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Turkish Shish and Kofta Kebabs
September 26, 2006
Hi,


Welcome to the latest issue of the Chargrill Chat.

In this issue I've included some recipes inspired by my recent vacation to Turkey.

  1. Turkish Shish Kebabs
  2. Kofta Kebabs
  3. Minted Yogurt


Turkish Shish Kebabs

Shish kebab is one of Turkey's most famous kebabs. While on vacation I tried it in a number of restaurants. Some served it with just tomato and some with medium hot peppers as well. Sometimes the meat and vegetables were served together on a skewer and sometimes seprately. Likewise the pitta bread appeared to be optional. This is my version.

Serves: 6

Preperation: 30 minutes plus marinating overnight.

Cooking time: 8 to 12 minutes

Special equipment: 6 long, flat, metal skewers

Ingredients

  • 12 fl oz (350 ml) natural yogurt
  • 3 fl oz (90 ml) olive oil
  • 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 3 teaspoons of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds (900g) boneless loin of lamb cut into cubes (include some fatty pieces)
  • 12 ripe, small round tomatoes
  • 12 small jalapeno peppers

For serving

  • 6 pitta breads
  • Minted yogurt sauce (see below)
  1. Combine the yogurt, oil, garlic, chilli pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a non-metallic bowl. Add in the lamb and coat thoroughly. Cover and marinate in overnight, or up to 24 hours, in the refrigerator.
  2. When ready to grill. Thread a tomato followed by a jalapeno pepper onto the skewers. Remove the pieces of lamb from the marinade and thread onto the skewers. Alternate lean and fatty pieces. Finish off with a jalapeno pepper and then a tomato.
  3. Grill over a hot grill for about 8 to12 minutes turning occassionally. The meat should be cooked through and the skins of the tomatoes and jalapenos should be blistered and brown.
  4. While the shish kebabs are cooking, toast the pitta breads on your grill for about 20 seconds per side. Slit the pitta breads with a sharp knife to form pockets and keep warm.
  5. When your shish kebabs are cooked serve them with the pitta breads and minted yogurt.
  6. To eat slide a shish kebab off its skewer and into a pitta bread. Spoon some minted yogurt sauce over the kebab.


Kofta Kebabs

Kofta is another kebab that's common in Turkish restuarants. It's very easy to make and very good to eat. It's really inportant to remember three things. First, use wide flat skewers. For my first attempt I used narrow skewers and the meat fell off some of them. Secondly, use meat that's faily fatty as there's nothing to bind the ingredients together. Most of the fat drips away while the kebabs are cooking anyway. Lastly, oil your grate well before placing the kebabs on it, as they'll stick.

Serves: 6

Preperation: 30 minutes plus 1 hour, or overnight, for chilling

Cooking time: 8 to 10 minutes

Special equipment: 6 long, flat, metal skewers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450g) ground lamb or beef, or half and half.
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped or grated
  • 1 small cup of finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 small cup of finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly round black pepper

For serving

  • 6 pitta breads
  • 1 small finely chopped onion
  • Minted yogurt sauce (see below)
  • Little gem or Cos lettuce shredded
  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and knead and squeeze the mixture together for about 5 minutes until it's thoroughly blended.
  2. Lightly wet your hands with cold water and divide the mixture into 6 equal portions.Starting about 1 inch from the tip of the skewer mould each portion around the skewer to form a flattish sausage about 10 inches long and 1 inch wide. Place each kofta on a baking tray as it's made so that the ends of the skewers rest on the tray. This prevents the meat from flattening out.
  3. Cover loosly with plastic cling film and refrigerate for an hour, or overnight.
  4. .When ready to cook. Oil the grate of your grill well and cook the koftas on a high heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Turning occassionaly until well browened and cooked through.
  5. While the koftas are cooking, toast the pitta breads on your grill for about 20 seconds per side. Slit the pitta breads with a sharp knife to form pockets and keep warm.
  6. When your koftas are cooked serve them with the pitta breads, chopped onion, minted yogurt and shredded lettuce.
  7. To eat put some shredded lettuce in the bottom of the pitta bread. Slide a kofte off its skewer and into the pitta. Sprinkle some chopped onion on top of the kofta. Finish off with some minted yogurt sauce.
  8. Eat, and wish you'd made some more.


Minted Yogurt

Minted yogurt is really simple to make and goes really well with shish and kofta kebabs.

Serves: 6

Preperation: 10 minutes plus 2 hours, or overnight, for chilling

Ingredients

  • 12 fl oz (350 ml) natural yogurt
  • 1 cup of finely chopped mint
  1. Mix the yogurt and mint together in a non metallic bowl.
  2. Cover and chill for 2 hours, or overnight, in a regregerator.


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I hope that you enjoyed this issue of the Chargrill Chat.

See you in the next issue,

Les



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