SRC: Shish Tawook Chicken and Toum

Boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! I am so excited about this month’s SRC assignment. This month, I was finally assigned Sawson’s blog, Chef in Disguise. I tell you, I have been a fan of this gorgeous blog for years now. Sawson is an “orthodontist by day and food explorer by night”.  I love that term, food explorer sounds so much more exotic than food blogger. And food explorer she is. If you go on over to Sawson’s blog, you will be treated to a vast array of delicious recipes with beautiful pictures. Her blog mainly focuses on Middle Eastern cuisine, which I have enjoyed getting familiar with. Everything is so flavourful and there is so much variety. In addition to that she participates in the Daring Cooks and Daring Bakers Challenges as well. So you can expect a lot of recipes from other parts of the world too.

I have had my eye on a couple of her recipes for ages now, but when I actually looked through her blog, there was so much more I wanted to try. With great difficulty, I narrowed it down to these spinach and feta mini rolls (I can’t wait to try these), these awesome spiral meat pies called Yafawi Sfeeha, these Cheese and Zaatar sticks and cool off with this sweet tamarind drink, and for dessert how about this Harissa! I decided to go with the recipes I’ve been eyeing since forever – Sawson’s Shish Tawook Chicken and this Middle Eastern Garlic sauce called Toum. Both were very easy to make and really delicious. The chicken was succulent and full of flavour and the garlic sauce was nice and garlicky with a nice tangy kick. My sauce turned out a little runny and I’d love to learn how to thicken it up a little more, but the flavour was all there.

I made some wraps with Pita bread, finely cut Cos lettuce, sliced cherry tomatoes, finely sliced red onion and topped it with this gorgeous chicken and the garlic sauce. It was so very good. Thank you Sawson, for sharing these recipes.

Shish Tawook Chicken


2 chicken breast fillets, skinless
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp yogurt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp all-spice powder

Cut the chicken breast into strips or pieces.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together and marinade the chicken with it. Make sure all the pieces are well coated with the pieces.

Cover with cling film and leave to marinade for atleast half an hour or in the fridge overnight.

Drip off the excess marinade and grill or pan fry the chicken till done.

Toum


2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup water
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp lime juice, or to taste
3-5 tbsp vegetable oil
A pinch of salt

Dissolve the cornstarch in the water.

On a medium low flame, cook the cornstarch solution till it thickens and starts to bubble, whisking continuously. Continue cooking for another two minutes.

Take the solution off the heat and cool down completely.

Place the cooled solution in a food processor or blender. Add the minced garlic, salt and lemon juice.

Blitz till the mix starts turning white.

Drizzle the oil in one spoon at a time, like you would for a mayonnaise till it thickens to the consistency of a mayonnaise. You may not need all of the oil.

Serve immediately or refrigerate in an air tight container.

** My version wasn’t as thick as I’d have liked it to be, but I hope to get that fixed soon.

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Baked Fish in Mushroom Sauce

This was dinner on a weeknight when I was flat out of ideas. I’m part of this group on Facebook called the Home Baker’s Guild and this recipe just happened to be posted there that very day by a lovely lady, Prerna, who I had the pleasure of meeting a few days later. My husband and I love our seafood and most of it is either in the form of a curry or fried with some spices – Goan style or crumb fried. This is the first time I baked fish. I used a delicately flavoured basa fillet for this and I think it worked really well. The sauce was simple to put together and within a short while we were sitting down to a nice, healthy, home-cooked meal. I served the baked fish with some lightly buttered spaghetti and a fresh garden green salad.

Baked Fish in Mushroom Sauce

300g Basa fillets (You can use any fish fillets of your choice)
1 tbsp. butter
250g mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp mixed dried herbs (I used an Italian mix)
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 cup milk
Salt, to taste
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp. Olive oil
1 tbsp. Parmesan Cheese (You can used a processed / Cheddar cheese if you prefer – I used a little of both)
Fresh coriander, finely chopped, to garnish (I left this out since I didn’t have any on hand)

Heat the butter in a pan. Add the mushrooms and salt and sauté on a medium flame till the liquid dries out.

Add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes till its not floury and has cooked out.

Now lower the heat and add the milk and whisk well so that no lumps are formed.

Add the herbs and cook for a few minutes on low flame.

In a glass baking dish, drizzle a little olive oil to grease the base of the dish, place the fish and the garlic and drizzle the rest of the olive oil over it.

Pour the sauce over the fish and sprinkle the cheese over the sauce.

Sprinkle the fresh coriander over (if using) and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200ºC for 20-25 minutes.

Keep a close eye on it while it is in the oven, I think I should’ve taken my dish out of the oven a few minutes before. It browned a little more that I would have liked, however, it still tasted fantastic.