Saturday, April 26, 2014

Kukumerla

"Kukumerla is an odd name."  So say the brewers.  To say that it is an odd name is to simply note the obvious.  If one were to go beyond the obvious, there is much more to explore.  The word "Kukumerla" is inspired by a legend known as the "Days of the Blackbird" or the "dead of winter."

The legend unfolded during the coldest days of the year.  The air was so cold that sources that all of the denizens, including the birds, struggled to find heat.  Some of the birds were able to huddle on the top of chimneys of the local buildings.  Those birds basked in the heat which came from the fires tended by the townsfolk in their fireplaces.  However, as the birds warmed themsleves, the soot from the smoke turned their feathers black.  From that day foreward, the birds became black birds.

The legend comes from the city of Chieri, which is the home of Birrifico Grado Plato.  I first encountered Grado Plato at an Italian craft beer tasting.  The beer was the Strado San Felice.  The beer piqued my interest and I looked out for more of their offerings. That is how I found the Kukumerla.

The beer is Birrificio Grado Plato's take on an English barleywine. An English barleywine -- as opposed to an American barleywine -- is malt first, hops second.  (An American barleywine is the opposite). As such, both the aromas and the taste should feature elements of bread, biscuit, toast and caramel.  

The Kukumerla fits itself nicely within the style of an English barleywine.  The beer pours a reddish brown in color.  The brownish hues show through in the right light, allowing for a little redness along the edges.  The aroma is full of sweet raisins, caramel, toffee and Belgian candy.  There is no hint of any hops in the aromatic profile of this beer.  The hops are also absent from the taste.  The elements are malt driven, with ripe fruit such as raisins and plums, joined by caramel and a little molasses.  In the end, this beer is one of the sweetest examples of an English barleywine that I have tried.  The sweetness was a lot, but not too much, as it did not turn me off from the beer. 

The brewers suggest that the beer is best enjoyed with traditional Christmas cakes, dried fruits, nougat, Madernasse baked pears or stewed apples, sweetened with sugar.  The suggestions clearly play on the sweetness of the beer.

This beer is available at craft beer stores with a large international selection.  A bottle sells for about $17.99 to $19.99.

ENJOY!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Kerala Style Meatball Curry

When it comes to curries, I have a particular interest in recipes that come from the Southern part of India, especially Kerala.  If I had to give a reason, I think it is because those curries have a lot more heat in them, with the use of different chiles and peppers.  I have made three such curries in the past, Panni Ularthiyathu (a dry pork curry), Keralan Duck Curry, and Shrimp Masala.   I have enjoyed each of those dishes and, consequently, I keep a look out for other Keralan recipes.

A few weeks ago, I came across such a recipe.  It was not the chiles that caught my attention.  Instead, it was the protein.  I am used to making curries with lamb, pork, chicken, and duck.  I am even used to making curries with vegetables.  However, this curry called for meatballs.  The "word" meatball goes straight to my Italian heritage, growing up eating pasta and meatballs on a weekly basis and on holidays.  Meatballs in a curry sounded like a great idea.

The use of meatballs makes this recipe very versatile.  Most of the proteins I just mentioned -- lamb, chicken and pork -- either come ground or could be ground with a food processor.  For this particular dish, I decided to use ground turkey thighs, primarily because my beautiful Angel eats and enjoys turkey.  Thigh meat is definitely better for meatballs than breast meat because of the slightly higher fat content.  I bought pre-ground turkey from a local grocery store, which saved a lot of time by eliminating the need to de-bone and then mince the meat.  

When it came to cooking the meatballs, I chose the alternative of baking them.  This makes the dish healthier by eliminating the additional fact that would be added during the frying process.  Frying turkey meatballs requires some oil to avoid burning the meat.  Placing them in the oven helped to eliminate that part of the process and removed some of the grease from the final product.

In the end, this recipe was very delicious. It will go on the short list of recipes to make for the family and friends.  It will also go on my to-do list, because I definitely intend to make it again with other proteins (i.e., the ones that my Angel does not eat).  


