Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Chicken Kabobs with Curried Cashew CousCous

I will never forget wandering into a Middle Eastern restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard shortly after moving to California way back in 1987. The smell was amazing...the only problem was that I had grown up in a household who's specialty was a chicken casserole with cream of mushroom soup and a bag of crushed Lay's potato chips. The only thing culturally different I had ever experienced was Mexican Food...and by Mexican food I mean Larry's Mexican Restaurant for my peeps from the berg. I had no idea what to order. I eventually decided on a Gyro and the first bite of the tender herb marinated lamb wrapped in warm pita bread owned me, thus inspiring my long standing love affair with Mediterranean food. It really is my favorite. Tonight i am making a relatively simple chicken kabob with tzatziki and a dynamite curried couscous with cashews, cucumber and dried cranberries.

What you will need:

2 chicken breasts cubed for kebabs ($4.50)
1/2 large red bellbepper cubed for kebabs ($.75)
1 large red onion cubed for kebabs ($1.20)
1 cup couscous ($.50)
1/2 head of cauliflower ($1.50)
3 tbs tzatziki ($.75...this is store bought but could be made)
1 can low sodium chicken broth ($.60)
2 tbs curry powder
1 cup plain greek yogurt ($1.50)
1/2 cucumber ($25)
1 lemon...zest it for the salad($.22)
1/2 cup dried cranberries ($.40)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped and toasted cashews ($.60)
2 tbs olive oil ($.50)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
How to make it happen:

Cube the chicken and marinate in lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano and 1 tbs olive oil....toss it in the fridge. Bring the chicken broth to a boil with 1 1/2 tbs of curry powder...add the couscous and cover...remove from heat and set aside. Break down the 1/2 cauliflower into to site size pieces and roast in the oven on 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Prep your onions and bellpepper for the skewers. Fluff the couscous with a fork and transfer to a glass bowl...add the diced cucumber, dried cranberries, lemon zest and roasted cauliflower once it cools. Cover and refrigerate. The dressing for the couscous is a combination of the greek yogurt, 2-3 tsps of curry powder, salt, pepper and olive oil to thin it out. Toss this into the couscous and top with the freshly toasted cashews once you are ready to plate your dish. Now your ready to grill. Build your kabobs and place them on a nice medium to high heat grill. The grilling time will vary based on the size of your chicken. I like to plate my kabobs and spoon the tzatziki onto just the chicken. I put together a small traditional greek salad to finish the plate...and because I love feta cheese and you can't go greek without a touch of feta. The only thing missing from this meal is the warm pita bread, but alas i walked out of the grocery store this morning without it. I hope you enjoy this one. It turned out for us to be a great way to expose Cameron to another culture and of course alot of new flavors. This one tallys up to be a bit more than most i have shared, but i'm certain you will find it much cheaper than eating out. This dinner for 4 came in at under $14 bucks....and when you break it down your still at only $3.50 per person. Well worth it in my book.

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