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  • Elle Sten

Dinner at the Tower Bazaar

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

Looking for lighter fare this week after last week's spicy ramen. When I think of light food, I think of Medditeranean/ Middle Eastern cuisine. The zesty lemon juice, garlic notes, and grilled rather than braised or fried is never too heavy. And so, turning to the tower section of the recipe book, I culled out recipes and added my own dishes to make meals for the next couple days.




First bite and I was transported to the Golden Age, you know back when food could be prepared in stalls or tents and you could walk and enjoy eating among crowds. In days of social-distancing however, I still got my fix at home from these.


First up, Avgolemono. Simple enough to make, and I still had the egg yolk required for this soup recipe leftover from the egg I separated the white from for my Gjallordoodles. I was surprised at AN ENTIRE CUP of lemon juicem plus zest, but the lemony punch it packs was worth the labor-intensive juicing and zesting. I prepared the chicken to cook, and all the ingredients aside before starting on my pita and hummus. It reminded me of hollandaise sauce both in texture and consistencey, minus the butter however. The arborio rice was a nice texture and heartiness in the dish. My husband raved about it the next day, despite as he said "not being a soup guy."


Then, I prepared my pita to rise following the book's recipe. I loved the texture as the recipe called for both whole wheat and all-purpose flour. The garlic powder in the dough gave it a nice flavor as well. I set the dough aside to rise, then prepared my hummus.



When I think of Mediterranean, I always think hummus. Pita and hummus, or veggies if I'm feeling healthy. Funny enough I could care less about organic products, yet all my ingredients from different stores all happened to be. Side note, Trader Joe's has the best deal on tahini, and the best product. Also, SMOKED PAPRIKA is the secret to all good Mediterranean food, it amps it up a notch and makes any meat dish taste straight from the kebab shop.



RECIPE:

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling on top

1/2 cup tahini

4 garlic cloves, minced or chopped

2 TBSP lemon juice

Smoked paprika for sprinkling on top.

salt to taste


Combine all ingredients to a blender or food processor, starting with the liquids first. If too thick, add water 1 TBSP at a time until desired consistency. Blend until smooth, spoon into serving dish.



Finally, I cooked my soup, and served with the pita and hummus. Delicious, and the lightness I was looking for.


After dinner, little wolf and I took a stroll. To emulate the bazaar of the Golden Age, he brought a pita to enjoy while gazing at the sights. This route was wagon friendly fortunately, (much less steps and uneven terrain to navigate.)


The following evening, with plenty of soup and hummus left, we amped up the street food vendor experience with some chicken shawarma kabobs. Why? Well, chicken shawarma is one of my go-to dishes, but mostly I'm a weenie who doesn't eat lamb. I'm sure the dishes the book suggests are delicious for those who like lamb, but as I said. Wee-nie.


For the kabobs, I prepared a marinade of 1 cup plain greek yogurt, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tsp red pepper flakes, 2 tsp SMOKED PAPRIKA, juice of one lemon, a dash of cinnamon, 1 tsp of coriander, and a few grinds each of salt and pepper. I mixed it then cut chunks of around 2 lbs of chicken breast up, I chopped a large red onion into chunks, and opened a can of whole marinated artichoke hearts that I cut into halves.


Alternating between the three, I skewered the chicken, onion, and artichoke hearts. Then I laid them out in a large baking dish, and spooned the marinade over it.




Pre-marinade. Once I spooned it on, I left it on for an hour to adhere. You can let it sit up to 24 hours in the fridge, however.


We then threw them on the grill alongside some zucchini wedges for the hummus. About 15 minutes on medium/high heat, and these babies were ready, with a perfect char.


The sugar from the yogurt really crisps up nicely, and also adheres to the meat and veggies well.



Served with the hummus, pita, and veggies, and a cup of soup from last night's dinner, I was in Heaven! Healthier than our usual, but it was nice to eat lighter.


Crisped just right. If I squinted hard, I could just begin to imagine eating it at the Tower Bazaar.

Almost.... One more bite maybe..

Well, close enough. One day normalcy will be restored and the pre-social distancing Golden Age extravagance will once again be a reality.

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