"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


With Grilled Tomatoes and Peppers
Adapted from:BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Direct
Yield: Serves 4
Advance Preparation: 30 minutes for marinating the lamb

1-1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 teaspoons dried mint
1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, peeled and gently crushed with the side of a cleaver
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 small mild green peppers
1 bunch fresh mint leaves, rinsed and shaken dry
8 baby bell peppers (mix of red, orange, yellow)
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
8 ripe plum tomatoes

You'll also need:
8 long (10-inch) or 16 short (6-inch) metal skewers

1. Place the lamb in a mixing bowl and sprinkle the dried mint, salt, and black pepper over it. Toss the meat with your fingers to mix. Stir in the garlic and 2 tablespoons of the oil and let marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes. Brush the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil on the horn peppers, the baby bells, the onion quarters, and the plum tomatoes.

2. Thread the marinated lamb on skewers, placing a fresh mint leaf between each piece of meat. Thread the green peppers, the baby bell peppers, the onion quarters, and the plum tomatoes on separate skewers, alternating the vegetables in an attractive pattern.

3. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

4. When ready to grill, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the lamb and vegetable kebabs on the hot grate and grill until the lamb is cooked to medium, 2 to 3 minutes per side (8 to 12 minutes in all) and the vegetables are tender.

5. Unskewer the lamb and vegetables onto a platter or plates. (Don't eat the lamb or vegetables off the hot metal skewers, or you'll burn your lips.) Serve the lamb with the tomatoes, onions, and peppers.


Method: Direct Grilling
1-1/2 pounds thick cut lamb rib chops
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus oil for drizzling)
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
Cracked black pepper
Lemon wedges for squeezing (optional)

Other Items Needed:
a clean metal shovel; logs, wood chunks or chips.

Traditional method:

Build a wood campfire with a good base of glowing embers. Feed fresh logs to the fire from time to time to generate plenty of wood smoke.

Lightly brush the lamb chops on both sides with olive oil. Season very generously on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat the shovel blade in the fire. This serves two purposes. It helps clean and sterilize the cooking surface and preheats the metal so it will sear the meat.

Arrange the lamb chops on the shovel blade, leaving an inch between each. Don't overcrowd the shovel, its OK to work in several batches. Remember, in Australia grilling isn't just about getting a meal to the table, its a whole evening's entertainment. Thrust the shovel over the fire or lay it on the embers. Cook the chops until done to taste: 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare, turning with tongs.

On a conventional grill:

Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. If using logs, wood chunks, or chips toss them on the coals (of a charcoal grill) or place in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch on your gas grill. For a more pronounced smoke flavor, soak the chips in water for 30 minutes, then drain well. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Arrange the chops on the grate and grill until cooked to taste, 4 to 6 minutes per side, turning with tongs.

Transfer the chops to a platter or plates. Drizzle with a little more olive oil (if desired) and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing (again, if desired). Don't forget to burn the fat and juices off the shovel when you're finished.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Honey-Mustard Marinade

1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a medium bowl whisk the ingredients.

Lamb Sandwiches with Middle Eastern Slaw

1/3cup tahini
1/4cup mayonnaise
1/4cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4cup water
1tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1teaspoon minced garlic
1/2teaspoon kosher salt
1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4teaspoon ground paprika
3cups coarsely shredded green cabbage
1cup coarsely grated carrots
3blade lamb chops, each about 8 ounces and 3/4 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
4 pita pockets
In a medium bowl whisk the dressing ingredients. In a large bowl combine the cabbage and carrots, and then pour the dressing over the top. Mix well. Set aside.
Lightly brush both sides of the lamb chops with oil and season evenly with salt and pepper. Allow the chops to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling.
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the chops over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to your desired doneness, 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare, turning once or twice. Transfer the chops to a cutting board and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the meat off the bones, and chop or shred it into small pieces. Add the lamb to the slaw.
Open the pita pockets and fill them with the lamb mixture. Serve immediately.

Sweet Baked Goat Cheese Spread

It doesn't have to be reserved as an appetizer, though.
Spread it on a morning bagel or muffin for a warm breakfast that will let you get going, and keep you going!
8 oz. chevre goat cheese
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup crushed, unsweetened pineapple
1/4 cup honey
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Spray a small casserole or baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place cheese mixture in dish and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the sides begin to bubble and brown.

Serve warm with crackers or bread.