Shashlik is really just the Central Asian name for a kebab, something on a skewer. In Kashgar—the westernmost city in China—at least on the street, this was almost always lamb coated in a cumin based spice blend. At that time—35 years ago—the lamb is cut into small (3/8 inch) cubes and skewered with bits of lamb fat. The stick is dipped into a tray of the spice blend and then grilled over hot coals. Wife Jan is on the Noom program, and while she wanted shashlik, she did not want it made with lamb—a “red food.” She asked me if I could make with chicken instead—a “yellow food.”
Category Archives: Sauces and Spices
I had decided to barbecue chicken for the Fourth of July, but what flavor. A last year, I made this dish for my sister Karen, but I was overly cautious with the spices. This time I took my own advise and bumped up the spice level to four tablespoons. To go with the meat heavy main I made several vegetable sides—corn, grilled vegetables and a couscous salad. For a patriotic desert, I served strawberries, whipped cream, and blueberries.
Wife Jan has asked me to make cornbread. In and of itself cornbread is not a meal, it does though pair very well with chili. Since cornbread is a starch, I wanted to make a straight, bean-less chili con carne, but Jan said she like beans in her chili, so I added about half as many as I would usually add to a bean chili.
The term chile (chili) is a complex. It can refer to: 1) a large number of fresh capsicum pods of varying heat levels; 2) the dried and/or smoked pods; 3) the same pods in powdered form (with or without the seeds); and 4) varied spices blends that include one or more of the powdered chilies as a main ingredient.
My Spicy Chicken with Pan Fried Noodles is one of my daughters favorite dishes. Unfortunately, daughter Miriam is “off” onions and garlic at the moment. However, this is a dish that is dominated by onions and garlic—a whole large yellow onion, 8-10 cloves of garlic, and tablespoons of chili garlic sauce. Making it taste even close to the original is going to be quite the challenge.
Jan asked for Central Asian barbecued chicken—at our house this means Uyghur. However—do to the scarcity of fuel—the Uyghurs would never barbecue chicken. A signature dish of the Xinjiang region is Big Plate Chicken (Da Pan Ji). I decided to adapt the flavors of this usually wok sautéed dish into a barbecue sauce for the grill.
I am doing a barbecued bulgogi tri-tip for our Sunday meal. To go with the Korean main dish, I decided to make a potato salad with napa cabbage kimchi as my starchy dish. I decided I needed another vegetable dish and I found a recipe for oi bokkeum—stir fried cucumbers. I first had fried cucumbers in China, so I thought I would create my own Korean stir fry sauce.
Wife Jan is headed for Burning Man again. Last year I sent some of my four chile chili powder. This year, I thought to make a unique blend for the event. Over time, I have collected several chile powders from around the world. Balancing the heat and flavors I ended up with a six chile blend.
Adapted from a RasaMalaysia recipe
Wife Jan asked for chicken satay for Sunday’s dinner. If you search for this dish on-line you will find it spelled both “satay” and “sate.” While these are basically the same dish, the difference lies in whether the recipe has more Thai or Indonesian influence in the seasoning. While the recipe I based this one on was more Malaysian, I pushed it toward Thailand in my choices of ingredients.
Wife Jan is on the BRAT diet—bananas, rice, apples, and toast. We had a basket full of apples and she decided to turn it into apple sauce to make it easier to eat. The idea in her head was to make a sauce version of my lime apples. While this produced an excellent, tasty apple sauce, I could not help but make some “improvements” when I made another batch for her.