Saturday, June 21, 2008

Grilled Chicken, Red Onion and Mint Kebabs with Greek Salad

Every night this week, I've had to go to bed around 7 or 8pm so that I can get up ultra early and make the donuts. Yes, I fry donuts. For a living. Well, for minimum wage, but I get PAID to make donuts. And yes, it's hard work. Yesterday morning the donut girl who's training me and I made 45 dozen just for delivery and then many more dozen for the bakery case. We have to proof a whole bunch of previously frozen dough, mix up batter for cake donuts, and then fry and fry and fry and fry donuts.

The cake dough donuts are my favorite, I wish we could start from scratch, but, reality check here, it's the IGA. We use a mix. Frying them are the most fun too because I have a funnel like contraption that is attached to a mechanical arm so that it will swing over the vat of hot grease. It also has a handle and a crank on it. What I get to do is to hold the handle and guide it over the hot grease while cranking the crank so that little round blobs of raw donuts plop out and start to cook. So fun!

So for 8 hours every morning this week, I have immersed myself in donut making. It's pretty funny because I'm just so happy to be frying up donuts and working the machine that injects the donuts with fillings, and glazing, frosting and decorating the freshly made donuts. It's hard, physical work, and Wilma the Knee is really pissed off that I'm doing it, but she'll get over it. Because it's a minimum wage job and it's not really like the people in the bakery are skilled pastry chefs, the other girls in the bakery tend to grumble a little about a lot of things. But really, how can you be grumbly when at the end of your work day you have a whole tray of frosted donuts with sprinkles staring you down? It's the best of all worlds because I can make the wide variety of donuts and the glazed donuts are shining, the cream cheese frosting is melting on the cinnamon rolls, the tiger tails have puffed up so beautifully, and the cream is oozing out of the long johns, and it all looks so beautiful and tasty and I'm challenged and I don't have to eat any of them. Of course I might snack on a cinnamon sugar cake donut at about 3am.

My latest career move means that dinner time has been moved up significantly. We used to eat dinner at 7 or 8, now it's more like at 5. And if I'm asleep by 5, which has happened, the Brain is on his own to figure out dinner. So a quick, easy, and yet supremely tasty dish is really good to find. And we found it in the Bon Appetit Cookbook with these Grilled Chicken, Red Onion and Mint Kababs with Greek Salad. I was able to put these together while chatting on the phone with my best friend T. And the kebabs took very little time to cook. And they were delicious. The Brain even offered to let me do the grilling from now on.

Grilled Chicken, Red Onion and Mint Kebabs with Greek Salad
from The Bon Appetit Cookbook

1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 bunch fresh mint
1 onion cut into 1 inch pieces
8 skewers

Mix chicken, 2 Tbsp oil. garlic, mint, oregano, salt, and pepper in medium bowl. Let marinate 30 minuets. Whisk remaining 2 Tbsp oil and lemon juice in small bowl to blend.Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Pull off large fresh mint leaves from stems. Alternate chicken, onion, and mint leaves on skeweres; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until chicken is just cooked through, turning and basting occasionally with oil-lemon mixture, about 9 minutes. Transfer skewers to platter.

2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 pitted Kalamata olives chopped
1/4 cup diced onion
3 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Mix first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl to combine. Gently mix in cheese. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)


Peter M said...

Mary, this dinner's lookin' good...and the Greek salad...why fix something not broken?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the 411 on the donuts. Yummy dinner, too!

glamah16 said...

What a interesting job. You sound like you love it and thats important.Im all about exploring and experincing, and observing.Kebas are such a great easy fix for summer dinners.

Deborah said...

We get up at 5am, so the latest we ever have dinner is 6pm. I think I'd be afraid I would eat all of the donuts! :)

This chicken sounds fantastic!

Bellini Valli said...

Got to love this Greek BBQ meal Mary. I'm glad that you are enjoying your job at IGA.They have really good baked goods..brownies, bread, etc

abdul said...

Mouth watering delicious foods are here.. wow!!!