A Middle Eastern Feast! Posted by: | May 23, 2010
 

So this weekend I had a dinner party again. It was supposed to be my last big dinner party before I throw myself into work until late June. As fun as it might seem, cooking for guests really involves a lot of work. Usually I would start planning the menu a week ahead, and fine-tuning it along the way. I spent my Friday night shopping for the ingredients alone. Not the most happening thing to do on a Friday, but I was too overjoyed to find Tahini (middle eastern sesame paste) for my hummus to feel weird about carrying big grocery bags pass the Friday shopping/movie/dinner crowd.

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Always a big fan of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food, I decided to go all Middle Eastern for this Dinner. And it seemed simple too. Chicken kebabs can be pre-marinated, and Pita bread spends most of the time rising on its own. The food processor does most of the work for my Hummus, and the salad was merely chopping and tossing of a few vegetables together. Yet I spent the entire day in the kitchen. And I didn’t even have time to skew the chicken into kebabs myself. Adeline had to help me with it while I was taking a quick shower (was absolutely too greasy and sweaty to meet anyone!) – Thanks babe! CY was my usual pre-dinner set up guy, helping me with the vacuuming and table settings. Seriously, I wonder how the chefs can whip up so many dishes in one hour while I spent the entire day making one meal!

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Anyways, the menu goes like this:

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Starter: Fresh Pita bread with home-made Hummus dip

Main Course: Chicken Kebabs with Mediterranean Chickpeas salad

Dessert: Plum Upside-Down cake

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The dinner was a hit, and according to Brandon, it was even better than my previous Dinner Party. Conclusion: Kebab is a real crowd-pleaser as well, and very fun to eat! And Pita bread tastes awesome freshly-baked too. Let’s look at my entire cooking process in chronological order:

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At noon, I started mixing the dough for Pita bread, and let it rise for 2 – 3 hours. While the bread rises, I boiled the chickpeas which was rinsed overnight, then let it cook for 1 hour. While chickpeas are cooking, I moved on to making the Plum dessert. Once Plum cake was in the oven for 40 minutes, I started preparing the chicken and its marinate. The chicken was then put back into the fridge to marinate for 2 hours, and I moved on to shaping Pita breads. Dessert was done by now and I took some time to snap a few pictures while it’s still glistening. While Pita breads were in the oven, it was time to prepare the Hummus. When hummus and pita breads were done, I started on the salad. Adeline then helped me skew the chicken pieces into the kebab sticks. Awhile later the rest of the gang arrived and I started grilling the kebabs in batches so we can eat it while it’s still sizzling hot. And that’s pretty much how I spent my whole Saturday, from noon to about 8pm. Tiring? Definitely. Fun? Absolutely!

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Oh look, the entry is getting so long again, and it’s almost bed time! I have promised myself that I would sleep early tonight to be in tip top condition for work this coming work week (it’s gonna be an intense week again), so I’m gonna have to write about the recipes of this weekend’s dinner party tomorrow. Sorry guys! For the time being, here is a teaser picture of my kebabs, and if that’s not enough for you, you might want to view the entire menu photo album on my FB page to satisfy your “hunger”.

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Have a great week ahead guys!

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PS: I went to the library today to finally pay off my late-fines, and guess what, I found a very extensive section for cook books and ended up borrowing an awesome Spanish healthy recipe cookbook. Can’t wait to try out as many recipes as possible before it is due (though it’s highly possible I might end up with new library fines very soon :P)

 

6 Responses to “A Middle Eastern Feast!”

  1. Brownie Monster says:

    Did you find that tahini or whatever it was you were asking me about…?

    • Chi Anh says:

      Yeah. I wrote it in my entry :) I found it at Cold Storage! Organic, and overpriced. Sigh. I might just make it myself next time. After all it’s just sesame paste in oil.

  2. Brandon says:

    It was awesomeeeeeeeeee! So flavourful hehe :)

  3. CY says:

    Hey Chi Anh, yet another wonderful and flavourful feast! I’m really liking your cooking and the great get-together. =)

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