Mike

Mediterranean Meat Marinade

Looking for something to go with last weeks hummus recipe? Try grilling chicken thighs, beef kabobs, or lamb after it has been soaking in this marinade overnite. It makes enough for one to two pounds of meat. For beef, I like to add a tablespoon of meat tenderizer. Cut the beef into kabob size, but do not place on kabobs until ready to grill. For chicken, I like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs and find they do better if not placed on kabobs. This is awesome on lamb chops.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/8 cup dried mint
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp cummin
2 tsp dried rosemary*
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp dried oregano*
1 tsp salt
dash cinnamon
1 red onion sliced or course chopped

I put the rosemary and oregano in my spice grinder and bump a time or two because I like them a little finer.

Method:

Place meat in a gallon ziplock bag.  Add the onions and mix well.  Add all remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir well.  Pour mixture into bag, mix well, seal and place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

If using wooden or bamboo skewers soak in water per label instructions before using.  As mentioned earlier, if using kabobs, skewer just before cooking time.

Remove meat from marinade.  Place on grill over high heat, the hot the better, until meat done to your preference.


Hummus

I have a thing for Greek, Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine. I may not have the origins correct, but that is the way the restaurants market their food around here. There’s a restaurant near my office that serves great chicken shawarma, gyros, baklava and hummus. I try to eat there for lunch at least once a week. Maybe it’s my craving for garlic, feta cheese, or seared meat, but I get hungry thinking about it. For my next series of post I will share some fo my own recipes.

Hummus is a very simple dish to make if you have a food processor. This recipe is very basic and can be made in less than 10 minutes.  It makes a great side dish or serve it as an appetizer with pita bread or pita chips. Once you get the hang of the basic recipe, the sky is the limit in variations – just add an extra ingredient such as roasted garlic, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.

Ingredients:

2 cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained, but reserve the juice.
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)*
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

Add first five ingredients to food processor and put it to work. When it becomes the consistency of paste, slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the processor is running. If it is still to pasty, begin drizzling in the reserved juice from the beans 1/4 cup at a time until you get your desired consistency. Now taste and if needed, adjust to your liking by adding more garlic, lemon or salt.

*If you can not find tahini increase the olive oil by this amount.


Lump Crabmeat Casserole – Leave an Impression or Find Salvation

Looking to impress a date, boss, in-laws, client or get yourself out of the doghouse? Although pricey, this recipe is easy to make and leaves a great impression. The key to this meal is to use quality crabmeat and try to keep as many lumps intact as possible. Prep time is less than 30 minutes and can be done while you entertain your guests, then have some conversation over a bottle of wine while the casserole bakes. Of course you may wish bake ahead and keep the simpleness a secret. Another version of this dish is to omit the panko, and serve cold over a bed of lettuce, either as an appetizer or entrée.
 
Ingredients:

1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat
1 lb crab claw meat
1 stick butter
1/2 minced shallots (substitute 1/4 cup minced onion and 1/4 cup minced garlic)
1/4 cup green onions
1/4 cup parsley
1 cup Hellmann’s Dijonnaise
1 tbsp creole seasoning
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Method:

Chill a large mixing bowl. (I like to do every thing I can to keep the crabmeat cold, not only for food safety, but to keep the lump crabmeat intact.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 – 10 inch square or 2 qt casserole dish with two tablespoons of butter.

Dump the crabmeat in the chilled bowl. (Remove any shell fragments you find during the course of preparation.)  Place back in the refrigerator.

Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a skillet and sauté the shallots until clear.  Remove from heat and stir in the parsley and green onions.

In a separate mixing bowl whisk the Dijonnaise, seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice together. 

Remove the bowl of crabmeat from the refrigerator and add the sautéed vegetables, half of the panko, Dijonnaise mixture over the crabmeat and gently fold together until well mixed. 

Melt the remaining butter and mix into the panko. 

Pour the crabmeat into the casserole dish and top with the panko. 

Place the casserole into the oven and bake until the panko is golden brown and the mixture is bubbly – about 30 minutes.