Sunday, August 5, 2012

Double Dad Dinner

I don't think my father had ever eaten dinner at our current house until this weekend.  I guess we've always gone out if he's in Chicago.  So many good restaurants, and some varieties not common where he lives (e.g. Indian).  He was in nearby Skokie for an afternoon wedding with a light reception, and came for dinner afterward.  Dad stayed overnight, and he and Adam went fishing at Belmont Harbor in the morning.   

We tend to make a lot of food, and it had been ages since the fathers had seen each other (our wedding???), so we invited Adam's father over as well.  The stepmothers were not able to make it, due to previous commitments and illness.  It worked out fine, it was nice to have a dad / eldest child dinner!      

On the menu this evening - kubideh kabobs (Persian lamb and beef kebabs), rice pilaf, farmers' market vegetable medley. "Recipe" for hummus below.  Making your own hummus is very simple, and tastes so much better than the kind in the container from the store.  Once you make your own you won't go back!  I had intended to include the recipe for kubideh as well, but it's time for bed.  Maybe another time.  


A summer storm was well timed,
it cleared up for grilling. 

Someone wishes she was invited

Pre-dinner noshes - baked pita chips, Greek
Feta, mixed olives.  Dippers for hummus from
Farmers' Market - radishes, green beans, carrots.

Simple summer dessert - grilled pineapple marinated
in rum (2tbsp.) and maple syrup (1/2 c.),
served with marinade over vanilla ice cream.
Grill rings whole, chop before serving.



1 can of chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1-3 cloves of garlic, depending on size and how garlicky you like
1-2 tbsp. Tahini, to taste
Juice of 1/2 - 1 whole lemon, again depending on your taste and how juicy the lemon is
Few splashes of hot sauce, if desired (I usually use Tabasco for this)
Olive oil, about 2 tbsp.  
Salt and pepper


A mini food processor is the perfect size, but a full-size one would be fine too.  Place the garlic in the food processor bowl, and give a few whirls until chopped.  Add about half the chickpeas, and process until broken down.  Add some of the reserved liquid, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Process until smooth.  Add the rest of the chickpeas.  Add more liquid, blend.  With processor running, add in some olive oil.  Taste, and add more lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, salt, pepper, hot sauce as desired.  Keep tasting and adjusting until satisfied.  Give the mixture a good final blending.  Should be smooth and consistent.  Place in bowl, dress with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.  

It's worth the effort to make your own pita chips.  Again, way tastier than the kind in the package.  Just cut some pitas into wedges, and split apart the layers.  In a bowl, mix together some olive oil, salt, pepper, and if you'd like, some garlic and herbs.  I used parsley.  Coat pita wedges in olive oil mixture, spread on sheet pan in single layer.  Bake at 400ish degrees for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.  Cook until crisp.      

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