Monthly Archives: June 2014

Barbequed Lamb Koftas on Rosemary Skewers with Yoghurt, Tahini & Pomegranate Molasses Dip and Greek Salad


DSC_0679When we had ‘ Danette’s Feast’ restaurant we were

lucky to win the Jameson Pork Dish of the year.  What I later referred to as ‘The Miss Piggy’ award.  In that case, I marinated pieces of fillet of pork in soy, garlic, ginger, orange juice and other such wonderful flavours and then threaded the pieces of pork on a rosemary skewer and grilled the meat.  I then served it with an Orange and mustard sauce and it was delicious.  Threading meat on a skewer exudes such wonderful flavour that I can’t recommend it enough.

I also want to say, that using the above pictured pan over the barbeque is a delight.  I have recently heard people saying they get sick of barbequed food, but all I can say to them is you’re not using your imagination enough.  If one cooks vegetables in a pan like this over the barbeque , one will wait for the weather to be good for just that reason.  It is the epitome of a stir-fry, when done over REAL coals, and if anyone is having difficulty getting their children to eat vegetables this WILL SOLVE that problem.  It locks in, and indeed concentrates all the flavours .  Then you can, though it’s not necessary, drizzle them with balsamic vinegar before serving, or stir in some of my Magic Tapenade sauce (as we did last night to accompany those steaks that the dog, Scraps, was eyeing-up on facebook, but most certainly DID NOT GET!).  Asparagus grilled and then drizzled with a squeeze of lime is easy heaven, (thanks Nick), and I even barbequed some lightly steamed cauliflower before making a divine cauliflower and smoked Gubbeen cheese souffle.  Crazy?, well yes, but not for doing that…..oh what a wonderful idea, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, stay focused Danette, it was that pork dish that led me to making these lamb koftas on rosemary skewers.

I do have to tell you that you have to let the koftas sit in the fridge to firm up and don’t be tempted to turn them too soon (I confess I did that with one and it began to crumble).  If you let them get grilled enough the feta cheese in the meat mix will bind the meat together and everyone’s happy!

So what I did in this case, was to put a little over a pound of minced lamb in a bowl (Dick Dooley gave me a bit more than I asked for, and then the same Dick Dooley got a kofta the next day ;-)…smart butchery if you ask me).  I added 100 grams of crumbled feta cheese, DSC_0668 (576x1024)About a tablespoon of chopped, fresh mint, a heaped teaspoon of ground coriander and a half a teaspoon of ground cumin (I never cook lamb without adding cumin as it is a marriage made in heaven), 1 chopped red chilli (seeds and all ), as well as 1 heaped teaspoon of mild chilli powder, and a Tablespoon of pomegranate molasses.  I’ve told you about this magic, gooey, sticky, wonderful product before.  It is sweet and sour in a jar…it’s a product one can’t live without once one has tasted it.  So good, so good for you too.  I even like to drink it, diluted with water or sparkling water.  Anyway…focus, Danette….I chopped a small onion and sauteed it with some chopped garlic (about 6 cloves) in a Tablespoon of x.v. olive oil.  When that cooled I added it to the minced lamb, mixed it all together with two clean hands,  and started forming the koftas around the rosemary skewers.  DSC_0670Make sure you press them well onto the skewers and shape with water-moistened hands.  DSC_0671Lay them on a plate, or a baking tray, cover and place in the fridge. DSC_0672 (1280x720)

BTW, one wonderful Penny Lange gave me this plate, which you may or may not be able to see, is laden with kisses and reads, ‘Hot Pie’.  She tells the story that the woman she bought the plate off of, actually moistened her lips with glaze and kissed the plate in several places to get the hot lips all over it!!  I’d prefer my yoghurt and tahini sauce, to be honest ;-)…So while the lamb koftas were resting, I made that as well as the Greek salad to accompany the lamb.DSC_0675

As you may have guessed, I’m a saucy gal!  I don’t like things dry off the barbeque, and I think that’s what puts people off barbequing…though it has to be said if you get the fire right, and David’s pretty good about getting the fire right, dry isn’t an issue…still, like I say I’m a saucy gal.  So,for the sauce: about 8 fl. oz. of yoghurt to 2 Tablespoons tahini, 1 large clove garlic, microplaned, 3 scallions, finely chopped, 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped, 2 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses (add gradually, as that may be a bit much for some people).  Season with salt and pepper (keeping in mind that there’s feta in the lamb and in the Greek salad which contains a lot of salt).  Stir it all together and keep that in the fridge until you’re ready to use to allow the flavours to mingle.

There are so many variations on Greek Salad, but simply it is Sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions (if they’re overbearing then place them in a colander, pour boiling water over them and refresh under the cold tap.  Drain well before adding to the salad.)  I, in this case used scallions, because I …well, I forgot to get the red onions.  Well… one is perfect!  The world is still turning…imagine!  Feta Cheese ( I used the 100 grams remaining from the usual 200 gram packs sold).  Olives and a lemon/oregano type dressing.DSC_0674So, your barbeque should be nicely lit now!! Don’t be tempted to start cooking until the coals have a nice white/grey ash over them. No one likes a burnt barbeque.  I used our holey (aka holy) pan to cook these koftas, as I would fish, vegetables (as previously stated), meatballs and sometimes burgers if I feel they might fall apart.  No one likes to see their food disappear into the inferno below…especially if you’ve been basting a lovely little morsel that you have destined to ‘quality control’ testing in anticipation of when no one is looking!!  We, btw, brought this pan back from California on our last visit, but I suggest you Google it and acquire one asap, as life will never be complete without it.

So, when your coals are right, place the pan on to the grill rack and allow to heat up.  Brush the koftas with olive oil and place in the pan.  Don’t be tempted to turn them too soon…wait until they are golden brown, then keep turning until they’re evenly brown.

DSC_0681 (720x1280)and the juices are running about the place, dripping into the fire and the neighbours are ringing up to complain about the tantalising smells (love that!).  Then transfer to a plate and allow to rest for a minute or two.  DSC_0682


We served these simply with heated Naan bread, the tahini sauce and the Greek Salad.  Love these Summer days 😉

DSC_0684Happy Barbequing !!DSC_0677don’t forget the extra sauce and salad!!