In Pakistan, kabobs are not always cooked on skewers. They are often tender, juicy patties made of minced beef, lamb or chicken and the word chapli comes from the Pashto word for “flat,” a reference to its horizontal appearance. My Father often expresses his love through feeding us his delicious inventions and this recipe is from him. He came up with the idea of adding part-skim mozzarella to chicken chapli kabobs–as weird as it sounds, the cheese blows the dish out of this world, making each patty even more juicy and flavorful.
- 1 lb. skinless and boneless chicken breast and thigh meat (ask your butcher to pass it through the grinder twice so it is really fine)
- 1 medium yellow onion- diced
- 3 scallions- chopped
- 4 jalapenos – seeded and chopped
- 1 handful cilantro leaves- chopped
- 1/2 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons of ginger
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of part-skim grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
- salt- to taste
- pepper-to taste
- 4 tablespoons of canola oil- for frying
Put the garlic and the ginger in a food processor and chop into a fine paste. Work this paste into the ground chicken. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Don’t be afraid to use your hands!
Make the chicken kabob patties by scooping out a handful of the mix and flattening it into a flat patty shape. Note: it is easier to make the patties when the meat mixture is a little chilled so after you mix all the ingredients together, you might want to pop it into the fridge for a bit. Make the patties as flat as possible so they cook fast and completely. Otherwise, you run the risk of encountering uncooked chicken in the middle of your chapli kabobs: not fun.
Heat up the canola oil in a skillet. Make sure the oil is thoroughly heated before dropping the patties into the oil. Otherwise, the patties absorb too much oil. Brown on each side. Serve with rice and accompaniments–my favorites are a dollop of greek yogurt, sliced avocado and a chiffonade of kale greens.
A $4.00 cross-body clutch from Conway that’s surprisingly roomy and well-constructed. This bag is so versatile, I’m thinking of buying another one in the purple/black combination.
Bowron’s Shorn Wool Baby comforter is unbelivably soft; it stays cool in the summer, warm in the winter and can absorb up to 33% of its weight in moisture. The baby fell asleep as soon as I put him on it, despite having recently woken up from an 8 hour slumber. This sheepskin comes from the Bowron family in the Australia’s highlands. They tan the wool using the same eco-friendly techniques since the 1880s. Each of these lasts a lifetime, if not longer.
I’ve had to pare down on my subscriptions lately, since there is no way I can keep up with all the reading. A few things, however, will always remain on my reading list and The Sun is among them. This little magazine is full of heavy-hitting but elevating little poems, short stories and interviews with visionaries. Its kind of like a Highlights for adults–I always look forward to and devour each issue. The Sun is ad-free and is always looking for new people to join their reading community.
Thanks to the wonders of Pinterest I’ve recently gotten into various “lady-like” hobbies, including sewing, cooking, baking, and now kniting! On my recent trip to Austin I found myself in an amazing store that doesn’t exist on the East Coast, Hobby Lobby. The yarn section was great and on a whim I decided to buy some chunky purple yarn and learn how to knit. I bought 1 skein of Lion Brand Thick and Quick Yarn in Eggplant, aluminum needles, and learned the basics of knitting from youtube (this channel is great). I intended to make a scarf, but after a while I got tired and decided to turn it into a cowl by sewing together both ends of the scarf. I had to buy another skein from Amazon.com because 1 skein didn’t look right. I sort of improvised the pattern using what I thought would be easy enough for my first knitting project but would also look good enough to actually wear. It ended up being a garter stitch which is just a knit stitch the whole way through.
-1.5 skeins bulky yarn
-CO (cast on) 28 stitches
-S1 (slip 1 stitch), knit until end of row to create garter stitch
(by slipping the first stitch you create a nicer edge)
-weave in ends and sew together both ends of scarf to create cowl
Even though the pattern is very simple I did mess up by increasing one row halfway up the knit. However, since I turned it into a cowl you can’t really tell because of the drape but if I had left it a scarf it would’ve been blatantly obvious. That was just a lucky save!
