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Thursday, November 18, 2010

This Little Lamb of Mine...I'm Gonna Let Him Shine!

There isn't a more perfect meat in the world than a juicy, succulent bite of lamb. Roasted, braised, ground, on a spit or on a kabob, it screams "eat me!" I was more than a little pleased when I found a small, hole-in-the-wall halal butcher not to far away. Ground lamb wasnt on the priceboard, but the butcher wasted no time walking me into his personal freezer where the beautiful babies were dangling from their hooks like ballerinas. A chop and a shave here, a quick dice and a push there, and out of his fancy grinder came some beautifully marbled reddish pink ground meat.
To honor the noble beast, I am making one of my favorite lamb dishes, kofta. Kofta literally meaning "to grind" or "to beat" hails from the Middle East, where typically egg and various spices and seasonings are combined with ground lamb (or another meat) to create a moist, flavorful meatball. While some are baked, I prefer to cook mine the old fashioned way, pressing the meat into a cigar shape and onto a metal skewer to cook over an open flame (or in my case, a gas grill!). From there, the eager eater can slide the juicy meat cigar off the skewer and into the warm, beckoning arms of a toasted pita. To dress it, I've made a tart yogurt, garlic and cucumber sauce typically associated with Greek cuisine, called tzatziki. On the side I will be simply grilling large slices of sweet eggplant, red bell peppers, red onion, and green and yellow zucchinis. To round out the meal, simple couscous with plump sultanas and saffron will do.

I'm already getting hungry - pictures to come!

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