Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Antep Lamb Not-Kebabs with Sumac Onions and Asparagus

Okay, so the plan was to make Antep kebabs from Turquoise, my awesome Turkish cookbook.  Too bad we forgot to turn the gas grill off the night before and all the propane escaped.  Since the grill was out of commission, my only choice was to use my Le Creuset grill pan.  The problem is that my metal skewers are way too long for me to use them with it.  So, kebabs were out of the question.  Also too bad: I bought lamb loin, not ground lamb, because apparently I don't know how to read.

But, this dish was still very good, and eliminating the step of skewering the meat may have made it easier to prepare.  The Lamb Spice Mix is fabulous, and would work really well outside of this dish. 

Since I wasn't skewering my meat and onions, I decided to thinly slice the onion and cook it with a little sumac for a tart punch.  I wanted some side dishes, so I made simple steamed asparagus and used some previously made hummus with pita. 

This salvaged meal turned out pretty awesome!

The original recipe used ground lamb, diced onion, shredded parsley, and pistachios all mixed together to make the kebabs.  Since I was using chunks of lamb meat, I omitted the parsley entirely and added the pistachios to the Lamb Spice Mix.  This was a great workaround! I didn't miss the parsley at all. 

Antep Pistachio Kebabs
adapted from Turquoise
Serves 2

3/4 lb lamb loin, cut into largeish chunks
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
sumac to taste (i used about 1 Tbsp)
salt and pepper to taste
Lamb Spice Mix (see below)
1 oz unsalted shelled pistachios, very finely chopped or pulverized in a blender.  (I used my blender, and definitely recommend this over chopping, which IMO can't get the nuts fine enough unless you spend forever hovering over a cutting board)

1)  Mix the pistachios with the Lamb Spice Mix.  Coat each piece of lamb with the pistachio spice mix.  Place lamb on a plate, cover it with wax paper, and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
2) Remember to turn your propane tank off the night before you want to use your grill.
3) If you fail step #2, heat a grill pan over high heat.  Grill lamb for 3 to 4 minutes each side.
4) Heat a small skillet with olive oil.  Add sliced onions and cook, about 5 minutes or until soft.  Add sumac, salt, and pepper and stir until everything is mixed well.
5) Serve with onions on the side and any other side dishes you want.  I'd definitely include a salad or something green. 

Lamb Spice Mix
(this is a half recipe)
Mix the following together in a small bowl:
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp sweet paprika
1.5 tsp hot paprika
1.5 tsp ground nutmeg
1.5 tsp ground black pepper

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