KERALA STYLE MEATBALL CURRY
Recipe from Vazhayila
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound of minced meat (chicken, beef, lamb or turkey)
2 cloves minced garlic minced
2 green chiles, finely chopped
2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 star anise, crushed
Curry Leaves
1 teaspoon red chile powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 medium onions, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste or crushed
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 teaspoon of garam masala
1 cup of coconut milk - 1 cup
1/2 hot water
Salt to taste
Cilantro (optional)

Directions:
1.  Make the meatballs.  Combine minced meat, minced garlic, green chiles and salt.  Knead into a dough and make small balls with it.  Wet your hands when necessary so that the meat won't stick to your hands.  Keep the meatballs on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or foil in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes.  The meatballs can be fried in a little oil or, as an alternative, the meatballs can be baked for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Saute the onions and spices.  Heat oil in a pan and add cloves, bay leaf, star anise and curry leaves.  Fry for one minute or two.  Add ginger/garlic paste and mix well. Add the chopped tomato and saute until the oil separates.

3.  Prepare the curry.  Make a paste with the red chile powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder by adding a little water to the mixture.  Add the paste to the pan and fry for a minute or two.  Mix hot water and 1 cup coconut milk.  Add the liquid mixture add to the pan. Sprinkle some garam masala and stir to combine the ingredients well.  When the gravy is really hot slide in meatballs, one by one, at a distance.  The meatballs should not be allowed to touch each other, so always use a wide mouthed pan while cooking this.  Simmer covered for 30-45 minutes. Uncover and simmer till gravy thickens.  Garnish with the chopped cliantro.

ENJOY!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lemelson Vineyards Thea's Selection Pinot Noir (2007)

There are a handful of winemakers and vineyards that are noteworthy and special to both Clare and myself.  A few of those winemakers come from the Willamette Valley, where we spent part of our honeymoon.  And, one of those Willamette Valley winemakers/ vineyards is Lemelson Vineyards.

Lemelson Vineyards has an interesting backstory.  The owner, Eric Lemelson, is the oldest son of Jerome Lemelson, the reknown inventor and innovator who had more than six hundred patents.  Unlike his father, Eric has committed himself to pursuing the truly un-patentable ... a noteworthy and outstanding Pinot Noir.  Lemelson Vineyards has seven vineyards, with names such as Briscoe, Chestnut Hill, Rocky Noel, Stermer and Wascher, on which they cultivate Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes. Those vineyards are found in three different American Viticultural Areas or AVAs.

When we visited Lemelson, we had the opportunity to sample some of their wines.  We bought a couple of bottles and I keep an eye out for bottles at local wine stores, such as this bottle of Thea's Selection Pinot Noir (2007).  This wine is produced with Wadensvil, Pommard, and Dijon clones grown in the Stermer, Johnson and Wascher vineyards.  The wine is aged for fourteen months in 55% new and 45% refilled French oak barrels and then aged an additional 3 months in the bottle.

The wine pours a dark crimson, ruby red.  The color suggests a very earthiness to this Pinot Noir, which clearly follows in both the aroma and the flavor. 

As for the aroma and taste, the winemakers are very descriptive when it comes to the Thea's Selection. The winemakers suggest that the aroma includes smoked tea, black raspberry, forest floor (remember that earthiness) and coffee, which are lifted by strawberry, bing cherry and asian spice.   I could find some of the elements, such as the black raspberry and earthiness, along with some spice (although I could not necessarily characterize it as "asian" spice).  As for the taste, the winemakers describe it as a "classic, silky smooth Pinot Noir texture, with sweet fruit and vibrant acidity that is the hallmark of this vintage."  The fruit definitely comes forward in the taste, coming to the forefront of the palate, pushing the forest floor and the spice to the side.  As the finish shines through, there are notes of both raspberry and cocoa in the wine.

This wine is a classic Oregon Pinot Noir, and, as such, its combination of fruit and earth allows for some more substantial pairings.  I would pair this dish with a range of grilled meat dishes, including chicken and pork, as well as even some steak dishes.  It would also pair well with hard cheeses and some milder soft cheeses.

This vintage is no longer available and, quite frankly, I cannot remember how much a bottle costs.  If you happen to come across a later vintage, it is worth the purchase.  A search of the Internet revealed that, depending upon the vintage, the price per bottle runs from $25 to $35.

