Archived entries for yogurt

Queen me: Fake Coronation Chicken

Though not generally a big proponent of monarchy as a governmental system, I have to admit: I have a real soft spot for Queen Elizabeth II. I’m not really sure why. It might be the hats, or the corgis, or the fact that her family calls her “Lilibet;” frankly, it might just be the fact that she has lived in places called “Windlesham” and “Gwardamanġia.” It certainly doesn’t hurt that she is inadvertently responsible for one of my favorite sandwich fillings of all time, Coronation chicken.


Concocted in honor of Lilibet’s ascension to the throne in 1953, Coronation chicken is, simply put, a curried chicken salad. And it is glorious–tangy and spicy and sweet and… I can seriously eat this stuff with a spoon. Given that it’s 80% mayonnaise, however, I try to avoid doing so on a regular basis. Or, at least, I did until I decided to take a crack at it myself–I wanted to see if I could create a reasonable facsimile using my favorite ingredient (greek yogurt) as a substitute.


Short answer, I couldn’t. What I made is not really a doppelganger for real Coronation chicken…but it is *really* flippin’ good in its Otherness. I find that I really like the tangy bite that the yogurt brings to the table, and I absolutely *LOVE* that I can now eat it in vast quantities with relative impunity.

Because let me tell you–I have grand plans to do so. Though I will not be sharing it with the corgi in my life; I wonder what HRH would say about that.

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More Zukes! Light Zucchini Frittata with Basil and Mint

One of the greatest things about summer, to me, is avoiding the grocery store. Except for a few staples—we go through Cheerios like you wouldn’t believe—everything we eat in the summer can be purchased at the farmer’s market. There’s fabulous (though sometimes pricey) meat, all the vegetables we could desire, vivid-yolked eggs, and even homemade pastas and freshly-milled grains. It’s funny that my life in New York City brings me to a farmer’s market at least four days a week—I’m not sure I could hope for that if we moved somewhere quieter.

This light vegetarian supper was pretty locally sourced, if you’ll forgive me a splash of olive oil, a few spoonfuls of yogurt, and some quite necessary pinches of salt and pepper. The zucchinis were just too cute to avoid, even though I’d eaten my fill of them last week. The eggs were from a farm upstate, and had quite sturdy yolks—all the better for separating them. I probably could have bought the yogurt at the farmer’s market too, if I’d thought of it ahead of time. But this budget meal was assembled from what was already at home—extra vegetables from a stir fry, eggs I bought awhile back. The sweet zucchini is even brighter with a little of our balcony-grown basil and mint. A few fresh peas would have been great, as well.

My standard frittata is heavier on the yolks and usually includes some cheese. Feel free to riff, of course—a spoonful of soft goat cheese would be nice, as would a pile of shredded gruyere or asiago. But I’m experimenting with lighter meals and found this quite fresh and satisfying. The Greek yogurt adds a bit more substance (and is a good source of calcium and protein), though you must be certain to salt adequately, since it doesn’t have the salinity that cheese would add.

It feels right to lighten up our meals a bit in the summer, focusing on super-fresh produce and quick preparations. (I am also suffering, I must admit, from fear of a Certain White Dress and really, really hoping I can get it to fit in a few weeks time. 32 days. Not that I’m counting.) But if that means farmer’s market shopping from here on out, that’s ok with me.

How are all of you taking advantage of the season? Does anyone have a favorite light summer recipe to recommend?

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Grilling in October: Yogurt Marinated Lamb Kabobs

In New York, we have a lot to be thankful for. We walk everywhere, and there’s a great public transportation system. We have fabulous restaurants and theater and art, great places to shop, and interesting people all around us. What we don’t have is cheap space, and we pay dearly for the closet-sized apartments we cram ourselves into. I am fully aware that it’s ridiculous. That said, the little closet that Matt and I share is pretty fabulous. We even have a little balcony with a miniature baby grill (almost the same size as the portable stoves I used to take camping in Oregon.) Trying to use up the last of the propane before winter, we devised a grilled meal that was definitely worth repeating. After a week or so of flubs, disappointments, and bloopers in the kitchen, this dinner was so delicious Matt couldn’t help but swear between bites.

The butcher at Whole Foods deserves much of the credit—he recommended boneless leg of lamb for the kabobs, and even sliced them to the correct size for me. All I had to do was thread them onto the skewers, marinade, and grill!

Two hours before dinnertime, I picked a few handfuls of oregano and mint from the struggling plants on the balcony. (That mint is really a fighter, though. It lasted through last winter and I expect it’ll make it through this one, too.) I ground the oregano in a mortar and pestle with curry powder, a few cloves of garlic, salt, and za’atar, a middle eastern spice blend that includes sumac and sesame seeds. Mixed with yogurt, a squeeze of spicy Sriracha, and a little splash of olive oil, this made the perfect marinade for the lamb.

Meanwhile, I stirred some nonfat Greek yogurt into crumbled feta with the mint to create a sauce, adding lemon juice and zest to brighten it up a little. Not only was this perfect for the lamb, it also was shockingly delicious spread on the Honey-Garlic Grilled Eggplant we made as an accompaniment. (Recipe here.)

It’s getting dark earlier now, but fall in New York is beautiful—perfect, really—and it’s worth taking a moment to sit outside before it’s time to dig in the back of our tiny closets for our scarves and earmuffs. Might as well turn on the grill while you’re at it.

Yogurt Marinated Lamb Kabobs
Serves 3, or 2 with leftovers for lunch
1 1/4 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into cubes
2 cloves garlic, smashed
pinch kosher salt
1 T fresh oregano
1 teaspoon za’atar, divided
pinch curry powder
1 individual serving container plain nonfat yogurt
glug of olive oil
squeeze of Sriracha

Thread lamb onto metal (or soaked bamboo) skewers and place in a nonreactive pan. In a mortar and pestle, grind garlic and salt to a paste with fresh oregano. Add 1/2 tsp za’atar and curry poweder and blend. Mix in yogurt, oil, and sriracha and spread onto lamb, massaging it in between chunks and on all sides. Sprinkle remaining za’atar over the top and refrigerate two hours. Grill to desired doneness, do not over cook. Serve with Lemony Yogurt Feta sauce and Honey Garlic Grilled Eggplant.

Lemony Yogurt Feta Sauce
1/3 cup feta, cut or crumbled roughly
1 individual-serving container nonfat Greek yogurt, such as Fage
1 T fresh mint leaves, chopped
juice and zest of half a lemon

Mix all ingredients in order, breaking up feta until smoothly combined.

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