Chicken Kofta Kebabs with Greek Salad and Tahini Yogurt Sauce

Kofta Kebabs

Posted to Instagram a week or more ago, this was going to be my first recipe blog of 2018. Yep...I have gone for 4 months without a single post. But life has happened and it's been a little crazy. I got my beautiful kitchen that I have wanted FOR.EV.ER. Want to see the before photos? You will have to scroll all the way down to the bottom! Only the truly curious will want to see the nastiness that was before - and I left out the photos of brown and green Formica!

Once we got it all set up and decorated (All design done by Robin Pasley of Robin Pasley Designs) I have hosted a few cooking classes and cooked for new clients. Plus we have gone to our fair share of high school baseball since my Freshman made the team in early February. Somehow, I have no baseball photos...not a very good baseball mom, I guess. This is a whole new world and I'm still learning what it looks like to be a sports mom.

And, finally, the saddest part and main reason this post was even further delayed, our sweet little furry family member had to be suddenly put to sleep last week - the day I had intended to write the post - after a serious and unrecoverable injury occurred.  I never realized I could love an animal that much, but I had to will myself to stop crying after the third straight day. I just didn't realize how much space he filled in our lives and in my empty house when all the boys left for the day. Without realizing it, I had let him steal a little piece of my heart and that place felt very empty.

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Jake the Wonderdog

We will miss this little guy!

But...as all humans experience...we have had to welcome the new normal as unwelcome as it may have been initially. We are moving on; no, we are not getting another dog, but we are moving on. That means we are eating well and trying to return to happy moments around the table, which brings me to the recipe at hand.

Kofta is a Mediterranean dish that is essentially a meatball on a stick. Rather than a round shape, it is traditionally shaped in an elongated fashion around a kebab skewer and grilled. The flavoring agents change depending on what country you are visiting or from which country the recipe originated. Mine has the blend of herbs and spices found in Greek cooking - cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and oregano but many contain other spices and herbs such as coriander, cumin or cloves. My version also uses almond flour to bind the mixture rather than breadcrumbs, couscous or rice which are traditionally used.

You can certainly serve this on a pita or naan bread topped with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles and tahini (Don't have tahini? Leave it out and you have Garlic Yogurt Sauce). You know, the usual suspects for falafel pita toppings. We chose to have alongside tahini yogurt sauce and a simple Greek chopped salad. Want to try a fun kitchen DIY project?  Go HERE and learn how to quick pickle anything.


Chicken Kofta Kebabs with Tahini Yogurt and Greek Salad

Kofta is simply a meatball mixture on a stick. Originating from the Mediterranean, the ground meat mixture is flavored with a blend of spices and herbs as well as garlic and onion. I have added a little spinach to bump up the nutrition a bit, but it is totally unnecessary. Almond Flour stands in for breadcrumbs. Oh, and if you don’t have any tahini on hand, just make the sauce, adding a little extra olive oil instead.

Ingredients

Kofta

8-10 wooden or metal skewers

1 green onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic

½ cooked or frozen spinach, chopped and squeezed dry with clean kitchen towel

1.5 lb ground chicken

1.5 tsp sea salt

½ tsp each cumin, turmeric, ginger, oregano

1 tsp black pepper

¼ cup almond flour

Pita or Naan bread, optional

Tahini Yogurt Sauce and Greek Salad to serve, recipes follow

 

Tahini Yogurt Sauce

1 cup Yogurt

2-3 tbsp tahini (sesame seed butter) to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp each oregano and dill weed

½ tsp each sea salt and black pepper, or to taste

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 

Greek Salad

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 Persian or 1 English cucumber, chopped

2 green onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup Kalamata olives, halved

4 oz feta, tiny cubes or crumbled

Juice of 1 lemon

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Instructions

1.       Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes or more. Heat grill to high.

2.      Mix together all Kofta ingredients and let sit in fridge for 15-20 minutes to firm up a bit and meld the flavors.

3.      While the Kofta mixture is hanging around chilling, Mix together the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and mix together the Greek Salad ingredients.  Let stand at room temperature.

4.     Divide the chicken mixture into 8-10 fairly equal pieces and shape into an elongated football-shape around the sharp end of skewer. Place on a baking sheet to hold then continue until all the chicken has been shaped around skewers.

5.      Coat the Kofta kebabs with a little olive oil then place on the hot grill. Arrange so wooden skewers are not directly over the fire. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the kebabs separate easily from the grill then flip and grill the other side.

6.     Serve hot with the Tahini Yogurt Sauce, Greek Salad and pita or naan, if desired.