Friday, 30 March 2012

Foodie Friday - Conquering the Q

Winston Churchill said “if you are going through hell, keep going”. In the words of Self-Help Guru, Susan Jeffers, sometimes you just have to “feel the fear and do it anyway” As the sage Dr. Phil once quipped on Oprah, “If ya always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always git what you’ve always got”. Jerry Seinfeld added to that “What’s with that, anyway?”
Yes people, to bring you today’s Foodie Friday I had to overcome a major life obstacle. Another Everest of Anxiety had to be climbed and conquered. I came through the fire and am a better woman for it.
I used the barbecue. 
By. My. Self.
Because of my highly rational fear of gas explosions, I have left the grilling duties to Brian, along with all the incumbent risks of loss of digits and face in the event of a gas fueled fire bomb erupting from our Napoleon. 

But without change, we cannot grow, so I pulled up my slightly too small socks and decided that today was the day to Do the Q.
The lighter on the BBQ is out so Brian said I had to turn on the gas and then light it with a match.
And I did it. Without too much fanfare (ok, a little, but the dog wasn’t impressed, really).
And the BBQ lit, no gas bombs, no Napoleon Dynamite, no face-burnt-off Ellen so that I have to get total reconstructive surgery that rebuilds my face to make me look like Portia de Rossi.
I closed the lid and let it heat up.
And here’s what I made.

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Aleppo Pepper (from

1 1/2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper or 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper plus 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika (I use smoked paprika), plus additional Aleppo pepper or paprika for sprinkling
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt (8 ounces) (I use non fat Greek style yogurt. Just as good)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
2 unpeeled lemons; 1 thinly sliced into rounds, 1 cut into wedges for serving 
2 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken (thighs and/or breast halves), cut into 1 1/4-inch cube
If using Aleppo pepper, place in large bowl and mix in 1 tablespoon warm water. Let stand until thick paste forms, about 5 minutes. If using dried crushed red pepper and paprika combination, place in large bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons warm water and let stand until paste forms, about 5 minutes. 

La Chinata. I love it. Like it was my lover. Only it's smoked paprika

Add yogurt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper to spice mixture in bowl; whisk to blend.

 Stir in garlic and lemon slices, then chicken.

Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). 

Thread chicken pieces on metal skewers, dividing equally. Discard marinade in bowl. Sprinkle each skewer with salt, pepper, and additional Aleppo pepper or paprika. 
Brush grill rack with oil. Grill chicken until golden brown and cooked through, turning skewers occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes total. Congratulate yourself on not panicking. 

I roasted some peppers for a future use. Look at me, all confident and being efficient.
Transfer skewers to platter. Surround with lemon wedges and serve.

You can see that I did not do this recipe kebob style, but just used whole skinless, boneless breasts. Here's what epicurious says that kebobs look like. I've done them as kebobs before and they are fabulous.

The whole breasts taste just as good, but takes a little longer and maybe aren't quite as juicy. Just make sure the chicken is cooked until it’s not pink on the inside or you’ll get sick and stuff.
I served the chicken with this:

Turkish Style Braised Green Beans (from

2 medium tomatoes
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cut a small X in bottom of each tomato with a sharp paring knife. 

Blanch tomatoes in a 3-quart saucepan of boiling water for 10 seconds, then immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. 

boily boily boily

icy icy icy

Drain, peel, and coarsely chop.

Cook onions and garlic in oil in a wide 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. 

this pot is too small, the tiny weird lady's head tells me.

Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes.

this pot is a better size the weird lady head tells me.

Add beans, water, sugar, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat to moderately low, then cover and simmer until beans are very tender, about 45 minutes.

Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature, uncovered, about 45 minutes. Serve beans with juices.

I didn't serve with too much of the juices, but am saving it to add to a soup because it's quite nice - might need a little more salt. Not sure what makes this green bean dish "Turkish style", but it was a nice side dish.

I feel much better now that I've conquered my fear of the Barbecue. Come on over, I'll make you some hotdogs!


  1. Looks great. I'll have to give it a try. Fortunately, I am not afraid of the BBQ. Yogurt does tend to give me the creeps though...

  2. You really cook green beans for 45 minutes?
    It would seem they would turn to paste.

    The yogurt sauce sounds great.

  3. Ha, that looks delicious! And I'm also scared of the grill. It looks like a robot or spaceship or something.

  4. Oh this made me hungry! :D

    Couldn't find another way to contact you...

    Just wanted to let you know that you're featured in a very special story on my blog.



  5. Hey Super Earthling Susan. Thanks for the shout out! :-)
    I have no more ideas for blogs. I'm thinking about writing some more about my poops. What should I write about?

  6. Okay... that dinner looked *really* good! I just finished eating something really yummy for lunch and reading this made my mouth water!