Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chicken Souvlaki

We love to grill. Even though we grilled a few times this winter (including once when it was 1 degree outside), we have started firing up the grill more often since the snow has started melting. One of the first things we made was Chicken Souvlaki, which, basically, a chicken kebab marinated in a blend of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and dried herbs. We served it on pita bread with tzaziki sauce, onions, and diced tomato, sort of like a gyro. The flavors are truly amazing. I was a bit skeptical making a marinade with so much balsamic vinegar, but it really is the star of this marinade. Give it a try - I know you'll love it.

Chicken Souvlaki
Recipe adapted from
Serves 3-4
Prep Time - 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time - at least 8 hrs
Cook Time - about 15 minutes

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

Optional garnishes:
Pita bread, warmed up
feta cheese
diced tomatoes
sliced onions

Mix together the garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, rosemary, salt, & pepper in a zip-lock bag. Add the chicken and marinade in the refrigerator for at least 8 hrs, up to overnight.

About 30 minutes before you're ready to start cooking, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and put on skewers. Discard the marinade.

Pre-heat the grill and place the skewers on the prepared grill. Cook until juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side.

Remove from skewers and put on pita bread and top with your favorite pita toppings.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pizza Burgers

As I mentioned in my last post, my life has changed a lot lately. My work schedule has been a bit crazy and I've been keeping some odd hours. It sort of feels like I've been living in bizzaro-world. The check-out guy at the grocery store recently told my husband and myself to have a good evening. I was so confused... then I realized it was almost 3 pm. I'd been awake for two hours, at most. Luckily, this isn't going to last a whole lot longer.

I recently had about a half of a loaf of some really delicious focaccia bread to use up. Conveniently, I came across a pizza burger recipe that used focaccia instead of regular buns. It sounded interesting to me, and my husband is always up for things involving pizza. Or burgers. I didn't follow the recipe closely but I don't think I'd change a thing about what I did.

This was really good. I don't think focaccia is necessary, but if you have it, I think it added a little something.

Pizza Burgers
Inspired by Rachael Ray
Makes 2 burgers
Cook & Prep Time - 20 minutes

1 jar spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce
1-2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 lb Italian sausage
15-20 slices pepperoni, cut into small pieces
1/2 small onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
~1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (I'm guessing - I eyeballed it)
1-2 leaves basil, chiffonade (optional)
mozzarella cheese
focaccia bread, cut into two burger-sized pieces.

In a small pot, heat up the spaghetti sauce.

Heat up a couple of TBSP oil in a medium pan over medium heat.  Also pre-heat the broiler.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, Italian sausage, pepperoni, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil. Form into two patties. Add to the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Transfer the burgers to a cookie sheet and top with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese. Put under the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese gets bubbly.

While the burgers are under the broiler, toast the focaccia buns for a couple of minutes (I did this in my toaster oven).

Put the burgers on the toasted buns and enjoy!

Oh, the Times, They are A-Changing

Hello - I'm back! As you can see, I've made a few changes around here. My life has changed a bit over the past month and half, and I've found myself needing a lot more fast, easy meals. When I get home from work, I want to make simple things I can get done in less than 20 minutes. While I don't expect this re-emerged craziness to last too long, I've been really enjoying the different type of cooking I've been doing. So, I am changing the focus of my blog. From now on, my blog will focus on the many wonderful sandwiches, burgers, and homemade pizzas that have now become a weekly staple in my life. Don't worry - that doesn't mean I'll completely abandon my yummy deserts, pastas, or deep fried goodies completely. You'll still see plenty of those mixed in. But I hope to make this blog a source of quick, satisfying meals that everyone in your family will enjoy.

I hope you like the changes I'm making and please feel free to leave me any feedback in the comments!