Spicy Mediterranean Beef Kebabs
Written by Eli Ben-YehudaOn May 17, 2023
This afternoon I was sitting with friends having an amazing lunch. We had happened to find a new middle eastern restaurant around the block from where he lives The Smells as you walk into this palace of gustatorial delight was phenomenal. It was hard to make a decision on what we should eat so we asked for the house recommendations.
The recommendations they made where wonderful. The meal was served with a tubule salad, pita, roasted chili peppers, and a host of other amazing salads. You can bet we will have lunch there again. So Here is a recipe I wanted to share with you so you could try this at home. You will not be sorry that you did.
- 2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups fine-grind bulgur
- 1 1/2 pounds very lean ground (minced) beef or lamb
- 1/4 cup very finely chopped pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 16 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes, or metal skewers
For the sauce:
2 cups fat-free plain yogurt
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)
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1. In a blender or food processor, puree the onions. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-cup measuring pitcher, pressing firmly with a rubber spatula or the back of a wooden spoon to extract all the juice. Discard the solids. To the onion juice, add the lemon juice and enough water to measure 1 1/2 cups liquid.
2. In a large bowl, combine the onion juice mixture and the bulgur and soak for 10 minutes. Add the beef, pine nuts, garlic, salt, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and pepper to the bulgur and stir to mix well.
3. Using a little less than 1/3 cup for each kebab, form the beef mixture into 16 sausage links, each about 4 inches long and 3/4 inch in diameter. Thread onto the skewers. If the mixture is too crumbly, add water 1 tablespoon at a time, just until it holds together. Cover the prepared skewers and refrigerate until ready to cook.
4. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler (grill). Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, tahini, lemon zest and mustard. Cover and refrigerate.
6. Place the kebabs on the grill rack or broiler pan. Grill or broil the kebabs, turning as needed, until evenly browned, about 8 minutes. Drizzle with the yogurt sauce and garnish with the cilantro.
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