Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Neighbors - Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Salad

Let’s stop a minute and talk about neighbors.  When we lived in Seattle, we honestly had some of the most amazing neighbor, many of who we still keep in touch with, if not daily then at least once a week. Most all have moved away, but the spirit of community will always be with us (The Peeps from The Crick!)

Fast forward to moving in day, here in Portland. We were all exhausted and had just finished dinner when the doorbell rang. We looked puzzled at each other, and went to the door. It was our neighbor (to the left), welcoming us to the neighborhood and giving us a (still warm) loaf of chocolate chip zucchini bread, made from the zucchini she grew in her garden. I knew we struck gold in this neighborhood. 

We have also befriended the neighbors across the street and have turned the corner with the neighbor to the right. It’s nice to wave to people as you drive down the street, or weeding the yard and take a quick break to have a conversation with the couple walking their dog down the street. I just love our new neighborhood. 

Which bring me to this. The neighbor to the right cane home from a long weekend fishing trip on the Oregon Coast. He said he had more fish than what he knew what to do with, would we like some. Of course we said YES!  He came out with a huge zip lock containing 2 Coho Salmon Fillets. 

So last night I seasoned it simply with some garlic and dill. Made some mushroom chive rice and needed a little something green. So I checked the refer and saw some mini cucumbers. I thought they’d make a great simple salad. And didn’t want my go to Greek tomato. So I made sweet and spicy cucumber salad. Recipe below:






Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced on a diagonal, or 3 English cucumbers, halved and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal Oleck
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional to adjust for spiciness)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large colander, sprinkle the cucumbers with salt.
  2. Allow the cucumbers to sit with the salt so that the juices drain.
  3. Add ingredients in a mixing bowl whisk until sugar is dissolved. 
  4. Toss the cucumbers with the marinade and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Chicken Gyros

Chicken Gyros

I know I start all of my posts off with, “it’s been a long time since I’ve posted”, so I decided to no longer start every post with that statement. 

I’ve been watching a lot of videos on unique ways to cook items. When this one came up in my feed, I was like “no way”. But this week when I was writing my menu for the week, I figured, I have a three day weekend and nothing but time, so I might as well give it a go. 

A couple callouts on this recipe, I didn’t have 10 inch wooden skewers so I bent two from my metal collection. And using that onion as a base, well it seems like a great idea, about 20 minutes into the cook time my tower tumbled over in the oven. So I ended up cooking it the remaining hour on its side flipping it wants. 

The flavor is absolutely amazing, and we have tzatziki for days.

Chicken Gyros

Ingredients

  • 2 lb  boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pounded flat
  • ½ large yellow onion, peeled and root side removed
  • 1 wooden skewers, sturdy, roughly 10 inches

MARINADE

  • 2 cups  greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup  lemon juice
  • ¾ cup  olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon  kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon  garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon  coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon  paprika
  • 1 tablespoon  ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon  cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon  cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon  black pepper

TZATZIKI SAUCE

  • 1 large cucumber, shredded
  • 2 cups  greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon  garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup  lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons  fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons  fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 8 pita breads
  • onion, sliced
  • tomato, sliced

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, combine marinade ingredients and stir well.
  2. On a cutting board, place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken thighs and pound until about ½ inch (1 cm) thick with a meat mallet, rolling pin, or heavy pan.
  3. In another large bowl or gallon plastic bag, combine chicken thighs and marinade, stirring well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to one day.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  5. Shred the cucumber, be sure to squeeze out any excess liquid.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine tzatziki ingredients and stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  7. On a baking sheet or a large cast-iron skillet, use the onion half as a base and position the skewer vertically like a spit. Skewer the chicken thighs individually, rotating each one 90 degrees
  8. Bake for 1.5 to 2 hours, until internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C). Let cool for 10 minutes.
  9. Carve off slices of chicken to fill a flat bread. Top with onion slices, tomato slices, and tzatziki sauce. 
Raw Chicken Gyros

Chicken Gyros, all cooked

Chicken Gyros, slicing