Well ladies and gentlemen, I am off and running. Yesterday while millions of people were watching the Superbowl, I made my first meal from another country; Afghanistan.
As I was looking up what food to make from Afghanistan, I stumbled upon a website dedicated to Afghan cuisine called www.afghancooking.net. On this website, I stumbled upon a recipe for lamb kebabs. I had never made lamb or a kebab before, so I figured this would be an excellent way to start off the year. The website also gave a recipe for a creamy cilantro chutney to accompany the kebabs. One problem though, I absolutely hate cilantro, so I began the search for a different kind of chutney to make. I eventually found a recipe for coriander chutney which sounded good. Once I had my recipes, I went and got the ingredients. But it wasn’t until I got home though that I realized that I had bought the wrong thing for the chutney. I bought coriander spice when the recipe called for coriander leaves. Whoops. So, I ended up just making the kebabs. *NOTE* After posting this, my sister who is a chef wrote to me and explained that cilantro and coriander come from the same plant, therefore they are the same thing. Apparently cilantro is fresh and coriander is dried. Huh, who knew… not me! So I guess for my sake it is good that I was unable to make the coriander chutney. 🙂
They turned out well and it was a very easy recipe. Also, they were grilled excellently due to the help from my wonderful husband Jamie and our good friend, George Foreman (the grill that is). Here’s a picture of our finished product. Two pounds of lamb made us nine kebabs. (Sorry of the terrible picture quality, my camera was dead, so I had to use my phone).
Here’s the recipe that I used.
½ yellow onion, peeled and halved
1 medium jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed, cut in half lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
2 lbs. lamb stew meat, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
Put the onion, jalapeno, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth. Mix the blended onion with the lamb in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Remove the lamb from the refrigerator a half hour before you are ready to grill. Thread the lamb meat on metal or wooden skewers and grill until cooked through but still tender.
I thought that they were fairly good. This was only my second time ever trying lamb, and i still have not quite gotten used to its unique taste/texture. The flavour from the rub was really good. It wasn’t very spicy like I was expecting it to be. If you like your food spicier, I would suggest maybe adding another jalapeno pepper into the blender. The one thing that I didn’t like about these kebabs though was how fatty the lamb was. But I suppose that is a given with lamb. Jamie liked them though, but then again, he’s a guy, so if you make meat for them, they’re pretty content! He actually posted on Facebook that I was the best wife ever because I made him a plate of meat. 🙂
Overall, I am satisfied with the first country (although I wish I could have make the chutney). Next stop on this journey cooking my way around the world is Albania.