We oftentimes run across the word “Mediterranean” in restaurant menus and cookbooks. But do we actually know what qualifies for Mediterranean food?
Mediterranean cuisine, as we know it, is the food of the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea.
These nations include Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, etc. Overtime, their cuisines have influenced one another, giving birth to what food writers touted as, Mediterranean cuisine.
This type of cuisine is flexible and characterized by its great number of ingredients and its many regional variations. Key ingredients may include: Fish, garlic, olive oil, fruits, vegetables and nuts. Grilling and smoking being the two most used methods of cooking.
Today, I made some kebabs. Chicken kebabs. Along with it on my skewer were red bell peppers, red onion and some cucumber slices. Ahhh, my chicken was in great company!
I seasoned about 2 whole breasts of chicken with salt and pepper plus 3 tbsps light soy (optional). Gave them a quick swig of about half a cup of lemon juice. Threw in a pinch of ground cummin powder for each breast and marinated for thirty minutes. I opted to use the lightest marinade to make the flavors and juices jump out of the chicken meat.
Meantime, I quartered 3 red onions, sliced 1 whole cucumber and cubed 2 red bell peppers. Seasoned all vegetables with salt and pepper to extract their precious juices and for flavors to burst away.
On my other chopping board, I cut the marinated chicken, nugget size. Then assembled the ingredients into the skewer such that the order went like: Cucumber, chicken, red onion, bellpepper and chicken again. Drizzled the ensemble with olive oil. Then, I was ready to grill!
Grilled until all ingredients were smoky and had the pretty grill marks. Serve with yogurt dressing:
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1 clove of garlic, minced
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup chopped, fresh mint leaves (optional)
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
I just mixed everything together. Yes, that easy.
Please note that you may arrange the skwered ingredients interchangeably. Or you may even drop an ingredient that you don’t like and replace them with what you want.
My other suggestions to go with the chicken include: Zucchini, cherry tomatoes, half a cob of a corn, leek stalks, etc. Go have fun choosing what you want to put in there! Have a feast!
NOTE: Other kebab recipes will tell you to marinate meat in the yogurt dressing/marinade instead of my concoction. Feel free to try it, too. LikeI said, I just wanted to savor the flavor and juices of the meat almost in its naked glory.