eggplant.  Dip eggplant sandwich in egg and then flour.  Fry in olive oil over medium heat until golden brown.  Serve hot.

The key to this is definitely having the eggplant sliced thinly and having it crispy.

4th and Final Wave

  • Shrimp with Garlic
  • Rosemary Fish Skewers with Bacon

Shrimp with Garlic

  • 3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 TB olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 TB minced parsley

Heat oil in a small saucepan.  Add garlic and pepper and when garlic turns golden, add shrimp.  Cook stirring until shrimp are done.  Sprinkle with paprika, parsley and salt to taste.  Serve hot.

These were very good although I let the garlic get too brown.  Again, our recipe called for bread with the sauce but we were too full for bread.

Rosemary Rockfish Skewers with Bacon

  • 8 oz rockfish
  • 12 fresh rosemary stems
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 6 thick strips of bacon

Cut fish into bite size chunks.  Strip leaves off of rosemary stems (leaving a few leaves at one end).  Finely chop leaves and whisk with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.  Marinate fish chunks in sauce for 1 – 2 hours, keeping refrigerated.

Cut bacon strips in half.  Cook in a microwave on paper towels for 2 minutes.  Roll bacon strips into rolls.

Thread fish cubes alternating with bacon onto rosemary skewers.  Broil for 8 – 10 minutes, turning frequently until cooked.  Serve hot.

These were delicious and a great ending to our feast.  We had a nice Spanish white wine and finished off the evening with leftover Christmas cookies.

Now we are all ready for the New Year’s Diet!  We are having dinner with my parents tonight and tomorrow I’ll be blogging a nice healthy menu plan for next week.  Happy New Year!

Our Tapas Feast – the preparation

Christie and I sat down and picked out the recipes that we’re going to make.  Then we divided the shopping list and have all of our ingredients.  I made a chart of everything we’re making (11 items) and prep time, cooking time and cooking location (ie. stovetop or oven) so we can coordinate.  We’ll probably do 3 – 4 waves of food.  The key here is that we’re not making large quantities of anything (does that sound like a great rationalization or what!)  🙂

I did make two of the things last night – Mussels Vinaigrette and the marinade for Chicken Kabobs.  I’ve made the mussels before – they are easy and delicious and good for entertaining as they should actually be prepared the night before so they are ready when company comes.  The kabobs are also good company fare as they marinate overnight and then just need to be broiled or grilled.

Mussels Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 TB red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 TB finely chopped onion
  • 1 TB finely chopped pimiento
  • 1 TB finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 dozen mussels
  • 1/2 lemon sliced

Combine oil and vinegar with capers, onion, pimiento, parsley, salt and pepper and whisk well. 

Scrub mussels well and discard any mussels that will not close.  Put water in a pan with sliced lemons.  Boil and cook mussels, removing the mussels as they open with a slotted spoon.  When mussels are cool enough to handle, remove the mussel meat from the shells and mix with vinaigrette.  Refrigerate overnight.

If you wish, mussels can be served in cleaned mussel shells – I find this to be somewhat of a pain so am serving the mussels out of a beautiful new oyster plate that we got for Christmas!

Chicken Kabobs

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into cubes
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp oregano

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup.  Pour over chicken and marinate 8 hours or overnight.  When ready to cook, drain and reserve marinade and thread chicken cubes on metal or wooden skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes first).  Grill or broil kabobs, turning regularly and brushing with reserved marinade (10 – 15 minutes or until chicken is done).  Serve hot.