Spiced Chicken Kebabs

I’m still trying to get the hang of the grill pan Morgan and I bought a few months ago. We don’t have an actual grill, so we were hoping the grill pan would give us similar results without having a massive, expensive grill in the yard.


So far, not quite, but I’m still glad we have it. It’s fine with fish, shrimp and thin cuts of meat, but it can be a little tricky with chicken (if anyone has tips on how to cook the inside of something perfectly without scorching the outside – I’m all ears!). I pulled off today’s Spiced Chicken Kebabs using the grill pan, but if you have a real grill you’ll probably want to use that. If you do use a grill pan, make sure that the chicken pieces and vegetables you add to the skewers are roughly the same size – otherwise one side of the skewer might not be getting cooked as well as the other.

Aside from horsing around with the grill pan, this dish turned out really well and it’s not difficult to make! Just make sure you’re checking your chicken so that it’s thoroughly cooked.

mountain of kebabs

Spiced Chicken Kebabs
adapted from Great Food Great Beer

1-1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into one inch pieces
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
dash of cinnamon and cloves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, cut into one inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into one inch pieces
1 orange bell pepper, cut into one inch pieces
1/2 tomato, cut into one inch pieces

Quick Raita
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tomato, diced
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin
dash salt, pepper and chili powder

In a large ziploc bag combine all spices and the garlic. Add the chicken, seal the bag (try to squeeze out the air) and turn the bag to coat the chicken. Marinate for at least an hour.

Soak skewers in water so that they don’t scorch. Heat grill pan on medium and add a little bit of oil once it’s hot.

Thread pieces of chicken, onion, bell pepper and tomato alternately onto the soaked skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay the kebabs on the grill pan and turn as needed. Your cook time will vary depending on how everything is sitting on the pan. Check chicken periodically to make sure it’s cooked throughout.

Prepare the raita while your kebabs are cooking – simply combine all the ingredients and stir. Serve with kebabs as a dipping sauce.

Making a Local Burger

Good morning!

First off, I’d just like to draw your attention again to our new “Favorites” page, found in the navigation bar at the top of the blog, just under the logo. We’re hoping this comes in handy on nights when you just don’t know what to make for dinner or what to bring to the office the next day for treat. As always, always feel free to let us know what you think and how we can make DC easier for you to use!


Now, if you follow our tweets, then you may have seen me mention that on Saturday I went to a really neat gourmet store/cafe in Charlottesville called Feast! Almost all the food is local. Feast’s mission connects “local farmers, artisan food producers and consumers by specifically sourcing and endorsing hand-made, local and seasonal foods that sustain the viability of farmland and family-owned food businesses.”


So Morgan and I allowed ourselves to indulge a little, and we bought some basil pesto, fancy cheese, & apples. This week I’ll be experimenting with using that cheese, called Red Dragon. Red Dragon is a creamy cheddar made from cow’s milk, containing Welsh brown ale and brown mustard seeds. There’s a bit of horseradish flavor to it; it’s definitely spicy with some good bite (read more about it here, here or here).


I’ve praised Ray’s Hell Burger in Northern Virginia here before – and what makes them stand out is the amazing quality of their ingredients. A burger is a simple thing, but quality beef, unique cheeses and a “just right” bun really makes a difference. Morgan and I used a few slices of the Red Dragon cheese we bought, as well as a pound of local ground chuck. The result was amazing.


We try not to be big beef eaters, so we figure if you’re going to make a burger, you may as well make it the best burger. I cut up some green pepper and onion, also bought at the farmer’s market – keeping with our local theme, and threw them into the patties. Check out some of your local markets soon, and get ready to taste an amazing burger!


Making a Local Burger

1 pound local ground chuck
1 medium-small farmer’s market green pepper
1 medium-small farmer’s market yellow onion
small block of local cheese (something with bite, like Red Dragon)
6 hamburger buns (gasp, we didn’t go local here!)
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon Nature’s Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
dash paprika

Heat a grill pan on medium heat (we don’t have an actual grill, so if you do – go for it!). Dice green pepper and onion and set aside. Add ground chuck to a medium size bowl and combine green pepper, onion, egg and spices. Mix thoroughly with hands. When spices are fully incorporated, form into 6 medium size patties.

