Lamb and beef kebabs in the making.
Nashville’s Kalamatas where Maher Fawaz and his family and staff serve beautiful, delicious Mediterranean food. Maher even smokes the eggplant for the baba ghanouj. We can’t get enough of it. And neither can Louis, the bottomless pit 15 year-old with far too much restaurant experience. At least he knows the value of a good meal out. Louis is a meat plate/meat on a stick guy. That and the yogurt “sauce” to go with.
Channeling Maher Fawaz puts a rare smile on Louis’ face. Even after four of us ate, Louis happily lived on these for days.
The key to this meal was Mindy whipping things up ahead–she soaked the skewers with her morning coffee and had the 2-to-1 ground lamb-to-beef kebobs with garlic, cumin, and salt in the fridge all afternoon. Too bad we were too hungry to photograph the sauce and the big Mediterranean salad we had with greens, olives, onions, cukes, and tomatoes with Feta and vinaigrette. R.B. and his flying rounds of pita warming on the grill was quite a sight as well, but again, we forgot to snap off a few pix. Thanks for the inspiration, Maher.
Keep an eye on the instant-read thermometer and remember that at a certain temperature, glass melts.
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (we use about 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound of raw meat)
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Cheater "Sauce"
- Peeled and chopped cucumber
- Chopped red onion
- Greek style yogurt
- Whole cumin seeds
- Fresh lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
Soak about 16 to 20 bambo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes or all day.
Mince the garlic with the salt and mash it into a smooth paste with the side of a knife. This way you won't have any big clumps of garlic in the meat mixture.
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend well.
Take small handfuls of the meat and press in onto a soaked skewer in the shape of a hot dog.
Grill the skewers over medium high heat until cooked through--internal temperature of about 160F. Serve stuffed in a warm pita with the sauce.
To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients to your liking until creamy. Just wing it. Serve plopped in a pita with a Cheater Kebab.