Monday, February 9, 2009

shish kebob and pilav rice

my husband's mother makes the most delicious rice; this is her recipe.          the shish kebob marinade is adapted from 'Simply Armenian' By Barbara Ghazarian. p.s. there are no leftovers 
2-3 lbs. lamb, cut in 1-2" cubes *
2 red onions, quartered
2 yellow bell peppers, cut in 1-2" pieces
6 cherry tomatoes
wooden skewers (soaked in water 1/2 hour) 
1 onion, quartered 2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 c. parsley, chopped 2 T. olive oil
1 T. red wine vinegar 1 T. salt
dash black pepper dash cayenne /red pepper flakes

*check your grocer for lamb cuts labeled "stew", or "leg steak". these are very tender cuts trimmed from a leg of lamb that are very reasonable & and can be easily sliced for kebobs. ( or you can always substitute beef sirloin.)
In a large bowl, mix marinade ingredients above and toss with lamb cubes. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight, if you prefer. Turn on the broiler and line top rack with aluminum foil. Prepare kebabs by alternating lamb and onion, about 5 cubes per skewer. The vegetables cook more quickly, so I make a separate skewer alternating yellow pepper & cherry tomatoes. Place the lamb kebabs on the foil and cook under the broiler 3-4 minutes. Open, turn lamb and then add vegetable skewers, close and cook another 3 minutes. Keep an eye on them since ovens vary; lamb should be med-rare, and vegetables should begin to split & blister. Serve over rice with warm pita and cooled yogurt sauce, "cacik". 

1 c. rice (Uncle Ben's or similar long grain)
2 1/2 c. salted water, or chicken stock
1/4 c. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced

Heat oil in a saucepan and simmer onions low until lightly brown. Add rice and water to onions; bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer until all water is evaporated, about 2o minutes. Turn off heat and place a paper towel between pot and lid to retain moisture. Season with salt & pepper.

yogurt sauce "cacik"
1 c. plain yogurt
1/2 lemon or lime juice
1 t. olive oil
1 clove garlic crushed
dash of dill, mint, or parsley- dried herbs are fine

Mix all ingredients well and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

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