Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Taste & Create II

When I started blogging, I never imagined how wonderful, fun, and creative the food blogging world could be. Nicole at For the Love of Food has decided to host a monthly food blogging event called "Taste & Create." For this event, two different food bloggers are paired up with each other. They each pick a recipe from the other's blog, cook it, eat it, and then blog about it. For this Taste & Create event, I was paired up with Val from More Than Burnt Toast. She has lots of yummy looking recipes to choose from, and Psycling and I browsed through them together. It was difficult to pick just one. But, after some browsing, the recipe that jumped out at me was the Spiced Chicken Skewers with Raita. Psycling and I both LOVE Indian food, but I don't have much experience making it, so this was a fun experiment. I was also excited about finding a recipe that would allow me to use the Iranian Saffron that my mom brought back for me when she went to Turkey last year. :-)

Psycling and I both really enjoyed this recipe. I served the skewers over rice with a side of spinach sauteed with ginger, garlic, and coriander. The yogurt marinade kept the chicken quite moist, and was wonderfully spiced. And the Raita sauce (not pictured) was the perfect complement to the skewers! Psycling and I both mixed together the meat and veggies from the skewer with the rice and raita to make a delicious (though admitedly not photogenic) mixture.

This is definitely a dish I would make again, though it is a bit time and labor intensive. Because the meat and veggies need to marinate overnight, I had to prepare that one night, in addition to that night's dinner (better menu planning on my part might have avoided that problem). But, one bite, and we realized that it was worth it the time and effort. It's a meal I would not hesitate to serve to guests.

Here's Val's recipe. Give it a try sometime!

Spiced Chicken Skewers with Raita
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 T peeled fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1/4 tsp ground tumeric
1/4 tsp saffron threads, crushed
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
cooking spray
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

To prepare kebabs, combine the first 12 ingredients through to red bell pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag, seal and marinate in refrigerator overnight, turning bag occasionally.
Prepare grill.
Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade. Thread chicken, onion and bell peppers alternately on each of 8 (12-inch) bamboo skewers (having soaked them immersed in water for hours). Coat kebabs with cooking spray, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place kebabs on a grill rack coated with cooking spray or oil. Grill 25 minutes or until chicken is done, turning occasionally. Remove from grill, keep warm.

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/3 cup diced seeded tomato
1/4 cup cu, peeled, seeded, grated and squeezed dry
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1 T minced jalapeno pepper
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt

Combine 1/2 cup yogurt with remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with kebabs.
Serves 8

Surf over to Val's blog and check out her yummy recipes. And while you're there, check out her take on my chicken breasts with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.