To continue with our reviews of Milk Street Tuesday Night Mediterranean, Robbie Cheadle weighs in on the cookbook and gives us a recipe and review of Chicken Shawarma.
Many of you long time readers are familiar with Robbie. She has generously shared her cooking expertise with us on several occasions. I don’t think anyone can forget her amazing Hummingbird Cake, https://newclassicrecipe.com/2022/05/10/hummingbird-cake-a-very-special-birthday-cake-for-a-very-special-mother/.
In addition to being an accomplished cook, Robbie is a fabulous writer and blogger. Her many talents can be found at https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com
Milk Street: Tuesday Nights Mediterranean: 125 Simple Weeknight Recipes from the World’s Healthiest Cuisine by Christopher Kimball
About the book
Mediterranean based recipes which have been put together by the author with the objectives of speed and simplicity for everyday cooking in mind. The recipes are grouped under various headings including Fast (approximately 45 minutes start to finish), Faster (approximately 30 minutes start to finish), and Fastest (approximately 25 minutes start to finish), and then Salad Suppers, Hearty Vegetarian, Supper Soups, and Flat and Folded. The recipes used mainly common Mediterranean spices and ingredients that are easy to find in local shops and result in wholesome and tasty meals.
Several recipes, including the two recipes I chose to make, use a broiler for the cooking process. I do not have a broiler; in fact, I’ve never heard of this piece of equipment. I was able to modify the cooking process easily to one I am familiar with and have the necessary cooking equipment to accommodate.
I also used food items I had available in my house and did not purchase items specifically to make the selected recipes. As a result, my meals varied a bit from the ones in the book. I think the ease with which I adapted the recipes to suit my ingredients and cooking methods, was a big positive for the usefulness of this book.
The first recipe I attempted was the Spicy Ground Beef Kebabs with Tomato-Sumac Sauce from the Fast section. You can find my adapted recipe and pictures of the dish on my blog here: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2023/01/30/levantine-kebabs-in-chunky-tomato-sauce/
The second recipe I tried was Chicken Shawarma and this is the recipe I made. I have indicated where I made small adaptions due to ingredients and cooking methods.
|Original recipe||Robbie’s recipe|
|2 pounds (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut crosswise into thirds||1.8 kgs chicken thighs and drumsticks on the bone with skin|
|1 Tbspn ground cumin||2 Tbspns ground cumin|
|1 Tbspn ground coriander||2 Tbspns ground coriander|
|2 teaspoons hot paprika or 1 ¾ teaspoons sweet paprika plus ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper||2 ½ teaspoons sweet paprika plus ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper|
|1 teaspoon ground cinnamon||2 teaspoons ground cinnamon|
|Kosher salt and ground black pepper||Himalayan salt and ground black pepper to taste|
|1/3 cup plus 1 Tbspn extra-virgin olive oil||2/3 cup olive oil mix plus 2 Tbspns olive oil|
|3 tablespoons tahini, divided||6 tablespoons tahini divided|
|1 medium red onion, halved and sliced ½ inch thick||70 grams sliced red onion|
|1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt||2 cups full cream yogurt|
|1 cup lightly packed fresh mint, flat-leaf parsley, or a combination chopped||15 grams chopped mint, leaves only, and 10 grams Italian parsley, chopped|
|1 tspn grated lemon zest plus 3 Tbspns lemon juice||2 tspn grated lemon zest plus 6 Tbspns lemon juice|
My changes are in square brackets. In a large bowl, stir together the cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Measure 1 teaspoon [two teaspoons] of the spice mix into a medium bowl and set aside.
Into the remaining spice mix whisk the olive oil, 1  Tbspns tahini, and 2  Tbspns lemon juice. Add the chicken and onion and toss to combine [Dip the chicken pieces in the mixture to coat them. Lay them on a baking grid in a foil-covered roasting pan. Cover the chicken with onion]. Let stand at room temperature while the broiler heats [heat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius].
Chicken dipped in the marinade and covered with the red onion slices ready to go into the oven
Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the element. Broil the chicken and onion until the chicken is lightly charred on both sides – 18 to 20 minutes. Flip the pieces halfway through cooking. [bake the chicken in the oven at 210 degrees C for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 190 degrees C and bake for another 15 minutes. Turn and continue to back for another 30 minutes or until the meat is fully cooked.]
Cooked chicken after it came out of the oven
Make the sauce by mixing the reserved spice with the yogurt, 1  Tbspn/s olive oil, 2  Tbspns tahini, the lemon zest 1  Tbspn/s lemon juice, the chopped mint and salt and pepper to taste.
Traditionally the chicken and sauce are served with a pita bread. I served mine with rice as I didn’t have pita bread. It was very good.
Final served dish with rice and a generous serving of the sauce.
I liked this cookbook, the recipes were reasonably simple to make and not overly time consuming, perfect for weeknight cooking for working moms. Some of the ingredients, like tahini, are expensive to purchase locally and that might be a consideration for people who are on a tight budget.
I purchased the ebook from Amazon.com here: https://www.amazon.com/Milk-Street-Mediterranean-Weeknight-Healthiest-ebook/dp/B08FJDLRRX and look forward to making many more of the recipes.
About Robbie Cheadle
Award-winning, bestselling author, Robbie Cheadle, has published thirteen children’s books and two poetry books. Her work has also appeared in poetry and short story anthologies.
Robbie also has two novels published under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle and has horror, paranormal, and fantasy short stories featured in several anthologies under this name.
The ten Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions, which children can make under adult supervision.
Robbie’s blog includes recipes, fondant and cake artwork, poetry, and book reviews. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/
Find Robbie Cheadle
Thank you once again Robbie for sharing your talents with my readers. I used the delightful picture of Robbie and her Mom so that you can take a peak at the amazing hummingbird cake.