To continue to be inspired and keep track of my future knitting projects, I joined a knitting community site called Ravelry. I hope to make scarves, hats and baby booties in the coming weeks. For my next circular knitting project I’ll be using circular needles so I won’t have to sew together the knit to create a circle – it’ll be seamless. Let’s see if this hobby sticks – I love it so far!
We recently took a chocolate making class at Tache Chocolate and had a delicious 90 minutes of composing and nibbling on incredible chocolate creations. Located on the Lower East Side in NYC, Tache Chocolate is owned by the talented and lovely Aditi Malhotra, who was recently awarded Zagat’s “30 Under 30″ Award. Aditi trained at the French Culinary Institute and named her shop after the French word for “smudge” to commemorate the chocolate marks she often finds on her chef’s apron at the end of the day. In addition to her impressive foodie credentials, Aditi is a great teacher–engaging, effusive and clearly in love with her work.
We started off by getting a rundown on some of the ingredients we’d be using: coconut flakes, various spices, nuts, raisins, strawberry wafers and jasmine tea! Aditi also shared with us what some of her favorite chocolate brands are, recommending Valrhona and Callebaut. Then, we got to peek at some of the machines Tache uses in the chocolate making process. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on one of the machines that reminded us of the infamous “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy starts stuffing truffles into her mouth off of an assembly line. Aditi demonstrated what the machines were used for and how they worked. We also got to taste Aditi’s dark chocolate grignotines, spicy chai truffles and jelly fruits. Delicious!
Our first assignment consisted of making white chocolate grignotines and mendients. We learned that white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate. In fact, it’s made mostly from cocoa butter and milk solids. Because of its more neutral flavor, it can serve as a nice base for additions such as various nuts and spices. This was all news to us! After heating the chocolate to the working consistency we set to making our chocolates. Aditi encouraged us to get really creative with our toppings, even showing us how to use pan masala supari mix at one point!
Next we got to work with some yummy, glossy dark chocolate. We started out by making dark chocolate coated marshmallow lollipops with toppings. Here, you can see Aditi neatly demonstrating how to top the lollipops. What you don’t see is what our versions looked like. Hint: definitely not like hers!
The final part of the class was our favorite – we used molds and filled them with chocolate using one of the machines. We chose an Eiffel Tower and skulls and topped them with edible glitter and sea salt. The glitter ended up looking like sparkling lights on the Eiffel Tower and the red glaze on the skulls made them look super badass. We both agreed that this might’ve been one of the best food-related classes we ever took–it involved making and eating chocolate, after all!
Mubina with our molded chocolate creations
Posing with our creations and our teacher Aditi (center)
I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving! We had a great big feast at our home with friends and I cooked up a storm. It was an easy-going casual affair and I knew that our company would all be arriving at different times. I decided to serve some light snacking for people while they were waiting for the feast to begin but I didn’t want to serve appetizers that might interfere with appetites or stomach capacity. Herb-roasted sweet and savory nuts and hot, spicy apple cider fit the bill perfectly!
Herb-Roasted Sweet and Savory Nuts
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons melted salted butter
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon seasalt
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons chopped rosemary, thyme and tarragon
4 cups mixed raw, unsalted nuts
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Mix together the oil, melted butter, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and herbs. Add the nuts to the bowl and stir until well combined. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Roast the nuts for 20 minutes and stir them. Roast for another 15 minutes–watch the nuts closely because they can burn quickly! Once the nuts are golden brown, take them out and toss them with the salt and sugar. Serve at room temperature.
Hot and Spicy Apple Cider
1 gallon apple cider
Mulling spice mix:
4 cinnamon sticks
4 cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
8 allspice berries
Heat up apple cider in a large pot. Put mulling spices into a cheesecloth and tie into a knot. Put the mulling spice knot into the apple cider. Boil and simmer–serve hot! Not only does this taste good, it makes your whole house smell amazing.