• Chicken Kebabs and Spinach Pie

    Super Bowl Sunday proved to be a Mediterranean feast day. We had chicken kebabs, spinach pie, grilled zucchini and rice. It turned out fantastic! The kebab recipe is from A Taste of Persia, and the spinach pie recipe is from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

    Chicken Kebabs

    Chicken:

    4 boneless chicken breasts cut into 1.5 inch pieces

    Marinade:

    1 tsp ground saffron threads, dissolved in 2 TBSP hot water

    1 cup fresh lime juice

    2 TBSP olive oil

    2 large onions, peeled and thinly siced

    2 TBSP plain yogurt

    2 tsp salt

    2 tsp freshly ground pepper

    Basting:

    2 TBSP butter

    1/2 tsp salt

    1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

  • In a large glass bowl with cover, combine 1 tsp saffron water, the lime juice, olive oil, onions, yogurt, and salt and pepper. Beat well with a fork. Add the pieces of chicken and toss well. Cover and marinate for at least 6 or up to 48 hours in the refrigerator. Turn the chicken twice during this time.
  • Spear the chicken on skewers.
  • In a small saucepan melt the butter and add the remaining saffron water, lime juice, salt, and peeper. Mix well and keep warm over very low heat.
  • Grill and baste.
  • Spinach Pies:

    Dough:

    1 tsp active dry yeast

    pinch of sugar

    About 1 cup of lukewarm water

    3 cups of bread flour

    1 tsp salt

    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Dissolve the yeast with the sugar in 1/2 cup of the warm water. Leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes, until it froths.
  • Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix in the oil. Add the yeast mixture and a little at a time, just enough of the remaining warm water so that the dough holds together with your hands. Knead vigorously for about 10 minutes, until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and elastic.
  • To prevent a dry crust from forming on the surface, pour 1/2 TBSP oil in the bottom of the bowl and roll the dough around in it to grease it all over. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 1.5 hours, until doubled in bulk.
  • Spinach Pies: makes about 50, but you can easily half this and the dough recipe
    Filling:

    2 lbs. frozen leaf spinach, defrosted

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    1 onion

    4 TBSP sumac

    Juice of 1 lemon

    1 cup of pine nuts or chopped walnuts (optional)

    salt and pepper

    1. Put the spinach in a colander and press out the water, then squeeze the leaves between your palms to get rid of any remaining liquid. Coarsely chop the spinach and mix in a bowl with the rest of the filling ingredients.
    2. Punch down and knead the risen dough. Divide into 4 or 6 balls for easier handling. When rolling out one ball, keep the remaining ones wrapped in plastic.
    3. Roll out each ball on a lightly floured surface, and keep turning over the dough and dusting underneath with flour so that it doesn’t stick. Roll out as thinly as possible. Cut the sheet into 1.5-2 inch rounds with a pastry cutter. pick up the scraps, roll them into a ball, and roll out again to make more rounds. Take each round and roll out again, then pull out and stretch until it is paper-thin and about 3-3.5 inches in diameter.
    4. take each pastry round, lay it flat on one hand, and put a TBSP of filling in the middle. (1) Shape into the traditional 3 sides and bring them together over the filling. (2) Pinch the edges together, making thin, ridged joint in the shape of a 2 sided start and losing the pies. (3) Place th pies on a lightly oiled baking sheet and press down a little to flatten their bases.
    5. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

    Rice: prepare rice and then sprinkle sumac on top to serve.

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    Chicken Kebab Recipe:
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    Spinach Pie Recipe:
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