Sharing anything—whether a meal or an old sweater—has been put on hold for the time being. But while many things have changed throughout this pandemic, there are still ways to share—that is, with the members of your household.
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So take a look at “MasterChef” contestant Theo A. Michaels’ cookbook “Share: Delicious Boards for Social Dining,” which provides excellent grounds for sharing a meal with everyone who lives in your house. As the title suggests, the book is filled with recipes that are designed to be shared with a cohort of people, rather than just one or two.
Share: Delicious Sharing Boards for Social Dining, $12.79 on Amazon
Theo comes from a large Greek family, so it should come as no surprise that the chef prefers catering for large numbers of people. Armed with his book, you can fill platters with wedges of spinach and feta quiche; speared chicken souvlaki drizzled with a date molasses and tahini dressing; and half-moons of roasted squash, crowned upon a chewy lentil salad. Sweets are put into the mix too, like a sticky chocolate date cake and poached plum and cardamom pavlova.
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So next time you’re running out of ideas on how to feed your large family, look to Theo’s recipe for spicy chicken shawarma. The hunks of chicken are coated with paprika and allspice, slipped under the broiler (or thrown onto the grill), until dark and blackened. Pair with rounds of flatbread, and whatever accoutrements you’re feeling: sliced red onion, parsley, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, or Greek yogurt. You can artfully arrange everything for a bit of a DIY project, letting family members design their own creation, sharing your delightful bounty with everyone.
Excerpted from Share: Delicious Sharing Boards for Social Dining by Theo A. Michaels, Ryland Peters & Small 2020.
Spicy Chicken Shawarma Recipe
My chicken shawarma is scented with allspice and smoked paprika and marinated in a vibrant yogurt mixture, bringing it all to the table for your gastronomic enjoyment! Using chicken thighs keeps the chicken moist and succulent, and grilling/broiling it this way gives you that smoky charring reminiscent of street food. Serve in gyro ﬂatbreads with fresh salad accompaniments and Greek yogurt on the side, for everyone to help themselves as part of your meze board.
Spicy Chicken Shawarma
- 6 chicken thighs, boned, skin on
- 100 g/scant 1⁄2 cup thick Greek yogurt
- Grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1 fresh red chilli/chile, ﬁnely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A few sprigs of fresh coriander/cilantro, to garnish
- Gyro flatbreads, to serve
- Optional accompaniments: 1 red onion, ﬁnely sliced
- Leaves from a bunch of fresh ﬂat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1⁄2 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 1⁄2 cucumber, ﬁnely diced
- 6 ripe tomatoes, diced
- 3 lemons, cut into wedges, for squeezing
- 125 ml/1⁄2 cup thick Greek yogurt
- Preheat the grill/broiler to hot.
- Cut two deep scores across the top of each chicken thigh.
- Mix all the other ingredients (except the garnish) together in a non-reactive bowl to make the marinade. Add the chicken thighs, toss to coat, then cover and leave to marinate for 1 hour (or overnight) in the fridge. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before you plan to cook it to take off the chill.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and arrange skin-side up and a few inches apart on a lightly oiled roasting pan. Cook under the preheated grill/broiler for about 15 minutes, until the ﬂesh is cooked through and the skin has charred and started to crisp, turning occasionally.
- Once cooked, slice across each thigh into strips 2.5-cm/1-inch wide, season with salt and pepper. Pile up on ﬂatbreads, garnish with coriander/cilantro sprigs and place on your board, alongside any accompaniments you are serving.
Gyro Flatbreads Recipe
Gyros are the ultimate grab-and-go Greek street food; soft, chewy ﬂatbreads wrapped snugly around charred meat, salad and always topped with fries – the trickle of juice and tzatziki down your chin is optional. The wraps used for gyros tend to be thicker than regular pitas and are much more pliable and seriously delicious. This recipe couldn’t be easier or quicker – it’s all about the ratios: one part milk to two parts self-raising/rising ﬂour, a little olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- 270 g/2 cups self-raising/rising ﬂour, plus extra for dusting
- 250 ml/1 cup full-fat/whole milk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- A pinch of salt
- Mix all of the ingredients (except the ﬂour for dusting) together in a bowl and work them together with your hands. Once the dough gets scraggy, tip it out onto a surface and start kneading by hand.
- Once you’ve got a soft, slightly sticky dough, pop it back in the bowl, cover loosely with a kitchen cloth and leave to rest for 30 minutes (or if time is short, just charge on and don’t bother resting it – it will still work out okay).
- Cut the dough into 16 small pieces of equal size and roll each one out on a lightly ﬂoured surface until they are all about 5 mm/1/4 inch thick.
- Heat a heavy-based frying pan/skillet until hot, then slap a ﬂatbread down in it for a few minutes before ﬂpping it over. Repeat and cook each gyro until golden brown on both sides. Stack them up and cover with a clean kitchen cloth to keep them warm until you are ready to arrange them on your board.
Header image by Mowie Kay © Ryland Peters & Small, 2020