köfte kebabs

cool skewers

One of the treasures that we brought back from Kansas City (and, no doubt, were responsible for our suitcase being searched) was this bunch of gorgeous skewers. They’re just what we’ve been wanting: long, flat and wide. Finally, we thought, we can make ground-meat kebabs without the meat falling off the skewer!

kebabs
whoops

We were wrong, of course. Continue reading

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a cheering supper

evening on the patio

Coming home a bit late one evening, I was tired and slightly grumpy at having spent much of a lovely afternoon indoors. We were hungry and wanting to make the most of the remaining evening, but there was no food at home. We thought quickly and did a fast swing through the grocery store before heading home and bought ground lamb, whole wheat pita breads (from a local company!) and a fresh cucumber – I had recently been reading through my copy of My Bombay Kitchen and had some idea of making parsiburgers with lots of fresh mint. J, however, wanted to try a recipe from his Street Food book, packing spiced lamb onto skewers and grilling it.

lamb kebabs
lamb kebabs

The kebabs were a mixed success – they were very very delicious, but the soft lamb mixture didn’t want to cling to our narrow metal skewers and threatened to fall off every time they were moved. Continue reading

kebab b'il karaz

lamb meatballs with sour cherry sauce and spinach

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather for various reasons (hence the much less regular posting – sorry), but I’m finally managing to get back gradually to real food and wine. The other night J decided to break out one of our new cookbooks, Street Food by Tom Kime, and make Turkish lamb meatballs with sour cherry sauce, called kebab b’il karaz.

We had ground lamb in the freezer and plenty of dried tart cherries on hand, but we did not have any pomegranate molasses, which forms the basis of the sauce. After calling around to local specialty stores, none of whom had even heard of pomegranate molasses, J decided to make his own by boiling down pomegranate juice into syrup. It worked great!

The original recipe suggested serving the kebabs as one of many dishes, with lots of flatbread. J made chapatis, and we put the hot meatballs and sauce on a bed of fresh spinach, which went beautifully with the cherry sauce. The flavor is very rich, dark, sweet and spicy, so it’s good to have something to contrast. Couscous would be good, too.

Continue reading