Having some friends over for lunch? Want to impress them, but find yourself lacking in mad culinary "skillz"? Alas, you can find salvation, and it is called Pita
With pita, you can make really delicious simple meals that seem exotic and elegant, and take almost no time to prepare. Here is my basic recipe:
Jon's tasty pita of indeterminate ethnic origin
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces (for quick cooking)
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder or about 2 tablespoons of very finely chopped fresh onion.
Handful of cilantro
And of course, 2 pitas. I use the precut kind that tear in half and are hollow inside, perfect for filling with our chicken.
Trim the chicken of any tough connective tissue and large pieces of fat. In a bowl, combine the juice of the lemon (don't worry about the seeds, this is just a marinade), the soy and Worcestershire sauces, and the onion and garlic. Add the chicken and toss it all around till everything's nice and coated. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but overnight is best. The acid in the lemon juice will cause the chicken to discolor, it will turn white, as if cooked. Don't worry about that, it will actually make the chicken more tender.
Spray a medium sized skillet generously with non-stick cooking spray and bring it to temperature over high heat. When the pan is good and hot, toss in the chicken by hand, as we don't want to add the marinade. Watch for the lemon seeds. Pan-fry it until it's almost cooked all the way through, (about 4 minutes). By now there should be lots of brown gunk stuck to the pan. This stuff has great flavor, so add 2 tablespoon of water (or other other liquid. Wine would work well), and stir it all around to deglaze the pan and coat the chicken with the yummy brown gunk. When you're sure the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from heat, but leave the chicken in the pan to stay hot while you prepare the pita.
Tear the pitas in half and warm them. You can "nuke" it in the microwave for 10 seconds, or toast it lightly in a toaster oven. Next, take a dollop of mayo and smear it on the inside of pita pocket. Add a leaf of lettuce, and enough chicken to fill it nicely. Top it off with some cilantro. Serve with a salad or a bowl of soup.
Why do I call it the pita of infinity? Because you can make this dish in so many ways! Are you on a low-fat diet? Substitute salsa for the mayo. Craving Greek food? Use yoghurt and some cucumbers and replace the cilantro with fresh mint. Vegetarian? Instead of chicken, put some hummus, rice, tomatoes, cucumbers and yoghurt inside. Asian? Marinate the chicken in peanut sauce. Mexican? Use carne asada. Heck, even tuna salad is great. The possibilities go on and on and on. It's easy, it's delicious, it's light. Enjoy.