Mezze – Meat Dishes

I am sure its obvious from this blog that I do have a thing for middle eastern food and could quite happily live off a diet of hummus and falafel!

A few weeks ago during lockdown we cooked ourselves a Mezze Feast featuring some of our favourite dishes. As usual both Nigella and Ottolenghi recipes made an appearance!

Mezze is a great way of having a little bit of your favourite things, but also great for sharing whether its for two or ten, cook it all up and just put it in the middle of the table for people to help themselves!

I have split the meat and vegetarian dishes into two separate posts, to stop them being epic!

Chicken Shawarma

Nigella’s Chicken Sharwarma (serves 6)

Ingredients

For the Chicken
12 skinless and boneless Chicken Thighs
2 unwaxed Lemons
100ml Olive Oil
4 – 6 Garlic Cloves, finely grated or minced
2 dried or fresh Bay Leaves
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp ground Coriander
1 tsp dried Chilli Flakes
¼ tsp ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
2 tsp Sea Salt flakes
Lettuce leaves, to serve

For the Shawarma Tahini Sauce
250g Plain Yoghurt
4 tbsp Tahini
2 Garlic Cloves, finely grated or minced
fat pinch salt, or to taste
1 tbsp Pomegranate Seeds

Method

  • Put the chicken into a large sealable freezer bag and add in the zest and juice of 2 lemons along with the olive oil, garlic and the remaining marinade ingredients.
  • Seal the bag and give it a good massage to ensure the chicken is well covered in marinade. Place it on a plate and put in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge and allow it to reach room temperature.
  • Empty the contents of the freezer bag into a shallow roasting tin and make sure all the chicken thighs are lying flat and not on top of one another (if possible) before roasting in the hot oven for 30 minutes, by which time they should be cooked through and golden on top.
  • When the chicken is almost cooked, make the sauce – simply combine the yoghurt with the tahini and garlic, stir and salt to taste, and sprinkle with a few pomegranate seeds.
  • Line a platter, bowl or plates with crisp lettuce, shredded or torn into pieces, and then top with the piping hot chicken, pouring the oily juices over them and shawarma sauce on the side.
  • Serve with some warmed flatbreads or pitta and some lemon wedges, sprinkled with red chills.
  • The chicken also freezes really well to enjoy again another time.
Beef Kebabs

Beef Skewers (Serves 4)

Ingredients

For the Onion Salad
1 Red Onion, finely sliced
1 Lemon, juiced
1 tsp Sumac
Flat-leaf parsley a small handful, finely chopped

For the Kebabs
450g minced beef
½ Onion, grated
½ tsp Ground Allspice
Flat-leaf parsley a small handful, finely chopped
½ tsp Lebanese Seven-Spice or Baharat
1½ tsp Aleppo Pepper
25g Pine Nuts, toasted
2 Garlic cloves, crushed

Method

  • Place the sliced onion into a bowl with the lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt. Mix well and leave to macerate for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the grill to high. Put all the ingredients for the kebabs and a generous pinch of salt into a large bowl and mix well.
  • Form the mixture into sausage- shaped patties and thread the meat onto flat skewers. This should to make 8 kebabs. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until charred and juicy.
  • Add the sumac and parsley to the macerated onions and mix well.
  • To serve, spread the hummus on a serving dish. Lay the kebabs on top and pile on the onions. Serve immediately with flatbread.

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