Saturday, March 20, 2010

Kuwait - Big Family Meals

It’s hard to believe that the Gulf War was twenty years ago. Apparently, there is little evidence now that there ever was an invasion, except for the memories of it burned in people’s minds and extra security around the capital. But it still holds a reputation of being one of the more relaxed of the Muslim countries.

Kuwaiti dishes are influenced by Mediterranean, Persian, Indian and South Asian cuisine. Eating food is a big part of the culture and it is usually prepared in large amounts where it is common to invite neighbors and family to share the dishes.

For our Kuwaiti meal I cooked only enough for my immediate family (sorry neighbors). I made chicken with lemon with a side of cold spinach and yogurt salad.

Chicken With Lemon

Chicken pieces

1/2 – 3/4 cup oil (half canola and half olive)
2/3 cup lemon juice
2 TBSP thyme
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Marinade chicken for 1 hour or over night. Place chicken in baking dish and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Then broil 15 minutes or until golden.

Cold Spinach and Yogurt Salad

1/2 lb spinach
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp onion, finely grated
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
1 cup plain yogurt
1 TBSP fresh mint, finely cut or 1 tsp dried mint

Wash spinach under cold water running water. Drain, then strip the leaves from the stems.

In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add spinach, reduce heat to low, and simmer, tightly covered, for about 10 mintues. Drain spinach in sieve, cool to room temperature and squeeze it completely dry. Chop finely.

In a bowl, combine spinach, lemon juice, onion, salt and pepper. Toss the mixture and stir in the yogurt and mix thoroughly.

Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled. Sprinkle with mint.

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