Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Herb Marinated Lamb Kabobs with Garlic-Yogurt Sauce

If you ever get tired of the constant rotation of beef, chicken and pork, why not give lamb a try? It is just as easy to cook as beef and delicious in recipes that make use of inexpensive cuts, like these kabobs. We made this dish when we were looking for something to eat with a nice bottle of red wine, but did not want to resort to steak, the obvious choice.

Served with a simple salad of chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and parsley, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, these kabobs can be the focal point of a healthy meal. I’ll cook Middle Eastern food any chance I get because it gives me an excuse to make dips like hummus and this garlicky yogurt sauce, brightened with lemon juice. Be sure to share it with someone who likes you, and that lingering garlic essence on your tongue will be a non-issue.

Herb-Marinated Lamb Kabobs
Adapted from Ina Garten
The marinade, with its vinegary kick, makes the meat very moist and flavorful with little effort.
Serves 4

1 ½ lb. lamb (boneless loin or leg work well), trimmed of fat and cut into large cubes
4 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tbs. fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
1/2 tbs. fresh thyme, chopped (or ½ tsp. dried)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh ground pepper
4 long wooden or metal skewers
2 red onions, cut into large chunks
Coarse salt

Place the lamb cubes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil and add the vinegar, rosemary, thyme, garlic and ground pepper. Toss everything together with your hands. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the lamb marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water while the meat marinates.

Preheat a broiler or grill. Thread the lamb cubes and the red onion onto the skewers and place on a broiler pan or baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt on both sides. Cook until the meat is lightly browned on the outside and pink within, about 7-10 minutes total, flipping once. The meat will still feel soft, but will spring back when pressed with your finger. Serve immediately with Garlic-Yogurt Sauce.

Garlic-Yogurt Sauce
You can make this sauce up to several hours ahead. I like to allow at least 30 minutes for the garlic to mellow and the flavors to mesh. This sauce is also amazing as a dip for roasted potato wedges with rosemary.
Serves 4

8 oz. plain nonfat or lowfat yogurt (Greek style or regular)
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of ½ lemon
1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and add additional lemon juice or garlic if you like.

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Kristen said...

Lamb is something I haven't tried to cook... not sure why, just never crosses my mind. This looks lovely though!

Kalyn said...

This sounds fantastic. I love lamb, but rarely buy it, too expensive most of the time.

Lis said...

Unfortunately Hubbs won't eat lamb.. but those kabobs look excellent. I've had marinated lamb before and it was just wonderful. =)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Yes, I love the middle eastern flavors! and I've had some excellent results with several Ina Garten recipes (enjoy her Paris book).
The garlic yogurt sauce looks yum. I'll have to check for some good lamb.

rachel said...

wow, those look so good! i am one of those who always makes lamb recipes but it ends up that I don't really like lamb that much. the recipes just always look good. the only lamb i like are lamb chops and i love those. do these taste anything like lambchops?

Julie said...

Kristen: Definitely give it a try; it's just as easy as steak.
Kalyn: It can be expensive, but for kabobs, you can get really nice boneless lamb loin for $8 a lb. at Whole Foods. I didn't even realize it was so affordable. Another time when they didn't have that cut, we had them cut a 1 1/4 lb. piece of boneless leg for us, since we did not need a whole leg of lamb.
Lis: at least you can order lamb when you go out to eat!
halfcups: I think this is my first Ina recipe. The sauce is my own creation, and it's so easy!
Rachel: that's funny; hey, at least you try it. I think the meat here does taste like lamb chop meat and the marinade makes it even better. I love chops too. I recently had some from pristine, grass fed lamb from New Zealand cooked perfectly medium rare at a restaurant in Miami and they were one of the best dishes I've ever had.

Anonymous said...

By the way, great forum.. Whats the name of that dish.. Its a golden coloured souffle in a ramekin displayed on the front page top banner? Anyone care to share what it is?

Thanks alot

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