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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Chicken Cauliflower Sheet-Pan Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma with cauliflower

This recipe is totally inauthentic, but it tastes amazing.  Chicken shawarma is one of my favourite take-out meals, but it's not so easy to make at home.   This version gives you the wonderful flavours of chicken shawarma, with a hit of healthy vegetables and an amazing, easy white garlic sauce.  Serving it on mini-naan bread, taco-style, makes it a decadent, delicious one-pan dinner. 

roasted chicken and cauliflower shawarma

The recipe is inspired by this one at Food52, but I've made some changes and added the awesome white sauce.  Roasting the veggies and chicken together on one tray makes this one of the most easy and delicious meals I've made in a long time.  

mini naan

These mini-naan make a perfect serving vessel for the shawarma-flavoured filling, but if you can't find them you can use pita or any other flatbread, warmed until soft.  Or just serve the chicken mixture on its own or over rice.  Just don't forget the sauce!

White Sauce for Shawarma

This white sauce is amazing!  I love this sauce, and I've seen some very complicated recipes for it but this one is so simple, tangy and garlicky, it's perfect with the rich shawarma and naan. 

chicken cauliflower shawarma

You've got to try this recipe.  

For the Shawarma
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 medium red onion, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander 
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt 
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
6-8 mini naan, pitas or flour tortillas

For the White Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup greek yogurt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried dill (optional)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar

For the Shawarma
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place the cauliflower and onions in a large bowl and coat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Mix together all the spices, salt and pepper.  Toss half the spice mixture with the cauliflower mixture until it's covered.  Spread the cauliflower mixture on a large sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes.

In the same bowl, coat the chicken thighs with 1 tablespoon oil and the remaining spice mix and let sit at room temperature. 

When the cauliflower has roasted for 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and toss the cauliflower. It will have shrunk a bit. Make room on the pan for the chicken thighs and spread them on the pan in a single layer around the cauliflower.  Roast for 20 more minutes, checking halfway through and flipping the chicken and tossing the cauliflower so it doesn't burn.  Some parts of the cauliflower will get quite dark and crispy.  This is good!

Meanwhile make the white sauce. 
Mix all ingredients together until smooth and runny. Taste and adjust seasonings (add more salt or garlic if needed).  Refrigerate until ready to use. 

To assemble:
When the chicken and cauliflower are done, remove the pan from the oven.  Heat naan according to package directions or warm pita or tortillas, or serve over rice.  Pile the chicken mixture on warm bread or rice and drizzle with the white sauce.  

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ham & Cheese Scones

Ham and cheese scones

I like scones, but I haven't made them in the past because they don't keep very well and it's hard for just the two of us to get through a batch before they're stale. 

Ham and cheese scones

These scones are essentially a meal.  They are large, and filled with ham and cheese, making them filling, savoury and delicious!

scones - butter and flour

Making the scones isn't difficult.  The hardest part is working the butter into the flour, but it's not that tricky.  Just rub it together with your fingers until it's all incorporated.  

diced ham

If you have leftover roast ham, it would be great in this!  Country ham would be fantastic.  I didn't so I just bought a ham steak from the grocery store and diced it up. You'll want a thick piece of ham for a nice dice.  

baking scones

The dough has plenty of cream in it and is quite wet.  Pat it down on parchment into a round.

cheesy scones

The dough gets cut into triangles and topped with lots of cheese before baking.

ham and cheese scone

The finished scones are great warm or at room temperature.  If you can't finish them the day they're made, pop them in the freezer and thaw before eating, or warm them in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes. 

Here's the recipe, enjoy!


2 cups flour plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons cold butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup cold cooked ham, diced
2 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup milk3/4 cup 18% table cream


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Add the butter and rub each cube between your fingers into the flour until it dissolves and the flour resembles coarse meal. 

Add the ham, onions and 1/4 cup of the cheese to the flour mixture and toss to combine.  Add the milk and cream and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined into a shaggy dough. 

On a floured work surface, pat the dough into a 7-inch circle, about 1 inch thick.  Cut into 6 wedges and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle each wedge with the remaining shredded cheese.  

Bake 25 minutes until golden and eat these for breakfast, lunch or snacks.  Great with soup too!