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Middle Eastern meal... assembled in the USA

calikingcaliking Posts: 6,424
edited October 2013 in EggHead Forum
Found myself downtown on Saturday afternoon, around the corner from Phoenicia Cafe. They have all kinds of fantastic things, especially their Middle Eastern breads, fresh feta, and kabab meat. I stopped in and picked up a few things for dinner.

Fired up the egg and grilled the lamb kababs. 
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Plated with a beet salad, ikra (spicy eggplant and tomato dip), fresh Greek  feta, and an Armenian bread that is similar to naan. A very tasty, quick dinner! I could eat the bread, ikra, and feta for an entire meal :)
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I also picked up some spices - the Aleppo pepper powder is super fragrant, and I will probably try it with some of the Greek seasoning on a leg of lamb one of these days. 
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Thanks for looking.

#1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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Comments

  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 7,758
    I love the Allepo pepper.  Was afraid with the Syrian conflict the price would go over the moon.  So far ok.  I buy it at Penzys in Winter Park, Fl.  Have you tried zaatar on lamb or goat?
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  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,941
    Nice one Cali! I just bought some of those skewers but haven't used them yet.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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  • henapplehenapple Posts: 13,224
    Before or after party... Salado. Please.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
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  • calikingcaliking Posts: 6,424
    @Richard_Fl - I can't wait to try it. The aroma is wonderful! I like zaatar, which I have had on naan-like breads before. I was looking for some to use as seasoning for meat, but SWMBO claims we already had some at home. Is sumac the main difference between zaatar and other seasonings?

    @Little_Steven - I tried to make seekh kababs, which are siilar to the kababs I made last night. Could never get the mix right to keep the meat from sliding off the skewers. Tried eggs, bread crumbs, wheat flour, etc for binders but didn't like the taste of them in the meat. So I gave up, until I found the mix from this store and these skewers. I would be careful about how much meat you load onto each skewer, since too much meat= tragedy of the kababs falling off the skewers. I used about 1/3rd lb of meat pressed all around the skewer. Each kabab was about 12" long. 

    @henapple - you're turning out to be a real demanding sumbitch, ya know ? :) But you do come up with some good ideas. I'll try and optimize a recipe to cook at Salado for the pre or post party. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,941
    So you used the spice mix as a binder?

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 7,758
    edited October 2013

    Sumac and sesame seeds are a large portion of zaatar.

    http://www.recipecottage.com/dry-mixes/zaatar01.html

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  • calikingcaliking Posts: 6,424
    No - the meat and seasonings are already mixed. Ground lamb, spices, garlic, etc. already in there and I just loaded them onto the skewers. Whatever proportions they use are just right. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,941
    I made something similar at Toronto eggfest this summer. I use dehydrated onions as a binder. Like you, I don't care for starches as a binder, Did you mix any fat into the lamb?

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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  • calikingcaliking Posts: 6,424
    edited October 2013
    I have tried mixing fat into the meat with prior attempts at seekh kababs, as well as trying fattier vs. lean meat, refrigerated vs. room temp meat and was not happy with those results. The mix from Phoenicia is ready to use, and it aint broke so I don't fix it :). The dehydrated onions as a binder is a good idea, and will add nice flavor to the kababs. I'll try to remember that when I get around to experimenting again. 

    There is a type of Kasmiri kabab called galauti kabab where lamb fat has to be pounded into the meat before mincing it. They are out of this world - truly melt in your mouth delicious!

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,941
    I used some good olive oil in the ones I did in the summer and they stayed pretty moist. Next time I may chop up some olives and add them to the mix.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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  • GadflyGadfly Posts: 118

    Technically shish-kebab is not made with ground meat so I am not sure why we are talking about shish-kebab here!

    I make kebab "koobideh" (koobideh=ground) on a regular basis and typically unless the fat content is more than 22%, we're ok.

    Also, sumac is a traditional spice to sprinkle over kebab right before serving. A couple of other things that go well with Kebab koobideh are pita bread, basmati rice with butter, gilled tomato and raw onions and herbs like basil. YMMV.

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  • DMWDMW Posts: 5,413
    That's it, I need to order those skewers already, looks awesome!
    My Facebook Place where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA
    XL BGE - S BGE - Blackstone Pizza Oven - 30" Steel Fire Pit w/Cooking Grid - Hasty Bake Legacy - KJ Jr - Gasser
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  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,941
    And there's dopy me again thinking that kebab means cooking meat on a stick

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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  • calikingcaliking Posts: 6,424
    edited October 2013
    @Gadfly - the kababs you described are the kind I have eaten in Iranian establishments in the past. But there are many types of kababs the world over. "Shish-kebabs" are kind of an American/Western  thing. In my (limited) experience, what the Western hemisphere knows as kebabs, the Eastern hemisphere knows as "kababs". It usually means some type of skewered or grilled meat that is not a large piece (like a leg quarter , or whole animal).

    For example, around Southwest Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, etc) kababs generally break down as :

    Seekh= ground/minced meat. Seekh means skewer (wooden or metal).
    Boti= pieces/chunks of skewered meat. Boti means piece or chunk.
    Chapli= like hamburger patties. Thought to come from the word "chappal" i.e. flat like the sole of a slipper.

    Different cultures have different names for similar eats :) You say tom-ayto, I say tom-ahto ?

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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  • GadflyGadfly Posts: 118
    edited October 2013

    also, just about every grill has hot spots that makes making kebabs a challenge. Looking at the picture you posted above, you may want to rotate the skewers 180 degrees from time to time.

    Another thing -to avoid- is waiting for one side to get to get completely ready before turning them over. With kebabs, you want to turn the skewers often. I typically turn them over as soon as the color of the side of the meat facing the fire turns gray and 3-4 times afterwards.

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  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 7,758

    Here is a batch I did recently.  Used 1/2 inch wide skewers and some of the meat fell off so went and bought these 15/16"{ no handle as I found out the wood burns over eggstensive usage.  They fit on my medium and large, little too short for the xlrg.

    http://www.sadaf.com/sadaf-bbq-skewer-wide-no-handles-90-7660/

    http://www.greeneggers.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=1305801&catid=1

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  • This is real interesting and one type of cuisine I know nothing about.. Thanks.
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  • DMWDMW Posts: 5,413
    @Richard Fl Another reason for a smaller egg to go with my XL!
    My Facebook Place where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA
    XL BGE - S BGE - Blackstone Pizza Oven - 30" Steel Fire Pit w/Cooking Grid - Hasty Bake Legacy - KJ Jr - Gasser
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  • calikingcaliking Posts: 6,424
    @Richard_FL: Very Nice! Not the first cook of yours that I've found inspiring. Saved to my recipe collection. I still think that ceramic disk you had made was pure genius.

    @Gadfly: Yup - all good points. I fired up the small since I didn't feel like getting the large going for just the kababs. The first pic is after a 180° flip, the first skewer from the left had actually been towards the front of the egg - a cooler spot. Since the meat filled up most of the cooking area, there wasn't much room to maneuver around hot spots. The kababs are a bit more done than i would have liked, but SWMBO is preggers these days, and so meats are getting cooked a little longer to be safe. Especially store-bought ground meat. They were still quite most though. I'm also easily distracted (read: beered up) sometimes when I cook!

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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