Saturday, April 14, 2012

You Say Coriander, I Say Cilantro!

     I love to flip through all kinds of cookbooks and check out recipes from lots of different sources.  When I come across recipes from British cooks, I am charmed by their use of the words "brilliant", "lovely", and "fantastic".  A couple Sundays ago, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  I was dreaming of making a recipe I had torn out of an old House Beautiful magazine that was part of a review of a Sarah Raven cookbook, but I couldn’t find the clipping.  In my mind, I could see the yummy picture of grilled chicken stuffed into pita bread along with a cilantro studded yogurt sauce.  After looking everywhere I could have stuffed the article excerpt, I turned to the internet.  I googled away and after a while found the recipe I remembered - on an August 17th, 2010 post of  (The Daily Telegraph online).  However, it didn’t mention cilantro anywhere.  Instead, it called for a bunch of coriander. Since I had my heart set on cilantro, I went ahead and made it with cilantro.  I also added in some ground coriander, ground cumin, and some ground cardamom because in the back of my mind, I knew that one of those things equaled fresh coriander!  After the dinner rush was over, I sat down at the computer again and figured out that in the UK, cilantro is known as coriander.  Whatever it’s called, I love it!  Below is the Sarah Raven recipe with my modifications. 

Chicken Souvlaki with Cilantro modified from Sarah Raven


(Optional)  Put about 12 wooden skewers in water and let them soak while following the rest of the recipeRinse and pat dry 4 chicken breasts.  Cut the chickenbreast into pieces ableto be grilled or threaded on
to the wooden skewers mentioned above.

 In a bowl mix together:

¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
                                    1 small jalapeno, diced                                  
¼ cup of lemon juice (1 lemon)
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
                                                             ½ teaspoon turmeric                                                           
1 cup of plain nonfat yogurt
¼ cup of olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

      Place the chicken pieces in the bowl and gently stir to cover each one with the yogurt/spice mixture.  Allow this to marinate for about a half hour.  Remove the chicken from the bowl, shaking the excess mixture off and either use the skewers while cooking them or place the pieces directly on the grill. When the chicken is done (no longer pink inside), serve them on top of a green salad (or in some warm pita bread as Sarah Raven does).  Top the chicken with the sauce below.

Sauce to Serve with the Chicken:

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
½ a large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

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