Entertaining Like a Pro: Tips from Four Calgary Cookbook Authors

kebab platter with two dips and rice

Thanks to Avenue Magazine – Calgary for featuring me along with Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Gwendolyn Richards and Julie Van Rosendaal in this article where we got to share our summer soiree hosting tips.

Click here to read the article at the source: Entertaining Like a Pro: Tips from Four Calgary Cookbook Authors

The recipes follow.

Butter chicken kebab platter

Butter chicken kebabs
(all of these recipes are adapted from A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen by Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson)
Marinate: 3 – 4 hours or overnight
Yield: 4 servings
Tip: I usually double or triple this recipe hoping for leftovers as it tastes even better the next day.
1½ lb chicken breast, boneless and skinless
For the Marinade:
3 Tablespoons yogurt
1½ teaspoons garlic paste
1½ teaspoons ginger paste
2 teaspoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon green chilli paste
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground chilli
¼ teaspoon garam masala
Pinch saffron
¾ teaspoon salt
Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.
Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a large glass bowl and stir in the chicken pieces. Cover and marinate 3 to 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
Skewer the chicken pieces onto bamboo skewers, alternating with pieces of bell peppers and/or red onions.
Grill until the chicken pieces are cooked through about 10 – 15 minutes, turning as needed to cook evenly.
Enjoy with saffron rice, naan and a fresh green salad.
Tandoori Prawns
Tandoori Prawns
Time: 15 minutes plus minimum of 1 hour marinating time
Yield: 2 -3 servings
1 lb rinsed, peeled and deveined prawns (about 30 per lb)
For the marinade
#½ cup plain yogurt
1Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon cardamom powdered / ground / whole?
2 Tablespoons garlic paste
2 Tablespoons ginger paste
1 Tablespoon(s) olive oil
1 Tablespoon turmeric
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
Place prawns in a shallow glass baking dish.
Mix the yogurt, lemon juice, cardamom, garlic and ginger paste, olive oil, turmeric, paprika, chilli flakes and salt in another bowl.
Pour 1/2 the marinade over the prawns, completely coating them and refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Skewer or place the prawns directly on a hot grill, brush with the remaining marinade and cook them until they turn pink, about 3 minutes on each side.
Enjoy with rice, salad and chutneys of your choosing.

Avenue Magazine photographer and art director, Jared Sych and Sarah McMenemy setting up for a photoshoot in the home of Savour It All author Karen Anderson

Pros at work – the avenue magazine crew styling these recipes for the magazine.


Garam Masala Paneer Kebabs
It’s always nice to have a batch of homemade garam masala in your cupboard and once you see how easy it is to make your own paneer, there’s no going back.
For the Garam Masala
Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 1/2 cup
½ cup cinnamon sticks
2 Tablespoons green cardamom pods
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon cloves
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Place all of the spices (except the nutmeg) on a baking tray and roast them for 10 minutes.
Remove the tray of spices from the oven and let them cool to room temperature.
Place the roasted spices and the grated nutmeg in the bowl of a spice grinder and process to a fine powder.
Store in an airtight glass container.
For the paneer:
Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 12 ounces
2 litres organic whole milk
1 litre organic buttermilk
Cheesecloth and a sieve or fine-meshed strainer
Bring the whole milk to a slow boil in a heavy bottomed pan on medium-high heat – this might take 20 minutes – stirring it continuously so the sugars in the milk don’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the buttermilk once the whole milk is frothy and large bubbles are boiling up.
Stir for another few minutes and watch as the milk separates into curds and whey.
Stop when there is no further formation of curds and strain the mix through a cheesecloth-lined sieve.
Wrap the cheesecloth around the curds and set a heavy object on them.
Place the strainer over a large bowl in the fridge until the cheese is set to the firmness you desire. Thirty minutes will yield a softer, fluffier cheese; several hours will yield a very firm cheese.
Pulling it all together:
2-3 bell peppers cut in eighths and then halves.
Once the paneer is firm, cut it into 2×2-inch squares, roll it in a saucer full or garam masala to coat all sides.
Thread the paneer onto skewers alternating with red bell pepper pieces.
Grill on medium until the cheese and the peppers are charred on all sides – about 15 minutes.
Enjoy with a mango or apple-mint chutney.

I hope you have a chance to enjoy these recipes as much as the crew and I did! Check out this fun video Jared Sych made documenting our little feast.
kebabs disappearing from a platter

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