ENJOY!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wine Club: America in Miniature

A couple of months ago, the Savage Boleks planned to take our Wine Club to a far exotic locale (Burma or Myanmar), but, unfortunately, one of the Savage Boleks (namely, me) got sick before the "trip." So, now, we have decided to take everyone to a different place. One that is not so far away. Closer. Much closer.  The theme for this Wine Club is Maryland.

The State of Maryland has many nicknames, and, one of them is "America in Miniature."   The name comes from the fact that one can find just about any American natural feature in the state (with the obvious exception of a desert).  As one person has described the State, "Maryland gently dips down from the beautiful mountains along the Appalachian Trail, through emerald mountain valleys and hollers, eventually spreading its watery fingers of tributaries, rivers and streams into the Chesapeake Bay."  Mountains, farms, rivers and the bay, all encompassed within one state.

This description comes from the foreword written by Baltimore chef, John Shields, in the book, Dishing Up Maryland.  Chef Shields goes on to describe Maryland's cuisine as one of the "oldest and simplest of North America's regional cuisines."  He notes that the cuisine of Maryland "has certain traits that shape its preparation, flavor and presentation."  It will be our goal to prepare a multiple course meal that highlights what is best about the cuisine of this great State.  All of the recipes, as well as the stories, come from the Dishing Up Maryland book.

FIRST COURSE
Shrimp Pâté with Crostini and Cream of Asparagus Soup with Rice

One usually associates oysters and crabs with the Chesapeake Bay, which everyone associates with Maryland.  Making an oyster stew or steaming crabs would have been the traditional thing to do.  However, there is much more to Maryland than oysters and crabs.  The state is home to an organic shrimp farm, Marvesta Shrimp Farms, which is located in Dorchester County.  Marvesta raises shrimp in an environmentally conscious way, forgoing the chemicals, antibiotics and hormones that may be used by shrimp farms in other parts of the world.  Although Marvesta ships only to grocery stores and restaurants, their organic shrimp farm serves as the inspiration for the start of this meal ... Shrimp Pâté.  Shrimp are chopped and combined with a fat (cream cheese, mayonnaise and butter), along with some seasonings (Old Bay and Tabasco) and herbs (mainly dill) to create the pâté, which is served along with a toasted baguette.

As delicious as this sounds, one cannot start a meal with shrimp pâté and baguette alone.  We will also be serving a Cream of Asparagus Soup with Rice.  Farms on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, such as Godfrey's Farm, grow asparagus to sell at local grocery stores and farmer's markets.  This soup is particularly notable because it does not have any cream.  Instead, the soup consists of asparagus, onions, garlic, vegetable stock, and white rice, which helps to create the consistency of a cream of asparagus soup.

SECOND COURSE
Boneless Spring Lamb Roast

Farms dot the Maryland countryside.  Many of these farms, such as Zekiah Farms in Charles County and Jehovah Jireh Farm in Washington County raise lamb.  For our second course, we will be making a lamb roast.  The roast will be seasoned with garlic, oregano, rosemary, and paprika and roasted until it reaches medium.  The lamb will be sliced and served with a pan juice and side dishes to be determined.

THIRD COURSE
Smith Island Cake

We will end the evening with Maryland's official dessert ... the Smith Island cake.  This cake consists of eight to ten crepe-thin cake layers held together with a cooked chocolate icing.  The story behind the cake is that it is a recipe from the original inhabitants of Smith Island, which was discovered in 1606 but settled between 1650 and 1680.  The original cake was said to have only 4 layers; however, competition between the families led to taller and taller cakes.  Our version will have between eight to ten layers.

We are looking forward to this wine club and hope to see you all there.  (And, BTW, we will make the Burma menu for a wine club in the future.)

ENJOY!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Wild Streak

There was a time when all beers were aged in wood, and yeasts ran wild and cavorted together. Modern brewing is wonderful, of course, but sometimes a little cavorting is a fine thing. Sometimes it gives you a chance to reveal your funky side.  That is the beginning of the story of how Garrett Oliver and his team at Brooklyn Brewery decided to reveal their Wild Streak.

