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May 2003 Issue
Spring Seasonings
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

First, I’ll share an update on my Phil’s Fine Foods adventure. My next cookbook, Grilling with Grillmates, is nearly complete and should be ready for purchase soon. This book contains only a few photographs, but is loaded with information and recipes related to grilling and smoking foods. About 40 years of experience have been condensed into this book, and it is a bargain at $3.95. We also managed to sell several copies of Louisa's Kitchen and received some good reviews of this book from customers. The second release of Louisa's Kitchen is in progress and will be sent free to those who purchase the first edition of the book. My thanks to those that have purchased the book, and I hope that you enjoy the many recipes.

Although the book Grilling with Grillmates promotes the use of Grillmate Gourmet Sauce, it is by no means limited to sauce recipes. The book includes quite a few vegetarian grilling recipes, and also provides a number of sauces that you can make at home for grilling.

In addition, Grillmate Gourmet Sauce is in the process of being manufactured by Wine Country Kitchens in Napa Valley, California. This product will soon be offered at Phil's Fine Foods web site in the very near future. Interestingly, the firm that is designing the label for this product also designed the labels for Bobby Flay's products (of Food TV network fame).

Now, on to the subject at hand! Spring is upon us and I've been spending time planting seeds in the garden and I eagerly await harvest time when we can eat the fruits of my labor. Radishes will be the first to harvest, followed by green onions, basil, squash, corn and tomatoes. The sunflowers will be the last to harvest. I'm just hoping that the insects and birds don't eat too much of my crop! This year, I also decided to plant an artichoke plant that is expected to get rather large over the course of several years. Hopefully this thistle plant will produce many artichokes in the years to come.

Spring is the time that people begin to cook outside and enjoy the good weather. It's always a challenge to decide what to cook on the grill and how to cook it. This month, I've decided to present a recipe that many may find unusual, however the results are nothing less than outstanding. This recipe will appeal to those who like lamb. Lamb is a very popular dish in Pakistan and several other countries of the Middle East. It is also popular in New Zealand, Australia and in the US. This recipe was inspired by a friend from Pakistan, Bilal, who likes lamb as much as I do.

Now, on to the recipe! Be well, and good eating!

 
Pakistani Lamb Shishkabob Preparation of this dish should be done 3 days ahead of the day you plan to serve the dish. Select a piece of lamb that is young, not mutton (an older sheep). The way to tell the difference between mutton and young lamb is by the size. Select the smaller sized cuts. Leg of lamb can be used in this recipe. However, loin is the most tender cut to use, but is more expensive.
  • 3 lbs. lamb, cut into cubes.
  • 2 lbs. lemon, quartered.
  • 2 lbs. onion, cut into chunks.
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cut vegetables of your choice.

Cube the lamb into chunks about 1 inch in size. Place these chunks into a container to marinate with the quartered lemon, crushed garlic and chunks of onion. Squeeze some of the juice from some of the lemons on top of the meat. Add salt and pepper. Mix well, cover the container and allow to marinate for 3 full days under refrigeration, turning daily to infuse the flavors and tenderize the lamb.

After the lamb has marinated for 3 days, skewer the chunks of meat with vegetables of your choice. Tomatoes, onions, peppers, squash, mushrooms or any other preferred vegetables can be used. Alternate pieces of meat with the vegetables on the skewers. If you use bamboo skewers, soak them first in water for at least an hour to prevent them from burning on the grill. Metal skewers can be used as well, and do not need soaking.

Once the kabobs are skewered, place them on a hot grill and cook for about 2 minutes per side (8 minutes total) or until lightly charred on the surface. Basting is not necessary. Serve the skewers hot, on top of steamed rice, and serve with a green salad and any other accompaniments that seem appropriate. Do not overcook the lamb! For maximum tenderness, the lamb should be cooked medium rare to medium. If you prefer meat cooked well done, it will be dry and not as tender.

This is one recipe you should try at least once. It is well worth the effort and is an excellent choice for an unusual grilling experience.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 3 days
 



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