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August 21, 2012

Recipe for slow cooker Middle Eastern garlic chicken

Slow cooker Middle Eastern garlic chicken, from The Perfect Pantry.

Shish taouk -- Middle Eastern garlic chicken on skewers -- launched my food writing career more than twenty years ago, and it's still one of my all-time favorite dishes to cook on the grill. Except this summer, when it's been so hot and humid, I haven't wanted to stand outside next to a blazing hot grill, not even for the sake of chicken. Once again, the slow cooker has come to the rescue, producing this very good adaptation of garlic chicken in a shredded form suitable for stuffing into pitas, tortillas or lavash wraps. The kitchen stays cool, and my husband Ted and I can get our garlic chicken fix even in the warmest weather. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts; chicken thighs will work equally well. Serve with chopped lettuce and tomato, add some cucumber if you like, and top it all, as we do, with your favorite buttermilk ranch dressing.

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July 19, 2012

Slow-roasted or sun-dried tomato and basil hummus recipe {vegan, gluten-free}

Sun-dried-tomato-and-basil-hummus-spread

When I turned 13 years old, my grandparents gave me the gift of a summer in Israel in honor of my bat mitzvah. I lived on a kibbutz, worked in the orchards and the chicken coops, and learned to love foods I'd never tasted before, like pomegranates, which we plucked from our own trees, and falafel, and hummus. It's so easy to make your own hummus. All you need are canned chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), garlic (essential), olive oil, and a food processor or blender. Add whatever flavorings you have in the pantry. I love this sun-dried tomato and basil hummus; if you have your own slow-roasted tomatoes, substitute those for a more intense tomato flavor.

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June 26, 2012

Recipe for roasted chickpeas with raisins, parsley and mint {vegan, gluten-free}

Chickpeas-with-raisins-parsley-and-mint

True confession: I'm not wild about chickpeas. A bad dinner party entrée served to me more than thirty years ago left a permanent scar on my taste buds; the host, a newly-minted vegetarian, served undercooked chickpeas that felt like tiny pellets assaulting my stomach. To this day, I'm leery of recipes that call for dried chickpeas, and except when making hummus, I always give canned chickpeas a second cooking, if only for a few minutes. This recipe for roasted chickpeas with raisins, parsley and mint takes that approach: a quick roasting at high heat to give the chickpeas some depth of flavor, then a toss in a sweet vinaigrette with fresh herbs from the garden. Vegan and gluten-free, this would be perfect for a light lunch or potluck.

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February 23, 2012

Recipe for Moroccan turkey meatballs

Moroccan-turkey-meatballs

I have a theory about turkey meatballs: you can mix anything from your pantry with ground turkey, and create great meatballs. Okay, maybe not anything, but except for Nutella, I can't think of a pantry staple that wouldn't work. Our latest incarnation, Moroccan turkey meatballs, features ground-chickpea falafel mix in place of breadcrumbs. The warm spices of ras el hanout -- cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric -- give these meatballs the sultry flavor of North Africa, and the dark appearance of... rocks! Oh, well. Forgive the strangely yellowish-brown color, and serve these meatballs in a salad, in a pita stuffed with hummus, or with roasted vegetables and couscous.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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