Over the holiday weekend my dear friend Tera and her husband Brian were visiting from Michigan and we were lucky enough to have them over for lunch. I wanted to do something light, since it was pretty hot. And also something that I wouldn't be cooking the whole time they were here- I wanted to visit and have fun with my company too!! Sandwiches are an easy choice, but can be slightly boring- aha! How about Chicken Souvlaki's?! A Souvlaki is the Greek version of a kebab- meat that is threaded onto a skewer and then grilled. They can be eaten off the skewers or put into a pita as a sandwich. I decided to go with the later. They are traditionally served with sliced onion, tomato and lettuce and then garnished with a sauce, like a Tzatziki. I loooooooooove tzatziki, but garlic has been a little hit or miss with my nausea these days so I opted for the Indian version, called a Raita. It is also a cucumber sauce, but made with mint instead of garlic. It ended up being a wonderful accompaniment for the Souvlaki-Pita's. Plus the mint was lovely for the summer. A perfect substitution for a nauseated pregnant girl *grin*.
I wanted to keep things as simple as possible so I did the old favorite for marinading chicken.... oil-based salad dressing. If you haven't done this, hurry up! It makes the chicken super tender and full of flavor. I generally use Italian Dressing for this, but to add a bit of a different flavor, this time I opted for an Olive Oil based Honey Dijon Mustard Dressing. Add a sprinkle of salt and a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper and you are good to go. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a least an hour to marinate. Meanwhile soak your bamboo skewers for about 30 minutes in water to prevent burning. When ready to grill, remove the chicken from the fridge and thread onto the soaked skewers. Grill or broil until cooked through. Serve with all the fixings and let people add what they would like. Finished product- delicious!!!
4 Marinated Chicken breasts, chunked, skewered and grilled/broiled
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, chopped
Romaine lettuce, chopped
Red Onion, sliced
Cucumber Raita (recipe follows)
Flat Bread Pita, warmed on the grill
Assemble all of the yummy fixings onto the warmed flatbread pita's. Be sure to load on the Cucumber Raita- it tastes best when it is dripping through your fingers! Enjoy
2 hot house cucumbers (English), peeled, seeded and thinly sliced (lightly salt and allow to drain for at least 15 minutes to pull out the extra moisture)
2 cups Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
Stir together all of the ingredients, adding the cucumber last. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
For dessert, Tera and Brain made a yummy Strawberry Shortcake. This is a great dessert to have in your back pocket. It is simple to assemble and quite inexpensive when strawberries are in season.
Short Cut Strawberry Shortcake
Premade shortcake rounds
fresh strawberries, sliced
Place a dollop of strawberry glaze into the center of the premade shortcake rounds. Top with sliced fresh strawberries and a generous amount of whipped cream. Serve immediately.
It was so wonderful having Tera and Brian in town. I could easily get used to it! We will miss you guys- hurry back!