Keh-baaahbs. Because Everyone Loves Meat On A Stick.

This time, they’re made with red meat and a positively incredible marinade.

Meat + stick = awesome.

The keh-baahbs actually look more appetizing in real life, but we were grilling them after dark, which isn’t my camera’s favorite time frame. However, I don’t care if my camera liked them. I sure did!

Can’t forget the veggies!

The Recipe:
Beef Keh-baahbs
3 lb steak, cubed (you decide which quality you want…it’s soaking in wine and then getting grilled)
1 bottle merlot (I used Yellowtail because it’s not too pricey, but it’s consistent)
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp onion salt
1 tsp allspice
2 large green peppers
1 large white onion

Do This
Trim as much of the fat off the meat as possible, and cut it into cubes. Mine were a little bit bigger than an inch apiece. Place the cubes in a large, shallow bowl or tupperware.
Blend the spices together in a bowl, then rub into the cubes of meat. Pour the wine over top, cover, and place in the fridge for at least an hour (mine marinated for four hours, but yours don’t have to hang out for that long).
While the meat marinates, chop the peppers and onion into large chunks. Make sure they’re big enough to fit on the skewers.
Assemble skewers of meat and veggies. I like to keep them separate because of the different cook times, but they’re a bit more colorful if you alternate meat and veggies.
Fire up the grill, and cook the skewers until the meat is browned to your taste (I like mine rare, but I know that some people like to cook their beef more thoroughly) and the veggies are just a wee bit charred on the edges.

If your skewers are made of wood, soak them in water before skewering the meat. This will save you some headaches and prevent your skewers from catching fire (I didn’t do that with the chicken keh-baahbs, and they got super burnt on the grill).

The marinade is incredibly easy to do, and it smells amaaaaaazing. After the keh-baahbs were cooked, I saved the juice for reducing into a sauce later.


Eggplant Alla Reckless

It’s a lot like eggplant parmesan. But, you know, without any cheese.

I’m Gonna Make You Sweat

Your eggplants, that is.

Sprinkle some salt and walk away? Easiest way to work up a sweat…ever.

Salt. Ignore for a bit. Wait until little puddles show up. Rinse off.

Sweat ’til you can’t sweat no more.

Magic! Your eggplant is now more tender and less bitter.

I realize that this is probably common knowledge, but maybe someone, somewhere on the internets didn’t know about this. Or…I was totally just looking for an excuse to use those photos.

Thought For The Day

Pecan Pie is not real pecan pie unless it is made with Karo syrup. Said syrup must be spilled, and get all over your kitchen. Bonus points if you get it in your hair.

Choreg >>> Other Breads

Choregs are probably my favorite breakfast food of all time. They’re braided. They’re easy to eat on the go. They’re not obscenely sweet. They’re amazing with cheese. My grandma used to send freezer bags of these home with us, just so I could snack on them more than once or twice a year. Have I mentioned that my Gma is awesome?

This is her choreg recipe. It’s quite similar to Virginia Madoian’s recipe from The Art Of Armenian Cooking, although Gma goes a little bit heavier on the anise.┬áSome Armenian women really like┬áto make choreg in bulk, though, so I’ve halved her recipe. I lovelovelove choreg, but I cannot fathom why I would need a batch large enough to require five pounds of flour and ten eggs. This recipe makes more than enough dough…I needed two large bowls to let it rise. Incidentally, all of the choregs were gone in less than 4 days. Maybe I oughta make the bigger recipe next time?

The Recipe:
8 1/2 cups flour
1 pint milk
1/2 lb shortening
1 stick butter
5 eggs, beaten
1 pkg dry yeast
1/4 cup water
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp mahleb
at least 1 tsp crushed anise seed
at least 1 tsp crushed fennel
1 egg for brushing on top
sesame seeds
1 tsp liquid anise

Do This:
Preheat the oven to 375 just before baking.
Dissolve the packet of yeast in lukewarm water.
Melt the shortening and butter together. You can do this on the stove or in the microwave.
Heat the milk to lukewarm temperature.
Place the flour in a very large bowl, and use your fingers or a spoon to create a well in the middle. Fill this well with eggs, sugar, salt, baking powder, mahleb, anise, fennel, milk, shortening, and yeast. Did I mention that you need a very large bowl for this?
Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it stops sticking to your hands. I promise that it will stop sticking to your hands at some point.
Cover the bowl with a towel, and let the dough rise for about 3 hours.
Punch the dough down, and divide it into 6 equally-sized balls. Cover again, and let rest for half an hour.
Roll each ball into a log, and cut into 6 pieces.
Shape into braids (I can draw a diagram if someone wants that — just leave a comment!) and place on a baking sheet. Let these sit for an hour.
Using a pastry brush (or your fingers), paint the tops of the choregs with egg, and sprinkle with seeds.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Remove the choregs from the baking sheets, let cool for a few minutes. Serve warm with Armenian string cheese.

I could eat these every single morning.

Braiding the dough can be a little bit annoying, but if it gets sticky and unwieldy, pop it in the fridge for a few minutes. I promise that it’s totally worth it to make the braids. When the choregs are baked and you can pull off neat little bite-sized pieces, you’ll be happy that you bothered to braid them.

Special note for Chicagoans: I picked up the mahlab and sesame seeds (and some other cool things) at Middle East Bakery & Grocery. It’s an amazing little store right near the corner of Foster & Clark, and I am totally in love with it. Go. Now.

I’ve Got Steam Heat

Most excellent:

Not my own photo, but it’ll have to do until I upload the action shots.

Silicon veggie steamer! I’ve been using the old-fashioned metal type steamer basket, but I hate how unwieldy that thing is at clean-up time. Broccoli and asparagus are not friends with the metal basket, because the little tiny bits get stuck in the steam holes, and then trapped in between the folded-over segments. It might not be so annoying in a dishwasher, but I don’t have one, so I’d been searching for a nice silicon replacement for some time. Hooray for Linens ‘N Things having store liquidation sales! I got a pretty red steamer (just like the one in the photo up there) for nine dollars.

There’s Something About Martha

I’ve been a fan of Martha Stewart for longer than I can remember. Sure, I’m in grad school for software engineering, but I still want to be Martha when I grow up.

Somehow, I remained unaware of the community page on the Martha Stewart website until…this morning. I’ve checked out the recipe search feature before (and snagged a few cookie recipes!), but managed to completely miss the rest of the good things.

Here’s a question for any readers who also happen to be Martha fans: what’s your favorite feature on her website? Is there anything super cool that I might not have discovered yet?