Thursday, July 15, 2010
I always feel a certain sense of accomplishment when I make a recipe from one of my magazines. It's most likely because I read through stacks of magazines, tear out countless recipes and then do nothing with the vast majority of them. They end up in all corners of my house: on tables, in the office, folded in cookbooks... But few of them are ever put to the test. This particular recipe caught my eye for a few reasons. First, it was on a little tear-out recipe card in the June issue of Living. Second, it was short and could easily be made on a weeknight. Third, it combined lamb and feta - yum! And perhaps most appealing, it had grilled cucumbers. The idea fascinated me. I love cukes - but they're for salads and such, not for grilling. Or are they?
Very much to our surprise, the cucumbers kept their crunch on the grill. They were juicy and provided a great change from the veggies we usually grill. Dipped in feta sauce and paired with a juicy piece of lamb, they just couldn't be better. I'm convinced. I wonder what I should grill next (I'm skeptical about lettuce on the grill too, so maybe that'll hit the flames sometime soon.)
Bottom line, this recipe is an easy way to get great Greek flavors on your table in almost no time at all. The hardest part was trimming the leg of lamb. I bought a boneless leg that was a little over 3 pounds and I used half for this meal and froze the rest for a future dinner. It was more than enough for two of us - Jeff will have leftovers for lunch on Friday. If the sauce is too thick for your taste, add a little more olive oil.
Lamb and Cucumber Kebabs with Feta Sauce
adapted from Martha Stewart Living, June 2010
For the kebabs
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
About 1 1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 and English cucumber, halved lengthwise then cut into 1-inch thick pieces
Salt and pepper
For the sauce
3 ounces feta, crumbled
4 ounces fat-free Greek yogurt
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
To make the kebabs, combine the oil, zest, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and lamb in a non-reactive bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (You don't need a lot of salt because the feta adds enough saltiness in the sauce). Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate.
Heat grill on medium high heat. Alternate lamb and cucumber on skewers and finish each with a piece of lemon. Grill 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Serve with the sauce.