We weren’t home all weekend for me to do any cooking, so I needed to make my lamb kabobs tonight. Of course, the weather has not cooperated here in New York and it has been raining here all day, so I had to improvise and cook the kabobs in the broiler. Either way, this is a very easy recipe from Williams-Sonoma that only takes about 30 minutes total to cook, and that includes making the yogurt sauce and the rice pilaf.
Greek Lamb Kabobs
2 large lemons
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
5 green onions, white and pale green portions, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup plain yogurt
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 onion, cut into chunks
1 small yellow pepper, seeded and cored, cut into chunks
1 small yellow squash, cut into chunks
Place 8 bamboo skewers in cold water to soak until ready to use.
Grate 3 teaspoons of zest from the lemons and squeeze 5 tablespoons of juice. In a shallow glass dish just large enough to hold the lamb in a single layer, combine 2 teaspoons of the lemons zest, 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the oregano, half each of the green onions and garlic, and the olive oil. Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Add the lamb to the marinade and turn to coat. Let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, cucumber, the remaining 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and the remaining green onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for direct-heat grilling over high heat and oil the grill rack, or preheat a broiler. Remove the lamb from the marinade. Thread the lamb, pepper, onion and squash onto the skewers. Brush the remaining marinade on the vegetables and lamb on the skewers. Place the skewers on the grill rack, or put them on a baking sheet and place it under the broiler. Cook, turning once, 6 to 7 minutes for medium-rare, or until done to your liking. Divide the skewers among 4 plates and serve with the yogurt sauce.
I have to say, I thought the lamb turned out very tender and cooked perfectly and the marinade added a great flavor. Michelle and I both loved the yogurt sauce. The coolness of the cucumber and the little bite of lemon from the zest and the juice was fantastic. I would make the yogurt sauce again to use as a dip for other things.
I also served the dish with a very, very simple version of rice pilaf that I got from America’s Test Kitchen. It only takes about 30 minutes and came out perfectly.
Easy Rice Pilaf
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, minced
1 1/2 cups white rice, rinsed and drained
2 1/4 cups water
Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the drained rice. Saute until the edges of the rice begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 17 minutes.
Transfer the pot to a cold burner or trivet and let the rice stand for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Rinsing the rice helps remove some of the excess starch, making it so the rice does not clump together. Toasting the grains with the onion and butter helps to bring out some of the nuttiness in the rice, which is great for a rice pilaf. This recipe also moves away from the standard 1 part rice, 2 parts water by using less water in the recipe and it does seem to make a difference, producing very tender and fluffy rice.
You could also serve some thick sliced tomatoes with this dish, covered in a little olive oil and maybe some Kalamata olives and feta cheese to really make it a Greek meal. Either way, it’s a fast, easy meal that comes out tasting great.
I have a rack of ribs to make tomorrow for dinner, so hopefully the weather cooperates a little better so I can cook them outside. If not, I’ll be doing my oven grilled ribs recipe. So it will be a rib recipe one way or the other tomorrow! Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!