CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Memorial Day is coming up soon and that means the official start to grilling and bbq season. It’s also a great time to try out some new recipes and techniques that will impress your guests. Here with a Middle Eastern Favorite: Chicken Shawarma is the smoke master Ernie Adler. “I frequently recommend handheld foods and appetizer because serving handhelds means fewer plates and utensils needed, and smaller portions means you can also serve a greater variety of items and also ensure that food is not wasted” says Adler. With food as expensive as it today it’s important to make sure portions are right, here is the dish with sides:
Grilled Chicken Shawarma
First up we’ll make a middle eastern favorite, Shawarma. You can use chicken, beef, lamb, or even seafood, although traditional shawarma was lamb. Buy boneless, skinless chicken thighs and trim any excess fat.
For the seasoning combine coriander, cumin, cardamon, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. You can also find packaged shawarma spice in most grocery stores.
24 hours ahead rub the chicken generously with the seasoning blend and refrigerate. When ready to grill take out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before. Make the sauce at least a few hours ahead combining plain Greek yogurt, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
For the wrap shred iceberg lettuce, slice tomato, thin sliced red onion, and use either pita or flatbread.
Heat your grill to 350 degrees, oil the grate, place chicken on the grill and turn after 4-5 minutes.
Chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees. Let it rest for a minute then slice into thin pieces, place on the pita, then layer with the lettuce, tomato, onion, a dollop of the sauce and wrap it up.
For a great side dish we’ll be making a grilled potato and egg salad. Grill fingerling or creamer potatoes until done, let cool, then slice in half.
Fold together chopped hard boiled eggs, fully cooked diced bacon, diced red onion, sugar, mustard, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and Greek yogurt or mayonnaise.
When potatoes are cool fold in the dressing and serve at room temperature.
Finally, spring and summer means local fresh fruits and vegetables. Today let’s grill up some strawberries for dessert.
Wash whole strawberries with the stem on, skewer through the stem to the bottom, sprinkle a little salt on them and spray each with a little spray oil.
Heat your grill to 450 degrees and grill for 3-4 minutes per side.
Combine balsamic glaze or vinegar with your favorite chocolate sauce, then drizzle over the strawberries when they are done.
Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.
For more great recipes visit Erniesbbq.com.