Rachael has me over for dinner

I wanted to make sure everyone saw that we were able to score a few recipes for you guys to preview from Rachael’s new book, Just in Time. The recipes are here.

Secondly, I wanted to share a story for anyone who has ever doubted if Rachael can really cook and in 30 minutes? I had eaten many meals with Rachael before this past summer, however I had never been to her place for a real, honest to goodness, sit down and chat meal. We are always eating on the run and grabbing this and that or attending some event together and eating there. Finally, we found the time for my husband and me to join her and John for a summer meal. She told me she was making Greek food and to bring dessert (we all know why-it ain’t her thing). I thought I’d impress her and I made this obscure Greek dessert of dried figs soaked in Ouzo then pureed into a paste with black pepper and spices. It was the strangest thing I ever made but interesting. I don’t even think Isaboo wanted it. Next time I’ll bring Baklava. I digress.

Let me mention first that when I walked in, she had just finished shooting three shows and was exhausted. She needed a few more tomatoes so we called my husband to pick them up. Any other human being would have thrown in the towel at this point and ordered a pizza. I honestly didn’t think she could pull off a real meal in this state. She got into the kitchen and started slicing and dicing and throwing things in her garbage bowl (she really uses one) and talking away-it was almost like the cooking happened on its own, like it’s her most natural act. She was talking and laughing and before long, she was her upbeat self and the work fatigue had disappeared.

I watched her marinate chicken cubes and swordfish cubes in an olive tapenade and get to work on an Orzo Salad. Marinate in an olive tapenade? Who would have thought of that? Brilliant! My husband arrived just in time with the tomatoes. I helped her chop, but I was really just humoring myself. The kebabs got whisked away to the grill by John.

While we were all pretending to help Rachael cook, we nibbled on a spread of appetizers that were delish-olives, gigante beans, feta cheese, fresh tomatoes, etc. But I am not going to spend alot of time on this part of the meal because I have to get to the good stuff and the point of my story.

We sat down to eat, secretly I am thinking about how whenever I grill chicken breasts they come out dry. Of course we have the old fashioned Weber charcoal grill so really everything comes out dry but don’t tell my husband, the self titled “grill master,” I said that. I was skeptical of Rachael’s dish. But when I tell you these kebabs blew me away-its a total understatement. The olive tapenade was the trick-it added the right amount of deep flavor and it protected the chicken and fish from getting too dried out. I think I ate thirds of these babies to the point where I was going to explode! She served them with warm pita bread, a yogurt tzatsiki sauce and the Orzo Salad.

Needless to say I was impressed with her cooking and yes, she did in fact have it on the table in 30 minutes. I was delighted when I saw the recipe made it into the new book. Here’s Greek Mixed Grill Kebabs with Pine Nut Orzo Salad

As our friend and fellow blogger Madeline would say, “It’s a Keeper!”

Buy the book here

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