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.
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
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.
There is a great fast food chain that started in Baton Rouge called Raising Cane’s. Their specialty and only item is fried chicken strips. Their best kept secret is their dipping sauce. Although I have not been able to duplicate their recipe, here is my version. I find it goes really well with chicken strips, fried green tomatoes and fried alligator.
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 1/4 ketchup
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp Creole seasoning
- ½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk it well it to make sure everything is blended together. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. This sauce develops it’s best taste when the ingredients have had some time swap flavors with each other in the refrigerator.
Remoulade is probably most well known for being used as a dressing for shrimp salads or covering peeled boiled shrimp in a small bowl. I like to use it as dipping sauce for boiled shrimp and crawfish and fried fish and shrimp.
- 1 cup ketchup
- ¼ cup Hellmann’s Dijonnaise (or ¼ cup mayonnaise and 1 tbsp dijon or creole mustard)
- 1 tablespoon horseradish (a little more if you like a little kick to it)
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tbsp garlic powder
- ½ tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp celery salt
- Dash of thyme
- Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk it well it ensure everything is blended together. Whisk a little more to make sure. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. For some reason this sauce develops it’s best taste when the ingredients have had some time swap flavors with each other in the refrigerator.