Chicken Kebabs with Yogurt Marinade

I can’t believe I’m giving this one up. It’s the money maker and the belly-pleaser of all belly-pleasers. Serve it to all your guests. In my recipe book, I called this “Chicken Kebabs with Yogurt Marinade,” but when this is on the menu, we affectionately refer to it as “Food Truck Chicken.” So consider yourself warned: If this shows up on a food truck anywhere before it’s on my own, there might have to be legal action! Remember this blog post is dated! (Okay, here you go…)

For the Chickenfoodtruckchx1
* 1/2C yogurt (Greek or any plain yogurt, but make sure it has some fat content)
* 1 lemon, juiced (+optional 1T lemon zest)
* 1T paprika
* 1t dried Italian seasoning
* 1t salt
* 1t pepper
* 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1t dried dill
* oregano, to taste
* ~1.5lbs chicken breast tenders, cut into chunks
* GOOD quality pita bread

For the Salad
* 2 medium-sized cucumbers
* 1/4 red onion
* 2-3 plum tomatoes, seeded
* 1 small yellow pepper
* 1 ripe avocado
* olive oil
* salt + pepper
* juice of one lemon

Mix all of your chicken marinade ingredients in a bowl, from the yogurt to the spices.

foodtruckchx2 Mix it thoroughly. Then place your chicken chunks into the mixture and stir it through to make sure the chicken is completely covered. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour but up to 24!

When you’re ready to cook, take your chicken out of the fridge, and pour the whole mixture, marinade included, into a large saute pan. Cook over medium-high heat for just a few minutes per side. Because the chicken is cut into smaller chunks, it will cook through quickly. You want to retain the juiciness of the chicken and the marinade, and not cook-cook the yogurt, so trust that a few minutes + a flip + a few minutes is sufficient.

Meanwhile, have your salad ready to go. Cut all of your veggies really small: tiny bites of cucumber, tiny bites of tomato, tiny bites of pepper, tiny bites of avocado, etc. Slice everything, and then cube it small. In my family, we call this “Israeli Style.”

Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil and the juice of one whole lemon over the salad. Season with salt and pepper, and any other seasonings to your preference. When I pair this salad with this chicken, I like to add a little bit of oregano and a little dried dill to help tie the components together and make the dish cohesive.

Warm your GOOD, quality pitas. I cannot stress the need for serious quality here enough. In fact, maybe *that* is the key to my ownership over this recipe. I know where the goods are, and that part I’ll keep to myself. (Mwa ha ha!) Anyway… where was I?

Yes, warm your pita. Slice off a small section of the top to be able to open up the inside of your pita. Fill it with the salad and the chicken, and voila! The best dang food truck chicken dish (proprietary!) ever.

Remember my warning (threat?)… <wink>

Fresh Corn Soup with Smoked Chicken Sausage

I finally used my immersion blender! And it was just as awesome as everyone says! Hooked.

I actually wasn’t going to post this recipe. It was definitely successful and tasty, but when I first made this a few days ago, I thought it could use a few tweaks. I’d have to make it again and then post it. BUT! But then! Then the leftovers. Oh man. I had some more for lunch today after a few days in the fridge, and boy did those flavors amplify! This soup is fantastic! It takes a little time and patience – it’s a good one for a weekend day when you’re around the house. And as I’ve just learned, it works well as a prepare-ahead meal. Make it Saturday, serve it Monday or Tuesday. Easy-peasy. Or serve it same day, of course. But trust me… let this sit and turn into leftover lunch. Woo-hoo!

Intrigued? I started with this recipe that I pinned for a Meatless Monday meal (but then I added chicken sausage, so there goes that plan), and then I played around with it as I tend to do. I don’t know what the corn is like right now where you are, but even though it’s just the start of the season, we already have some really delicious, sweet, bright corn coming into our stores. It only gets better from here. So here you go.

WHAT YOU NEEDcornsoup3
* 4 large ears of fresh sweet corn, shucked
* Kosher salt
* 3T olive oil
* 1/2-3/4C cup diced onion (about 1 small onion)
* 3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1/2C chopped celery (about 2-3 large stalks)
* 1 small red potato, peeled and cubed
* black pepper
* 1/2t cayenne pepper
* 2-4 prepared smoked chicken sausages, chopped
* chopped fresh cilantro, to taste
* optional: a little lowfat milk or fat free half and half

WHAT TO DOcornsoup1
Start by cutting the corn off your cobs. You want to end up with about 3-4 cups of kernels, but frankly, the more the merrier. So while I used 4 ears of corn for my soup, I could see using up to 6, even. Don’t be shy.

Next, take those nude cobs, break them in half, and then plop them into a deep stock pot with about 4 cups of water and a little salt (about 1/2-1t). Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer about 30 minutes.

Next, throw out those cobs. Remove the liquid (you made corn stock!) from the pot and into a bowl. Set aside. Return the pot to the stove, and over medium heat, saute the onion in the olive oil for about 3-5 minutes, then add the garlic and saute another minute.

Reduce the heat again, to medium low, and add the celery. Stir together, then cover the pot and cook about 5 minutes or so. Then add the potato, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Pour in the corn stock you set aside earlier, increase the heat and bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low again, and simmer, covered, about another 30 minutes.

Reserve about 1 cup of the corn kernels from earlier. Pour the rest into the pot and continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

Now! Get out your immersion blender or prepare a regular blender. If you’re using a regular blender, just blend your soup in batches and return to the pot. If you have an immersion blender, blend away! You want the vegetables to puree almost completely, and the soup to start to froth a bit.

cornsoup8cornsoup9Whee! So fast and fun! You’re almost done.

Chop up your chicken sausages, and in a small frying pan, toss the chopped sausage bits around to warm and barely char, releasing all the delicious smoky scents and flavors.

Taste your soup and add seasoning as necessary for your tastebuds. Add the chopped cilantro (I used about 1/4 cup), and stir. Add the rest of your corn and the smoked sausage, and stir through. Cook for 5 more minutes. If you want to thicken it up a bit, this is where you’d add your dairy. But you really might not need it. Wait and see. Don’t commit to it ahead of time. YUM!

Serve hot or cooled. Top with nothing, or any number of fixins: sour cream or creme fraiche, more fresh, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions (!), diced tomatoes, bacon bits (!). Better yet, let it sit in its pot and enrich those flavors for a day or so, then heat it back up and serve. Brilliant!

(Again, here‘s that original recipe that launched my soup.)