“Just eat your beets then you can have dessert.”
I can still hear the sound of my mom’s voice admonishing me as a kid to just finish them. I let her do it but I never did tell her my secret. When beets were served I would always save them to eat them from the plate last. She served them rather plainly: cubed and steamed with their greens with a very small amount of butter and salt on top. By doing this she would think I didn’t like them but the opposite was true. I loved them which was why I saved them for last.
The sweet beets were my ‘pre-dessert’ and here she thought I was trying to avoid them altogether. I suppose like everyone else mothers and sons will sometimes suffer from simple miss-communication.
I often still make beets this way even though I have added quiet a few other beet dishes to my arsenal. Most of them are salads and the best of them are as simple as this one from Dorie Greenspan’s “ Around My French Table “. The beets don’t need much help to be savored when they are made into salads and this simple roasted beet with red onion, fresh oregano and a simple sherry vinaigrette needed no adjustments from me. I’d post the recipe but I kinda just did!
Oh, and look Doristas !
I finally got to that Cardamom Rice Pilaf I skipped out on a few weeks ago. Time has been so rare these days but I knew I would eventually get to it. Cardamom is one of my favorite flavors and while the Persians I know love to use it in pastries and other sweet dishes I get more intrigued by it when it is used in savory dishes.
I made Dorie’s recipe to the letter except for the handful of pine nuts I threw in to make it as enjoyable cold as it was warm with our dinner.
Alas, there is nothing sadder than seeing a great salad at a party without an appropriate date so I strung together these yogurt marinated chicken kebabs for the main course. If you are smart you will try them. Marinade the chicken for at least 4 hours and they will turn out extremely tender and full of flavor. This keeper give my peanut chicken kebabs a run for their money at summer family barbecues for sure. So will the beet salad by the way.
Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs
I think these kebabs are perhaps the most perfect 'food for a crowd' dish. All the work is done up front and they grill up so easily when its dinnertime. Let the kebabs cook on the grill a bit longer than you might think when you first put them down so they don't stick. They will 'release' from the grill when they are ready for their first turning.
Serve by putting one kebab on a plate or do what I do and use tongs or a clean paper towel to remove the delicious chunks of chicken from their skewers to a serving dish and let everyone serve themselves.
This is what you will need:
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro with stems
- 1/4 cup chopped white onion
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T. lime Juice
- 1/2 T. garam masala
- 1 teasp. kosher salt
- 1/2 teasp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1" piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
This is how you make it:
- Soak wooden skewers in a pan of water. Cube chicken breasts into no more than 1" pieces. Try to cut them as evenly sized as possible. Transfer chicken to Ziplock bag.
- Combined all remaining ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour yogurt marinade over the chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Set into a bowl and marinate for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.
- Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill or use medium heat on a gas grill. Brush grill with olive oil and grill kebabs turning every two minutes until done.