Thursday, June 30, 2011

KAFTA— a fourth of july lebanese barbeque cookbook clubs on the rise

the san francisco chronicle had an article recently about the rising popularity of cookbook clubs. to read the article, click here!

in the past few years,  i've been invited several times to teach lebanese cooking classes by friends who have book clubs featuring cookbooks. totally enjoyable—everyone participates in prepping, following the recipe in alice's kitchen, and my demonstration. then we all sit down together to enjoy a great lebanese feast, which sometimes includes a barbeque.

this fourth of july, give this lebanese lamb specialty a try on your grill or under a broiler, as these photos demonstrate. it's called kafta and can be done on skewers or just hand rolled into this shape and broiled or barbequed. i've made these in little balls for appetizers and they disappear quickly!

the recipe from alice's kitchen: traditional lebanese cooking is easy to make, using ground lamb specially ground at my local organic grocery store with very lean lamb. finely chopped onions, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and allspice provide flavors that bring out the very best in lamb. minced parsley adds a touch that my mother, alice, included when she made hamburgers for us growing up, that we vociferously complained of. now, adding parsley to hamburgers is de rigueur of course!

drizzling garlic and lemon sauce over the kafta just after cooking completes this fantastic dish that is complemented by any of the lebanese salads featured in alice's kitchen, including tabbouli, fattoush, or simple salata.

here's the lamb kafta before it's broiled; you can see that it shrinks in size. it's really important not to overcook it so it doesn't dry out. about 4 minutes on each side is perfect!

speaking of tabbouli, my first efforts at sprouting quinoa to use in gluten-free tabbouli were unsuccessful. i was led astray by the wikipedia entry on quinoa saying they sprout in a couple of hours. so instead of soaking overnight, as is my practice for sprouting any seeds, beans, or legumes, i just soaked them a couple of hours. and instead of sprouting, they fermented and kind of smelled like beer. so i composted them!

will let you know how the next effort goes. in the meantime, have a fabulous fourth of july weekend. and let me know if you try the kafta recipe and how you like it! bon appetite!

1 comment:

  1. i should admit mum is a great cook, not because she's my mum but all the family and friends agree on that... yet your kafta recipe seems delicious i think the main difference will be the onion and the lemon sauce ... i need to find a nice way to convince mum to slightly change her recipe...