It’s almost the weekend, and you don’t know what you’ll do. Theaters feel so expensive, and you don’t know that you want to see “The Hobbit” anyway. And if you want to add dinner — whew, all of a sudden you are out at least $60.
But dinner and a movie is such a classic date. So this weekend, we’re bringing the date to you. A quick trip to the store and the Redbox and you are good-to-go. And this week’s pick is even somewhat family-friendly, so you can either let the kids in on the fun or lock them in their rooms early. Your pick.
The flick: “The Avengers.”
The recipe: Swarm for Shawarma from the Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen cookbook by Carolyn Scott-Hamilton
While ignored by the Academy and all the other awards shows, “Avengers” was the most fun movie of the summer last year. My husband and I saw it twice in the theater, and have rented it once since. We’re gonna buy it eventually, and then I will watch it on repeat and have epic marathons with all the other films from the series. Great action and witty dialogue are hallmarks of any Joss Whedon production, and “Avengers” was no exception.
There’s not a ton of food in this film, however. But the one mention you can’t ignore is Shawarma, which Tony Stark recommends as a post-battle treat for the world-saving crew. (Fast-forward through the credits to get the real joke).
Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish featuring meat over a warm pita. It comes from the Turkish word for “turning,” a nod to the origins of the dish as kebab-style.
This recipe from the Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen is gluten-free and uses vegan chicken. OR, if you don’t care about such things, use actual chicken and regular pitas.
Swarm for Shawarma (Chicken Pita)
5 cloves of garlic
1 to 1 1/2 cups tahini, to taste
2 cups cold water
1/2 to 3/4 cup lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
10 cloves garlic, chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
Salt and pepper to tatse
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
8 chicken cutlets (vegan or otherwise)
4 pita breads, warmed and cut in half
1 medium-size tomato, chopped
1 red onioin, chopped
To make the sauce: Add garlic to a food processor or lender and pulse to chop. Add tahini and pulse to combine. On a low setting, slowly add cold water and blend until frothy. Add lemon juice until mixture is the desired creaminess, then season with salt and pepper.
To make shawarma: Whisk together garlic, lemon juice and oil in medium-size bowl. Add curry powder, salt, pepper and turmeric and whisk to combine. Add chicken, turn to coat with the marinade, and marinate overnight in fridge, turning occassionally.
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade and grill for 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Divide among 8 warm pitas and top with tomato, onion and sauce.