Thursday, November 22, 2018

Chloe Likes To Eat: I'm a Kebab So Damn Hard

This is an actual sentence we say in our house. Well, the second half, because referring to myself in the third person would be ANNOYING.

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Kebabs are something that never really featured in my life. It wasn't a take-out option where I've lived until I was London based and even then, I've never been a huge fan of Doner. It's only when I saw Tom Kerridge making a 'diet' version of the dish that it struck me as something that sounded pretty good.

The idea behind the recipe as advertised was a reduced fat, salt & sugar version, but for me the biggest appeal is knowing the exact ingredients. And so it came to be that kebabs are now a regular Friday Night Food. And it goes a little something like this...

You can't have a kebab without something to wrap it in, enter a soft, buttery flatbread:
Melt 50g butter in 185ml milk (this works just as well with oil and plant milks FYI), add 300g plain flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and knead into a smooth dough- this should only take a couple of minutes.
Rest the dough for around 30 mins at room temperature- just put a damp tea towel over the top of the bowl.
Cut the dough into 4 equal portions, roll each one out into a round approx 0.5-1cm thick whilst a large, nonstick pan gets hot on the hob
Brush each side of the rolled out dough with a little oil or for an extra treat, garlic butter
Cook each side for 60-90 seconds- it should start to puff up a little with bubbles- they should be soft and pliable
Stack the bread with a piece of kitchen paper or grease proof paper inbetween once cooked so they don't stick together

Note: I often make a double sized batch of the dough and freeze the flat breads- to freeze, I put a damp piece of kitchen paper between each flatbread and put them into an airtight container or use clingfilm to wrap them up, it helps them stay soft when defrosting.

So what do you put in the flatbread? For me it starts with a generous spoon of hummus smeared all over the wrap- for a bought version my favourite is the Sabra version with pine nuts, if I have time I make my own.

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Does Friday night food get better than this? I'm not sure it does!

Next, halloumi. Because halloumi. lightly griddled to create a crispy edge and soft middle.

Can you even call it a kebab if there isn't chilli sauce? Answer: NOPE.

For a fresh injection, add you salad or for a change, try roasted slices of courgette and aurbegine.

Amongst all that I need a bit of sour. Cue pickles. My absolute favourite is pickled red cabbage. Crunch, vinegar and colour all in one hit.

And then there's the kebab meat. This stuff is not attractive, but that's ok. Whatever it looks like it's packing all kinds of flavour punch and meaty joy. The below recipe is my adapted version but if you want to try the original, you can find it HERE

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I used a Thermomix for this, but a food processor or very vigorous mix in a bowl will work just as well:

Add the following:
500g mince lamb
3 cloves grated or minced garlic
1 tspn smoked paprika or pimenton
1.5 tspn dried oregano
0.5 tspn salt
1 tspn black pepper (a few good grinds)
1 tspn garlic powder

Pulse or mix well so the meat resembles more of a paste texture and the herbs and spices are thoroughly mixed in
Press the mix onto a greased, flat baking tray so it's an even thickness, ideally no more than 0.5cm thick- the thinner, the better. You can also place the mix between two pieces of greasproof paper and roll it out if you find this easier.
Place into the oven with both the oven and grill for 3-4 mins until the top looks browned, possibly blackened in some areas.
Leave to rest whilst you assemble the rest of your kebab and then turn the meat onto a board and slice into thin lengths.

Roll your kebab and try to eat it without spilling chilli sauce down your top...

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