The Brooklyn Wild Streak starts off as a Belgian-style golden ale, but the brewers work their magic to transform that ale into a Barrel-Aged Brett Beer.  The ingredients are straightforward: Pilsner malts, along with three types of hops: German Perle, Slovenian Aurora and Styrian Golding Celia.  In addition, the brewers use their house Belgian yeast strain for the primary fermentation.  After that fermentation and a brief conditioning, the brewers then age the beer for several months in second-use bourbon barrels, which the brewers describe as giving the beer a soft, round character infused with nicely balanced oak flavors. Finally, the brewers bottle the beer flat and re-ferment it with blend of priming sugar, Pris de Mousse Champagne yeast and the wild yeast strain Brettanomyces Lambicus. And then the cavorting begins.  When all is said and done, the end result is natural carbonation. The beer is aged for almost a year (the cavorting takes a while) and then it is available for craft beer enthusiasts who like "a wonderfully complex earthy funk."  (That includes me.)

The Wild Streak pours a sort of hazy golden color, with a thick foam that recedes with time but never disappears.  The aromas initially reveal the bourbon barrels, with a combination of alcohol, bourbon and oak wood.  Those elements are accompanied by a little earth and grass.  The latter elements introduce the drinker to the funk to come in the taste.  

The earthy funk actually represents the outcome of a epic battle between two very strong flavor elements: the Brettanomyces and the bourbon barrels.  To some extent, the Brett struggles to overcome the bourbon barrels.  Other times, the bourbon barrels seemed to be overcome by the Brett.  There are other elements that also make an appearance, such as tart apple, pear, some citrus and a clear booziness that comes with a beer packing a 10% ABV.  Ultimately, the battle between the wild yeast and the bourbon barrels ultimately ends in a stalemate, as the overall taste of the beer provides a good combination of the wild yeast and bourbon barrels. At the end of the glass, I could not say that either the Brettanomyces or the bourbon barrels had outshined the other, both were represented well in the beer. 

The brewers suggest that the Wild Streak is "particularly great with cheese and game meats."  They particularly suggest washed rind cheeses.  This is an interesting suggestion, one that perhaps invites another battle between the funk of the beer and the funk of the washed cheeses.  

I found this beer at local grocery stores, and, a bottle sells for $23.99 (which is the same price as the Brooklyn Black Ops).  It is definitely worth the purchase, but only if you have a wild streak yourself.

ENJOY!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Turkey, Artichoke and Green Bean Paella

A while back, I made a Turkey Paella for Clare and her parents.  It was a wonderful combination of turkey thighs, turkey sausage, artichokes, roasted peppers and other ingredients.  Ever since that time, I have wanted to make a Paella for my parents.  Recently, when my parents were visiting us, I had the opportunity to make the dish for them.

I came across an article about Paella written by Mark Bittman, a food columnist for the New York Times magazine.  Bittman opened the article by noting that he had been accused of making arroz con cosas -- rice with things -- by the Catalans who lived near Valencia.  The accusation seemed serious, given Valencia is the home of paella.  It was also somewhat obnoxious, evincing an "air" that anything different that what may be produced over coals within the geographic boundaries of the Spanish is necessarily inferior.   

Mark Bittman appeared to be non-plussed by the critiques.  His response ... "paella really is just rice with things -- as is risotto, as is pilaf." 

More importantly, Bittman provides some useful insight and guidance into paella.  First, one needs rice, preferably short grain rice (such as risotto, but it should be Spanish bomba rice or Valencia rice).  Second, one needs olive oil.  Third, one needs vegetables.  After that, there are options.  The New York Times produced a very interesting graphic to depict the many options that are available to the cook:

This graphic is very helpful, although I did not follow it all for this paella.  Instead, I decided to make another turkey paella, but I decided to go a different direction with the recipe.  I found some grilled artichokes, which would help to provide some smoky flavors to the dish.  I also decided to use some green beans in place of peas.  The combination -- turkey, artichokes and green beans -- are all stuff my beautiful Angel loves to eat and, together, they made a great paella for my parents.

Bittman provides more advice.  He notes that water is most often used in paella, but stock is also acceptable.  Bittman suggests chicken stock or seafood stock.  While chicken stock would work, I found a turkey stock.  I felt that the turkey stock would help to deepen the turkey flavors in the stock.

