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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shawerma Chicken Wraps

This is as a homemade American version of the Middle Eastern shawerma sandwich. This is my mom's recipe and it is always a great hit for dinner parties. Shawerma sandwiches are a very popular street food in the Middle East, and they are made with chicken or lamb. The Greeks have a similar version called 'gyro' and the Turks also have a version of shawerma called 'donner'.


Depending on the size of the chicken and how much mixture is used in each wrap, these should make about 15-20 large sandwiches. I slice them in half for a total of 30-40 pieces.

-1 rotisserie chicken, remove skin and bones and shred chicken
-1 tablespoon coriander
-1 tablespoon paprika
-10 tablespoons mayonnaise
-5 garlic cloves, crushed
-15-20 dill pickles
-15-20 flour tortillas
-3-4 tomatoes, sliced (optional)

-Mix shredded chicken with coriander and paprika.
-By hand or in a blender, whisk mayonnaise and garlic cloves together.
-Spread about 1/2 tablespoon garlic mayonnaise on a flour tortilla. Spread out 1/3 cup chicken. Place a dill pickle in the middle of the tortilla.
-To wrap, fold the right and left side of the tortilla into the middle. Then fold over the top and bottom of the tortilla. (In other words, wrap burrito style).
-Bake for 20 minutes in a preheat oven at 400 degrees. Remove when the tortilla has started to brown.
-Slice and serve with tomato wedges!

These freeze very well. Freeze after wrapping and bake when ready to eat.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cheese Pastries

In Arabic these are called "fatayir bil jibneh" and that means dough/pastry with cheese. I love them. So does every single other person I know that has tried them. I'm not even exaggerating ;-) No Syrian dinner party is complete without them. Regardless of how much is made, if they are served hot from the oven there will never be leftovers. There are many versions these scrumptious pastries, and I am listing the best and the classic.

This makes 8 large pastries. These can be made a day ahead and stored ready to bake on a baking sheet covered in foil.

-1 Pillsburry grands flaky layers refrigerated biscuit dough
-1 cup Queso Fresco Mexican cheese
-3/4 finly chopped parsley
**optional additions:
-Mix 1/4 cup fresh mint with parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried mint.
-Add 1 tablespoon paprika and 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds.

-Preheat oven according to package instructions of biscuit dough.
-Crumble cheese and mix with parsley and optional additions.
-Press down the biscuit until it is shaped like an oval. Spoon 1 large tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto the dough. Pinch up the edge on the longer sides until the edges are sealed and the middle is open, exposing the cheese mixture.
-Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until biscuit is golden and cheese is melted.

ENJOY. I know you will!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Morrocan Honey Chicken Tagine with Raisins

My friend Bushra made this for a recent gathering and it was so flavorful and unique. Luckily it was also very easy to put together, and therefore it became SavvyChef blog worthy!

She cooks this either in a tagine or a regular pot. It is a GREAT dish for the slow cooker because it is supposed to simmer for a long time. As it simmers the sauce thickens and the flavors intensify.

If you're looking for a unique dish to try this is it! I'm not a huge fan of raisins but their texture changes as they cook and they are just so soft and yummy. I made this dish for a dinner party and my guests loved it! Because of the cinnamon flavor and the fact that it cooked in the slow cooker I felt like it was such a great dish to welcome the fall season!

This serves about 3-4 adults.

-1 pound chicken thighs or breast tenders
-1 large onion, chopped into strips
-1 tablespoon butter
-1 tablespoon cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
-1 tablespoon ginger powder (or 1 tablespoon fresh ginger)
-1 teaspoon turmeric
-1 pinch saffron
-1/2 cup honey
-1/2-3/4 cup black raisins (I also added golden raisins)
-2 cups water
-1/2 cup mixed nuts toasted in cinnamon (optional)

-Heat butter in skillet and cook onions until caramelized. Transfer to slow cooker and add chicken, cinnamon stick, ginger, turmeric, saffron, honey, raisins and water. Season lightly with salt.
-Cover and cook 5 hours on low or 2.5 hours on high.
-Serve with optional mixed nuts. These add a nice crunch! Eat with toasted bread or white rice.

**If cooking stovetop, reduce heat to medium low after carmelizing onions and allow chicken and sauce to simmer for 1 hour.**

Fat Free Cilantro Garlic Dressing

The pictures are terrible but the sauce is good!

You may remember this from the Mexican salad I made in the past. Here is the dressing recipe on its own because I've found that it is a great topping for grilled chicken, shrimp or steak. It is also a great dip for veggies and chips! Get creative!

-1 cup fat free plain yogurt
-1/2 cup packed cilantro
-1 clove garlic
-green tips of green onions
-salt to taste
-seeded jalapeno (optional)
**you may want to use 1 tablespoon sour cream or mayonnaise to thicken dressing**

To make
-Blend dressing ingredients using an immersion blender (or use a normal blender). If the sauce is too liquidy (yes, that is a real word in kitchen talk), add a tablespoon of sour cream or mayonnaise.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Walnut Stuffed Chocolate Covered Medjool Dates

Being a food blog and all, I wanted to pass on this AMMMAAAZZZIIINNGGG food product that I've come across!

How many of you fellow Muslims have wished to have something readily available that represents Ramadan?! I know I always have! Apparently I wasn't alone in that wish, because someone has finally done it!

QUALITY, GOURMET, DELICIOUS treats just for Ramadan! I'm talking about Sweet Pillar Bon Dates! Sweet Medjool dates are stuffed with delectable walnuts and dipped in delish Belgium chocolate...then packaged in a super nice box and shipped anywhere!

Check out the website:

Of course I think its important I mention that I am not part of this business and don't make any money on this! Just a satisfied customer who wants others to share in the yumminess!