Ever since I started blogging I've kept a little black notebook in the kitchen so I can actually write down the dishes I've cooked and their measurements. My little black book might be a bit dull if you are hoping for lots of phone numbers and special contacts, but I'll bet my book is much tastier than THAT kind! I'm only sorry that I didn't do this throughout my years of cooking, because I bet I've lost a lot of great recipes. And food ideas and places I loved to go, and words I love to use. What does your little black book contain? Tell the truth now!
I know one thing I wish I would have had was a little black book of dinner parties, and attendees, and menus. It seemed silly when I was young, but it was just the other day that someone mentioned to Manservant that a person he worked with way back when, still raves about a dinner he had at our home some 20 years ago. The sad thing is that I don't remember that person, but I must say that it makes me feel good knowing he remembered the occasion. Now if I had a book, I'd have been able to look that up and probably would have had some great memories of the evening. So starting now, I'm going to start a book and keep track. I figure I have at least 20 more years of entertaining ahead of me and there is no time like the present-right?
But back to my little black book... I came across a few recipes that I've never posted for some reason or another. And looking at the pictures I took made me hungry. Yes, it's about time to write these up and share. Since I've been on a Middle Eastern kick with the chicken and the skakshuka I thought I would give you another that I came up with. This one came about when I looked at what was in my fridge and pantry and when I put everything together, it became a filling and simple dinner.
I used ground chicken, but any ground meat combo would work with ground lamb being the most traditional. You can grill these patties or you can pan fry them. Grilling is great if your weather allows. You can dress these up or down. I served them on grilled na'an bread but pita could also be used. For that matter, there really is no need for bread except it makes up about 4 of my five food groups. I totally love bread! Rice or farro or quinoa would make an appropriate base and as you can see from the photo, I had leftover rice, so I just dumped it on to this flatbread, too. This is one fast way to clean out the fridge!
Hope you like this. It is just another invention from my kitchen that actually made it to the little black book. Whoever thought a little black book was just for secret phone numbers?
Za'atar Chicken Flatbreads with Fried Chickpeas
Yield: 2-4 servings
Time: About 45 minutes
1 lb ground meat
2 T za'atar
1 T olive oil
3 large garlic cloves minced
1 T chopped parsley
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1/2 t salt
1/2 to 1 t harrisa or chili paste
Na'an bread or Pita brushed with oil and grilled or lightly posted
Combine all ingredients together and stir well. I use my hands to really knead the meat mixture to get a good, fine texture.
Using 2 T of meat, form into patties, which should give you about 12-16 patties.
Set aside until ready to use. The longer this sits the more flavor the meat takes on.
When ready to grill, brush with oil especially if using chicken, because it is very lean. For other meats, use your discretion. If you don't want to grill feel free to pan fry these and then take them out of the pan and keep them warm. Or shove them to one side and you can cook the chickpeas in the same skillet. Lots of good flavors that way!
1 T olive oil
3 T minced onion
1 minced jalapeno
1 minced garlic clove
1 chopped Roma tomato
1 can of drained garbanzos
1 T chopped parsley
Heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet on medium high heat. Add onion, jalapeno and garlic and saute until lightly colored. Add tomatoes and garbanzos and cook, stirring often, until garbanzos crisps up and turn a soft golden color. Stir in parsley and salt to taste.
Za'atar Yogurt Sauce
3 T thick Greek yogurt
1 t harrisa
2 t za'atar
2 T buttermilk
1 T mayonnaise
1 t olive oil
1 t minced parsley
salt to taste
Mix all ingredients together with a whisk.
Take your grilled bread. Spoon on some chickpeas. Top with a few patties. Drizzle on some sauce. Garnish with optional ingredients. My mouth is watering right now!
Other Optional Ingredients:
Chopped and Seeded Cucumber
Chopped Red Peppers
The above may be used on top of the flatbread and meat. User discretion is advised to not make this so unwieldly as to not be able to pick this flabread up. In which case, there are such implements as a knife and fork!
Click here for more great Middle East inspired recipes:
Smoky Pumpkin Hummus
Roasted Za'atar Chickpeas
Chicken with Figs, Pumpkin and Red Wine
Moroccan Fish with Saffron Aioli and Chickpeas
Spinach Salad with Za'atar, Dates and Almonds
Kadaif or Middle Eastern Cheesecake
Ma'aneesh with Za'atar