Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Commemorative Meal: Spiced Ground Beef, Flatbread, Tabouli, Tzaziki and Humus

As I mentioned in my previous post, Brandon and I went to this great little place in Panama City Beach called Sheesha Cafe. Although we were glad to be back home, we kind of have the post-vacation blues. It's like you look forward to going away for so long, and then it finally comes and when it does it flashes by. I thought I'd make a meal reminiscent of one we had while we were on vacation to help ease the back-to-reality sucker punch we were feeling. This is a great way to make something different and exciting with ground beef too- if you're sick of hamburgers or meatloaf.

Ingredients for Spiced Ground Beef:
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley
1 lemon- (juice)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Drizzle the 1 tbsp. of olive oil into a non-stick pan and allow it to get hot. Add the ground beef and allow it to brown. Making sure to break up clumps. Drain any excess fat. While the beef is browning, dice the onion and mince the garlic and add to the meat. Season the beef with the spices and let it continue to cook. Lastly, finely chop the parsley and throw it into the mix. Squeeze the Lemon juice and combine well.

For the Tabouli:
3 bunches flat leaf parsley
1 cucumber
1/2 a small red onion
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered and seeds removed. ( I omitted this ingredient this time because I was out, But I always add them)
1/2 cup cooked couscous, quinoa, millet, or bulgur
1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
4 green onion stalks
1 lemon (juice)
1 garlic clove minced
3 tbsp. olive oil
salt to taste

First prepare one of the grains I listed above according to package directions and set aside when done. In food processor or by hand, finely chop the parsley and mint. Peel the cucumber and cut into spears, removing the seeds. Cut the cucumber into small pieces and add to the bowl with the parsley and mint. Next finely dice the red onion and green onion and add to the bowl. Quarter the tomatoes and remove the seeds and add to the bowl. Lastly whisk the olive oil, lemon and minced garlic and pour into the salad. Add salt and blend well.

For the humus:
3 cans chickpeas- rinsed and drained
2 tbsp tahini
1 lemon (juice)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water
salt to taste

Add the chickpeas to your food processor along with the tahini, water, lemon juice and olive oil and blend well. Next run the garlic through a press or micro-plane and add to the mix. You don't want to add the garlic whole because you could end up with a big chunk. Continue to blend in the food processor until the mixture is nice and creamy. Put into a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil. Season the top with a little sumac or paprika.

For the pita bread:
6 cups all purpose unbleached flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp. salt
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 2/3 cups water
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 packet active dry yeast

Add the ingredients to your bread machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Mine said to add all of the wet ingredients first then add the dry ingredients. Turn the machine on to the dough setting and allow the dough to do it's thing. Once the bread machine stops, remove the dough and break off pieces about the size of a lemon and roll into a ball. Flatten them with your hand and with a rolling pin, begin to roll them out. I like mine kind of thin but you can make them a little thicker if you like. In a large non-stick skillet add a little oil and turn on med-high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the dough and allow for it to cook. You should see air bubbles form. Flip it over once you have a little bit of browning on one side.

Tzatziki (cucumber yogurt sauce):

1 1/2 cups thick Greek yogurt
2 large cucumbers (seeds removed)
1 tsp. fresh chopped mint

Add the yogurt to a bowl. Next peel the cucumber, cut it and remove the seeds. Grate the cucumber or finely chop and add to the yogurt. Finely chop the mint and add to the yogurt as well. Serve chilled.

I know it seems like a lot of work, but actually the food processor is your best friend when making this meal. You can really have this meal done in 30 minutes (with the exception of the bread dough, but all you do for that is dump the ingredients into the machine and walk away till it's done).


Debbie said...

glad you're back to posting more recipes. oh how ive missed drooling on my keyboard at work!! ha :)

Julia said...

Rox this looks so awesome. I'm going to have to try it!

Back to Top