Finally, Bittman notes that the one unusual aspect to paella is that the paella is not stirred.  The reason is that you want to achieve a browning of the bottom of the rice.  The Valencians have given a name to that browning ... "soccorat."  It is the signature feature of paella.  Bittman concludes, "should you achieve it, no one will say you've made arroz con cosas."

Needless to say, the Turkey, Artichoke and Green Bean Paella was excellent, except that I did not achieve that socarrat.  I guess that there is always the next time.


TURKEY, ARTICHOKE AND GREEN BEAN PAELLA
A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
2 1/2 pounds of turkey, cut into even sized, small pieces
1 pound of artichokes
1 pound of green beans
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper minced
1 tomato, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove minced
2 cups of Spanish Bomba rice (or Arborio rice)
4 cups of turkey stock
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1 pinch saffron
1 bay leaf
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:
1.  Prepare the ingredients.  Heat the olive oil in a the paella pan.  Add the turkey in batches and cook until browned on all sides.  Remove and set aside.   Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the green beans.  Blanche the green beans for a few minutes and then remove to an ice bath to cool.  Drain and set aside.  Rinse the artichokes

2.  Make a sofrito.    Add the bell pepper, onion, tomato and garlic and cook until soft. 

3.  Add the main ingredients (other than the rice).   Add the turkey, artichokes and green beans to the pan.  Add the wine and allow it to reduce by half, about 1 minute.  Pour in the turkey stock and bring it to a boil.  While the stock comes to a boil, add the saffron to some hot water to rehydrate and then add the saffron and water to the pan, along with the bay leaf.  Season with salt. 

4.  Cook the rice.  Add the rice, taking care to spread it evenly around the pan.  Cook over medium-high heat without stirring until rice has absorbed most of the liquid, which should take about 15–20 minutes, although it may take longer.   Also, if you pan is like mine, which is larger than the burner, rotate the pan every few minutes to make sure that different parts of the paella are over the heat and the rice cooks evenly.)  Cook until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is al dente. Remove pan from heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

ENJOY!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bell's Hopslam Ale

I admit that I often struggle to describe beers in my beer reviews.  I spend a lot of time trying to create an image of the beer in the reader's mind.  Too often, I give up that endeavor and just write a rather ordinary review.  Other people apparently don't suffer from the same troubles as I do.  They have a much easier time creating an image that sticks with a reader long after the article -- and the beer -- has been finished.  And, for some, those descriptions come a little to easy.

For example, a production manager at a brewery described one of the brewer's most popular offerings in the following way: "[imagine] if you’d gone to the hop growers association 20 years ago and said, I’m going to have a beer that we make 4,000 barrels of one time a year. It flies off the shelf at damn near $20 a six-pack, and you know what it smells like? It smells like your cat ate your weed and then pissed in the Christmas tree."  I found this quotation in a post from Appellation Beer written by Stan Hieronymus, and, it comes from Bell's Production Manager, John Mallett.  According to Hieronymus, Mallett was decribing Bell's Hopslam Ale.

The Hopslam Ale is brewed in the style of a double Imperial Pale Ale.  The brewer uses six different hops to brew this beer, although Bells does not disclose the identity of the hops on its website.  The brewers do note the "massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops" as part of the brewing process, which results in what the brewers call the most complex hopping schedule of any beer in its repertoire.  

The obvious question is whether the beer "smells like your cat ate your weed and then pissed on your Christmas tree"?  To find out, I was fortunate enough to be given a bottle of Hopslam Ale from a friend.  The beer poured an amber, copper-orangish color.  A good thick foam appeared and stuck around for quite a while.  I let the beer rest for a moment and two, and, then I tried to discern the aromas.  Fortunately, the aromatic elements were closer to the description provided by the brewers -- "a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit and floral notes -- than the description provided by the production manager.  (Although I should note that Mallett's description was given as part of the reason for the formation of the Hop Quality Group -- a non-profit organization that communicates brewers' interests in hop aromas and the changes to those aromas to farmers.) 

