Friday, December 02, 2011

Mid-East Feast

In general, I work from a meal plan. I write out what we'll be having for the week and use that to make my shopping list. It usually cuts down on grocery costs and saves me from that awful "what are we having for dinner tonight" moment where you stare blankly into the fridge willing an answer to emerge from it's frosty depths.

But a couple of weeks ago when we were at the supermarket a couple of extra things made their way into my basket. Like the pound of ground lamb that was marked down to $1. I love playing with ground lamb. More than any other ground meat, this is the one I like to try new things with. Beef almost always gets made into meatloaf, burgers, or meatballs. Ground turkey tends to get thrown into chili. But ground lamb is never pigeonholed.

Instead I use it as an opportunity to scour the internet in search of a new idea, use, or flavor profile. Which is how I landed on Aarti Sequeira's Ground Lamb Kofto Kebabs.

Thatboy, Thatmom and I all watch The Next Food Network Star, so I was familiar with Aarti and the fact that she brings some really great flavor to the table in a very accessible manner. These kebabs certainly highlight that. The baking soda in the meat mixture gives them an almost sponge-like consistency, and the marinade is fantastic. So fantastic in fact, that I would recommend making them much thinner than I did so you get more of a marinade to meat surface area ratio.

Aarti serves her kebabs with potatoes and cucumbers. I served mine with just cucumbers. Because they bring such a nice contrast to the highly spiced meat. Traditionally, the cucumbers would be a cold, salad like dish. But there's nothing traditional about me. And with the colder weather coming in, I've been braising a lot of my vegetables - cooking them down to their essence in a sweet and salty sauce. This time cucumbers got the treatment.

Braised Cucumbers
1 cucumber
3 Tbsp of butter
1 sprig parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper
  1. Peel the cucumber. Cut in half and use the tip of a spoon to remove the seeds.
  2. Slice each cucumber half and place in a pan with 2 Tbsp butter, 1/2 cup of water, and parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 9 minutes.
  3. Drain the cucumbers and toss with remaining butter and salt and pepper to taste.


  1. I have never had braised dukes before. The lamb kabobs look delicious.

  2. Two dishes that compliment each other very well. I just love kofta!!!!

  3. I am not a big fan of lamb. I think I will use beef instead.

  4. Lamb is the only meat I actually miss on occasion, probably because of it's delicious distinct flavor!

  5. I've always wondered about cooked cukes.

  6. I always buy ground lamb and then run out of ideas as to how to use it. Thanks for a new idea.