International Cuisine Tour #5

15 May 2016 – instanbul, Turkey: Merhaba, dostlarim! Today’s menu: Lamb Kebap with Saffron Pilav, simple yet tasty. Afiyet olsun!Flag_of_Turkey.svg

Lamb Kabap


Shish (sword) Kabap (grilling, also kebab, kebob) has been found in Ottoman travel books for over 100 years.

Makes: 2 servings; Prep Time: 2 hrs 40 mins; Cook Time: 10 mins

1/4 lamb leg or shoulder, boneless
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup juice of one lemon
1/4 cup honey
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 large white onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 large white onions, cut into 2-inch squares
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch slices
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch slices
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into 2-inch slices
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, stemmed
1 large zucchini, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch coins
1 (8-ounce) package white button mushrooms
Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Trim all fat from the lamb, cut into 2-inch cubes, and place in a large resealable plastic bag. Add remaining marinade ingredients, seal bag squeezing out al air, and mix well. Put in refrigerator at least 2 hours up to all night.

Preheat an outdoor grill to a medium heat. Remove lamb from refrigerator about 30 minutes before grilling.

To assemble the kabaps: fill skewers, alternating peppers, lamb, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, and mushrooms.

Place skewers over coals, grilling skewers to char lamb on all sides. Continue turning until cooked to desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium.

Serve with Saffron Pilav.

Known as the Turquoise Coast, Turkey’s coastline stretches 4,475 miles.

Saffron Pilav

Makes: 4 servings; Prep Time: 10 mins; Cook Time: 35 mins

1/2 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
2 tablespoons boiling-hot water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 cup white basmati rice
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dried currants

Soften saffron in hot water (2 tablespoons) in a small bowl.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add almonds, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Fry onion in remaining oil, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer half of onion to a bowl.

Add rice to onion in pot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add water (2 1/2 cups), saffron mixture, 1 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until water is absorbed and rice is tender, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.

Stir almonds, currants, and onion into rice.

Transfer to a serving bowl and fluff rice with a fork .

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