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.
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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I use ice berg lettuce leaves, but you can adapt and use any lettuce you have. Another thing to remember is, make sure the beef is slightly on the drier side. While cooking the mince, if you’ve left it at a gravy consistency, simply cook it uncovered till the juices dry up, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t burn.
I didn’t just stop there. I threw in some thinly sliced onion, a slice of tomato and some chopped coriander leaves.
As options, you could use steamed prawns and a cocktail sauce, you could use leftover grilled chicken with some sauteed onions and mushrooms and so much more. I like to think of this as a healthy snack; there’s no carbs. If you decide to whip up some lettuce wraps, I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment and tell me what you used as a filling. You could send me some pictures or a link too, I’d be happy to feature them here.
Here’s to healthy snacking!
Crunchy Lettuce Wraps
Leftover beef mince
A few slices of onion
A few slices of tomato
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Wash, pat dry and separate as many layers of ice berg lettuce as you’d want wraps.
Place a spoonful of the beef mince, a few slices of onion, a slice of tomato and some chopped coriander leaves.
Wrap it snugly, so that the filling doesn’t fall out. As a precaution, I used some small cocktail sticks to keep everything in place.
Place on a platter and serve.