|Happy Birthday, Nancy!|
We’ve been experimenting this summer with grilling all kinds of fish and meat on a stick. It is a practice that is found in cultures all over the world and has some great advantages: they are easy to serve and quick to cook, can be seasoned and prepared ahead, and a little goes a long way. They make excellent appetizers and can also star as the main dish. They are extremely versatile as there are many flavour profiles that fit for the meat and the sauces. These recipes come directly from this month’s issue of Fine Cooking.
Turkish Lamb Köfte
For the Spice Mix
1 ½ teaspoons dried mint
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Pomegranate Yogurt Sauce
½ cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
For the Köfte
1 pound ground lamb
1 medium plum tomato, seeded and minced
¼ cup finely grated red onion
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
1 medium clove garlic, minced
pinch kosher salt
wooden skewers, cut in half
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
Combine all ingredients for the spice mix in a small bowl.
In another small bowl, mix together the yogurt sauce ingredients and set aside.
Place the lamb, tomato, onion, pomegranate molasses, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the spice mix and salt in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with clean hands. Shape the lamb portions into small sausage shapes, and insert two skewers side by side. This prevents the meat from spinning around as it would with a single skewer. Transfer the skewers to a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-24 hours.
Preheat the grill on MEDIUM HIGH for 10 minutes. Generously coat the grids with vegetable oil to prevent sticking, and reduce the heat to MEDIUM. Grill the lamb until no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes, turning for perfect grill marks.
Arrange the cooked skewers on a platter, drizzle with the yogurt sauce and garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve with more sauce.
Japanese Chicken Kebabs
For the marinade:
1/3 cup tamari
¼ cup sake
3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 ½” pieces
12 medium green onions, but into 1 ½” pieces
36 small shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
For the garnish:
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
chopped green stems of scallions
Combine the marinade ingredients in a glass dish and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the prepared chicken thighs and let stand ½ hour. Thread the chicken, mushrooms and green onion pieces on skewers in alternating patterns.
Preheat the grill on MEDIUM HIGH. Brush the grids generously with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Reduce the heat to MEDIUM. Place the skewers on the barbecue and cook for a total of about 8 minutes, turning and basting with a small amount of the marinade.
Meanwhile, bring the remaining marinade to a boil in a small saucepan, and cook for 5 or 6 minutes, until slightly thickened.
To serve, sprinkle with chopped scallions and sesame seeds and drizzle with thickened sauce.
|Happy Birthday, Geoff!|