During the heat wave I couldn't bring myself to venture outside my air conditioned cocoon long enough to toil over the hot grill. But once the temperature dropped from a cruel and twisted 103º F. down to a less objectionable 85º F., I seized my window and went for it.
I was definitely glad I made the four foot excursion from my back door to the old Char-Broil because these kebabs were juicy and packed with flavor. And the sweet grilled apricots & red onions, along with the golden raisin couscous was a wonderful complement.
There was only enough leftover for one person's lunch the next day and my husband quickly called dibs. I thought about challenging his request, but then I just let him have it (don't say I never did anything for you honey).
Makes 4 servings
6 tablespoons olive oil
5 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 lb. trimmed boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2-inch cubes (can substitute beef or chicken)
8 (12-inch) metal skewers
16 whole dried apricots, soaked in boiling water 5 minutes, drained
2 red onions, each cut into 8 chunks
1. Whisk marinade ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Transfer 1/4 cup to small bowl; cover, chill, and reserve as basting sauce. Add lamb to remaining marinade in medium bowl; toss to coat. Marinate 2 hours at room temperature or cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Remove lamb from marinade. Thread lamb cubes onto 4 skewers, dividing equally. Thread apricots and onion chunks alternately on remaining 4 skewers. Brush all skewers with some of reserved 1/4 cup marinade. Sprinkle onion-apricot skewers with salt and pepper.
3. Grill onion-apricot skewers until onions soften and begin to brown, occasionally turning and basting with marinade and moving skewers to cooler part of barbecue if necessary to keep apricots from burning, about 10 minutes. Grill lamb to desired doneness, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes for medium-rare.
4. Mound couscous on platter (recipe follows). Top with skewers and serve.
slightly adapted from Bon Appétit, July 2003 by Bruce Aidells
|more beautiful mint (leftover from yesterday)|
|beef cubes tossed in marinade|
I chose beef because it had no added hormones or antibiotics
(that and the fact that I think I don't like lamb). Although I
realize it might be psychological (they're pretty damn cute).
|raw kebabs brushed with reserved marinade|
|raw kebabs just put on the grill|
|basting the kebabs|
|kebabs ready to take off the grill|
GOLDEN RAISIN COUSCOUS
1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup couscous
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
Bring broth, raisins and salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then stir in couscous. Let stand off heat, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; stir in cilantro, zest and salt to taste.
barely adapted from Gourmet, March 2008 by Andrea Albin
|couscous added (but not stirred yet)|
I used tri-color couscous, but any couscous will do.
|couscous cooked and fluffed, |
with cilantro and lemon zest mixed in
|couscous up close|