Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lamb Kebabs (Meatballs) - Kabab Laham

With the recent bonuses paid out at work (finally! Yay!), I splurged on a few books, one of which is "Cardamom and Lime: Recipes from the Arabian Gulf" by Sarah Al-Hamad. [The other is Bal Arneson's book, Everyday Indian - you will likely be seeing recipes from that one, as well.]

As it's freezing outside (by California standards) and we don't have an indoor grill, I modified this recipe to be meatballs rather than kebabs. I also adjusted a few ingredients (skipped the saffron, as I couldn't find it at the store, added fresh jalapeno for a boost of bright green flavor). It's not diet food by any stretch*, but it's darn tasty.

Kabab Laham Meatballs
Modified from the original recipe by Sarah Al-Hamad

1 lb ground lamb, 85/15
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic puree
1 generous tsp ginger puree (I used a microplane and a knob of fresh ginger)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, minced fine
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 japaleno, core and seeds removed, minced
1 egg, beaten

Combine in a bowl and mix well. (I combined everything but the lamb, added the lamb last, and had a grand old time using my bare hands to make a squishy mass of more-or-less evenly combined ingredients.)

Heat a nonstick pan with a few tsp of oil over medium heat. Form the mixture into patties, balls, or whatever shape you fancy, and cook until deliciously golden and crisp, turning once to cook the other side to the same level of done-ness. (I also set the oven temp to 200*F and placed the cooked meatballs on an oven-proof plate to stay warm while I made the next batch, etc.)  I think I made 18-20 meatballs that were about golf-ball sized or a teensy bit larger.  This would also be a fabulous recipe to use to shape patties for burgers, though I'd recommend reducing the bread crumbs and using butter (per the original recipe, 3/4 cup) instead of olive oil.

The original recipe calls for shaping these over metal skewers and grilling over charcoal; serve in pita or with salad. I suspect the flavor would be even more incredible if I had a grill to use.

Served with pieces of fresh lavash bread from the local market and a side of steamed cauliflower. I sprinkled the meatballs with some of the leftover chopped parsley. :) 

* In late January, I joined Weight Watchers, and have lost 12+ pounds to date; I have about 15 more to go before I reach a weight I want to try to maintain. Part of my success is having a larger breakfast and much lighter rest of the day. The other part is not going wild on weekends, but not counting Points, either - there's a limit to how much guilt and paranoia I can handle when it comes to my food. :)

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