Monday, September 21, 2009

Cuisine: The S. Kitchen presents... Mediterranean

Yesterday (September 20, 2009), John and I hosted the S. Kitchen presents Mediterranean. It was a truly glorious dinner with the fabulous company of Mary Kate and Ginger Snap. This is the first is what we hope to be a plethora of "social dinners".

The S. Kitchen was a monthly dinner party John and I hosted complete with elaborate themes. It was an opportunity to bring friends, family, and colleagues together and celebrate over food. You see, I love cooking and entertaining. It is a source of creativity, rejuvenation, and self-care. The S. Kitchen was an extension of that creativity and self-care. Guests always loved them and left feeling refreshed, satiated, and ready for the week ahead.

But with all good things, I got busy, and the S. Kitchen went away. I am horrible with a schedule and trying to keep it on the second or third Sunday of the month meant actually having to plan it, clean up for it, and host it. Trying to mix that in to an ever quickening schedule created stress. Yuck! It was just what I didn't want out of the S. Kitchen.

Enter the digital, social networking age. I love social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It enables me to be connected and stay tuned with friends, family, and colleagues at my own pace. I can obsess as much or as little as I like. I can post as much or as little as I want. I feel connected and a part of something.

Social networking sites, however, are not the same as being together in communion over food. So, I have decided to marry the two things together to create "Social Dinners". Instead of having something regularly scheduled, I will make an announcement over at the S. Kitchen fan page on Facebook about an upcoming dinner and menu. If you are free, post on the wall and you are invited. I will also follow up with recipes and (in the future) pictures of the dinner. Then we can all share stories about the food, friends, and fellowship that happen in person in an effort to extend the in person to the online and vice versa.

Listed below is the shopping list and recipes from yesterday's dinner. I hope you enjoy them. And if you were there or not, take a moment and share a story about either this S. Kitchen or one from the past. I love stories, especially yours.


Shopping List

Fruits, Vegetables and Fresh Herbs
5 medium sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla
3 pounds zucchini, (approx. 6 medium)
2 small red bell pepper
2 - 3 lemons
1 head of garlic
coriander leaves/ aka cilantro

5 pounds beef or lamb

16 cups plain yogurt

Frozen Foods
frozen apple juice concentrate

Pita bread

Condiments and Dried Spices
kosher salt
whole black peppercorns (if you have a pepper or spice mill) or ground pepper (if you don't)
spicy smoked paprika
cider vinegar, small bottle
olive oil

Canned Goods
2 15oz Cans of Garbanzo or Chick Peas

Kudban (beef or lamb skewers)

3 pounds beef or lamb cut in 1 inch pieces
3 medium onions finely chopped
2 T finely chopped parsley
6 cloves crushed garlic
3 T. finely chopped coriander leaves/ aka cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and let sit for three or more hours.

Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes to an hour.

Turn all burners on grill to high and let heat. As grill is heating, brush off excess marinade off meat and skewer four to a stick. Once all meat is skewered, turn burners to medium high heat. Place skewers on grill and grill two minutes per side (about 8 to 9 minutes total). Take off grill and cover for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

6 garlic cloves, dry roasted for 40 minutes, minced and then mashed
1 medium onion, sliced and roasted in olive oil for 40 minutes (turn once half way through), then diced
2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed twice then boiled for 15 minutes in very salty water with two cloves of garlic, drain reserving water, then cool
2/3 cup of tahini (roasted, not raw)
1/3 cup (juice of 2 lemons) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup reserved water from boiled garbanzo beans
1/4 cup olive oil, plus a few Tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Combine tahini, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, pepper 1/4 cup olive oil and reserved water let set for about 30 minutes to an hour.

In a food processor, combine tahini mixture, garbanzo beans with boiled garlic, roasted onion and garlic. Add salt, pepper, and a little extra lemon juice (if needed) to taste.

Place hummus in a bowl and drizzle a few Tablespoons of olive oil over it.


Globe Slaw
3 pounds Italian globe squash, (sub zucchini) (3 medium), grated
2 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, very thinly sliced
2 small red bell pepper, diced
3 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup cider vinegar
6 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Mix globe squash, onion, red bell pepper and salt together. Place mixture in a colander and set inside a large bowl and let set for at least 1 hour. Drain water occasionally.

In a separate container mix cider vinegar, apple juice concentrate, and chopped basil. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Mix two mixtures together and let sit for about one hour.

1 comment:

  1. Tasty-o-licious! Just made the slaw for dinner. Hmmm...mmmm...tasty! One little warning though--I made half the recipe and it was still twice the size for two people for dinner. I highly recommend it with pita and hummus like an open-face sandwich. Jason--it's magic!