For me, there was that pungent blend of citrus and floral notes in the aroma of the Hopslam.  However, those notes were restrained somewhat by the sweetness that comes from the "generous malt bill" and the "solid dollop of honey" used to produce the beer.  The sweetness served as a frame for the hops, both with the aroma and the taste of the beer.   The taste included everything I would expect and enjoy with a double IPA, a strong punch of citrus that crosses over to provide some piney notes, but the honey coats those rather astringent and bitter elements and adds a complexity that is often missing from double IPAs. 

Overall, this is an excellent double IPA, which one would expect when you are paying almost $18.00 for a six pack. If you are lucky enough to see a six pack.  It seems that -- whether the smell is like a cat eating your weed and peeing on your Christmas tree or a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit and floral notes -- those six packs sell very quickly.  If you come across a six-pack, or even one bottle, it is worth the price.

ENJOY!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Advieh-e Khoresh Spiced Chicken Kebabs

If there is one thing that amazes me about cooking, it is spice mixes.  I have made many recipes with different spice mixes that are as varied as the countries from which they originate.  Hawayil from Yemen.  Baharat from Egypt. Bzaar from Libya. Berbere from Ethiopia.  Creole spice from Louisiana.   Those are just some of the many spice mixes that I have made over the years.  

What is so intriguing about spice mixes is how they can represent a culture and its cuisine.    For example, there is Advieh.  It is a spice blend that is used primarily in Persian cuisine.  The mix traditionally consists of cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cardamom and cumin.  It also contains a unique ingredient that I have not seen in a spice mix before ... dried rose petals.  That is definitely an ingredient that I have never worked with before.  (And, as explained below, I still have never worked with.)

Advieh is used by Persian cooks in a wide range of dishes, from rice dishes to chicken and bean dishes.  There are two traditional types of Advieh: (1) Advieh-e polo, which is sprinkled over a rice dish after the rice is cooked; and (2) Advieh-e Khoresh, which is a spice rub that is used for grilled or roasted meats.  I decided that I would make Advieh-e Khoresh and use it in a quintessential Persian dish ... chicken kebabs. 

Advieh represents what is great about spice mixes.  It is used in dishes from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea; and, across that expanse, there are an endless variety of Advieh mixtures.  The mixtures contain all or most of the traditional ingredients listed above, but some may include cloves, turmeric, ginger, coriander, saffron, black pepper and/or mace.  The variations mean that you can make the mix several times and have a different result, with each result being as intriguing and tasty as the last one.

One final note.  The unique characteristic of Advieh is the use of dried rose petals.  That is not a very common ingredient in western stores.  If you can find a Mediterranean market, you might be able to obtain those petals.  I was not so fortunate.  Still, I wanted to make the recipe; so, I decided that I would make a substitution.  Rose water for rose petals.  I added a few drops of rose water (the stuff is pretty potent) in the oil when I prepared the marinade for the kebabs.  While I don't think it is the same as using rose petals, I think it is an acceptable effort to recreate the final result ... which was very delicious. 


ADVIEH-E KHORESH SPICED CHICKEN KEBABS
Spice Mix recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl
Serves 4

Ingredients (for the spice mix):
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground rose petals
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Ingredients (for the kebabs):
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into even size pieces
3/4 cup of olive oil

Directions:
1.  Make the spice mix.  Combine the cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cardamom, rose petals (if you have them) and ground cumin.  Blend well with a fork or a spoon.

2.  Marinate the chicken.  Place the chicken in a storage bag.  Add the oil (and the drops of rose water, if you are using it as a substitute for rose petals).  Add the spice mix gradually, mixing it into the chicken and the olive oil.  Continue until all of the spice mix has been added to the storage bag.  Close the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.

3.  Prepare the kebabs.  Soak the skewers for at least an hour (this is not really necessary).  Skewer the chicken pieces, making sure each skewer has the same amount of chicken on it.

4.  Grill the kebabs.  Heat a grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Oil the grates and place the kebabs on the grill.  Grill for about seven to ten minutes on each side total, but rotate and turn the kebabs occasionally.  Remove from the heat and let rest for five minutes.

When you serve the kebabs, it is best to serve them with rice and a side, like Salad-e Shirazi, which is what I did for this meal. 

ENJOY!
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