Add a small amount of oil to the grill pan and add patties two at a time, cooking for 4-5 minutes on each side (8-10 minutes total), until desired doneness is reached. Enjoy!

My New Favorite Way to Cook Shrimp!

I’m still obsessed with my Anheuser-Busch Great Food Great Beer cook book. I know, it doesn’t look like much… but it really has great easy recipes that you can throw together on a weeknight (and isn’t that what you’re here for?).


This cook book led me to my new favorite way to cook shrimp – drenched in beer. It’s not the first time I’ve cooked or baked with beer and had success… Check out my previous posts:

Guinness Beer Brownies And [photos of] Babes

Taco Salad with Drunken Black Beans

You don’t need to use a fancy beer, a bottle of Budweiser will do just fine. I adapted the recipe from the cook book a bit, adding a few extra spices to give it more depth of flavor.

greenbeanscooking shrimp in beer and garlic

I also cooked the shrimp in a grill pan instead of a heavy skillet, but because you’re drowning the shrimp in beer it probably doesn’t make a difference. Morgan and I enjoyed this dinner over couscous and spicy Szechuan style green beans (spice-phobes beware!).

drunken shrimp and szechuan green beans

Drunken Shrimp with Szechuan Style Green Beans
(makes dinner for 2)

Drunken Shrimp
16 frozen shrimp, thawed and peeled according to package instructions
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer of your choice
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 turns of salt, 12 turns of pepper

Measure and combine cayenne, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a small ingredient bowl. Heat large skillet on medium high heat. Add a little bit of oil when hot. Add garlic and stir quickly so that garlic doesn’t burn. Add shrimp, followed by spice mixture, and stir.

Immediately pour 1/2 bottle of beer into pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn the shrimp and add remaining 1/2 bottle of beer. Cook until shrimp are firm, pink and curled. Serve immediately.

Szechuan Style Green Beans

approx. 1 pound green beans, washed and ends broken off
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Heat medium size skillet on medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil, followed by green beans. Stir, adding spice mixture and soy sauce. Cook until desired tenderness is reached (about 7-10 minutes).

Light, White Meat Fish Fillets

The other week I went fishing with my dad. He’d been hounding me to go with him for, well, a few years, and I’d been dragging my feet. It’s an all day commitment and I seem to never have a lot of spare days, but also the last few times I went we never caught anything. Fishing can be a lot of fun, or it can be extremely uneventful.


Thankfully this trip was a lot of fun! We did have some good activity, but most of it we had to throw back – 3 rays, 1 small flounder, 1 blue fish that I let get away as I brought it up to the boat, 2 cobia who eyed the bait but just wouldn’t bite, and, luckily, one small/medium size blue fish that I did successfully get into to boat and we kept!


My dad was determined to catch me enough fish for my husband and I to have dinner, so the next day he went back out by himself and caught a few speckled trout and croaker.


The result was an excellent dinner. Earlier in the week before the fishing trip I bought a flounder fillet at the grocery store for dinner. The difference between fresh fish and store bought fish is amazing.

Good fish doesn’t take long to prep or cook. This recipe will work well for any small to medium size white meat fish.


Light, White Meat Fish Fillets

1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Chesapeake Bay Seafood Seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
5 turns of salt
12 turns of black pepper
1 egg
5-6 small fillets

Heat a grill pan on medium high heat. Combine all ingredients except fish and egg and make a thin layer of the spice/bread crumb mixture on a plate. Crack open an egg and whisk it in a small bowl.

Coat fish fillets one at a time in the egg and then dredge in spice/bread crumb mixture. Add coated fillets to grill pan and cook small fillets for approximately 3 minutes on each side, watching carefully to be sure you don’t overcook. Fish should be opaque when done; use a small fork to test that fish just starts to flake when touched.

Serve with whole wheat couscous and asparagus.