It summertime again, you know what that means- barbecue season! Vancouver has had a curiously long stretch of good weather as of late. I don’t want to jinx it but I’m expecting this means a long, hot summer. Yesssssssss!
As it is, my garden has already started to explode. It looks like an end-of-July garden, not a mid-June garden. I already have tomatoes! And strawberries! What?!
As we near the longest day of the year, I am grateful for the extra daylight. As mentioned in previous posts, I have been working some long hours as of late so, to come home- even at 8:30pm- and still be able to fire up the grill and enjoy some sliver of remaining sunlight… I mean, it’s a morale booster, it really is.
Summer also means it’s time for me to whip out one of my favourite condiments- quick picked red onions. These are cheap and easy to make little rockets of flavour (and it certainly doesn’t hurt that they are hot pink and stunningly beautiful). Having a jar of these on hand brightens up just about any dish- I use them on everything from falafel wraps to jerk chicken tacos, and serve them alongside pretty much anything middle eastern, since they so often recommend a ‘pickle’ of some variety on their platters as a little burst of freshness and acidity.
I have been a fan of ‘shish tawook’ ever since Nuba, a local Lebanese restaurant, first opened it’s doors in Gastown. Back when they first opened, I was working in Gastown and would frequent their take out counter for lunch far, far too often (especially given how much, or should I say, little I was making back then). When I eventually got a job farther west in the Financial District, Nuba became a too much of a hike for your average lunch hour, so I found myself trying to perfect my own falafel and shish tawook.
Like the menu at Nuba, you can serve these skewers in wrap or platter form- the fixin’s remain the same, it’s all a personal preference for how you’d like to get it to your mouth. 😉 Don’t feel like you have to serve them with the hummus and red onions in the recipe below, even though they do make a great compliment. If you’re looking for a good barbecue, picnic or camping dish just marinate and grill!
|Chicken Shish Tawook Grilled Skewers|| |
- 10 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems), finely chopped
- ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
- Quick-pickled red onions:
- 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
- ~ 1-2-2/3 cup water
- Extra Lemony Hummus:
- 1 large tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ tsp salt, plus more to taste if needed
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp sumac (optional)
- 1½ large lemons, juice and zest
- ~1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts, sliced into strips or cubes
- Pita breads
- 1 pomegranate, seeded (garnish)
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley, coarsely chopped (garnish)
- For the chicken: In a large bowl, mix all marinade ingredients together. Add chicken strips and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or, ideally, overnight.
- For the quick-pickled red onions: In a small saucepan, mix together vinegar, salt and sugar over medium heat until the dry ingredients are dissolved. Place onions in a clean glass jar and pour vinegar over top. Add peppercorns and top up with water until all the onions are submerged. Set aside at room temperature for an hour to steep. After this, they will be ready to eat. If you're not eating them right away, pop them in the refrigerator to store.
- For the hummus: Add all ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor. Blend on high until smooth and then scrape down the sides with a spatula. Start the food processor again and pour the olive oil in slowly until fully combined and smooth.
- For the chicken: Once the chicken is marinated, transfer the meat to the skewers. Cook on a barbecue until the meat is tender then serve immediately with pita breads, hummus, pickled red onions, pomegranate seeds and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.