Recipe by Chef Laura Frankel
Persian food is brightly flavored and different than other Middle-Eastern cuisines. The dishes are spiced simply with fresh herbs, lemon juice and saffron. As winter draws to a close (I hope!), I crave these vibrant and lighter flavors.
The Chef in me wants to handle the meat gently and with light hands. The Persian way to make kabobs is to knead the meat until it is stretchy and dense. This method actually works for some dishes. When my arms were tired, I used my mixer with a new paddle attachment that is now designated for meat! The meat responded and was delicious, light and clung to the skewers. Who knew?
I used the flat Persian skewers for my kabobs. They are easy to find and are a big TA-DAH when served. You can also use bamboo skewers and just portion your meat into smaller kabobs.
Dusting the cooked meat with sumac gives the meat a mouthwatering lemony tartness that is addicting and refreshing.
2 small onions, ground in the food processor and all liquid squeezed out
6 cloves of garlic
2 pounds beef or lamb or a mixture
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
½ cup sumac*
Place all the ingredients except for the sumac in a mixer or large bowl if doing this by hand.
Knead the mixture until the meat has a stretchy texture and is dense.
Separate the meat into 10 equal portions. Roll the meat into a ball.
Grease a skewer with olive oil and skewer the meat. Gently stretch the meat down on the skewer until the meat is stretched out and about ½ inch thick. Press the meat at 1-inch intervals to create ridges.
Brush the meat with olive oil and either grill for 6 minutes per side or cook in the broiler until browned on all sides.
Sprinkle the cooked kabobs with sumac and serve.
What is Sumac? Look here!
Laura Frankel is the Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago. She is the author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons (Wiley) and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes (Wiley).