Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lamb Kebab! Oi! Oi! Oi!

Hi All, 

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!....
Oi! Oi! Oi!
Yes, you are right, mate!
Today is Australia day. Everyone here celebrated everything Australian..
From having fun at the beach, having lambs, sausages, and steaks on the barbie (yes, they call BBQ, Barbie!), and of course, watching Australian Open (me in this case)!

What amazes me the most about Australia is how diverse the cultures are. There are lots of immigrant from many countries, from Lebanon, China, Indonesia, Italy, Thailand, UK, USA, and many more. So, no wonder, if you go to Australia, you can easily find the world's cuisines in here.

To celebrate Australia Day today, I would like to focus on the cultural diversity by cooking something out of my comfort zone. I went Greek today. Lamb kebab, it is!!!

Imagine, the char-grilled lamb placed on top of sliced cucumber, spanish onion and tomato, the velvety tzatziki, all wrapped in a pita bread.. They are just divine.. Perfect to be enjoyed with your mates, with plenty of beers on the side.

 The recipe is taken from Gourmet Traveler Australia. Magazine with many beautiful pictures, and decadent recipes. As a rebellious person, I did alter the recipe a little bit, so instead of using lamb minced, I actually preferred lamb fillet. I remember eating lamb kebab during the international food festival at my uni, it was a treat! And they did use the lamb fillet. So, I went with it.

Here is the recipe,

500 g lamb fillet, cubed
1 small spanish onion, sliced, plus 1 extra, sliced, to serve
2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley  
1/2 tsp dried oregano (if you can, use greek dried oregano)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 tomatoes, quartered
8 pita bread
1 Lemon, quartered
Olive oil for brushing 

1. Put the lamb fillet, spanish onion, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, mix well, set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Thread the lamb onto skewers (I used wooden skewers).
2. Preheat the grill to high. Grill the kebab for 1-2 minutes each side for medium or until cook to your liking.
3. To serve, put a square of baking paper on each plate and then 1 pita on top of each of these.
4. Remove the skewer from the kebab, add it on to the pita bread, add a couple of pieces tomato, some sliced onion and cucumber, a good amount of parsley, a nice dab of tzatziki, a squeeze of lemon juice.
5. Roll up the pita quite tightly, then roll a square baking paper around. Tuck the bottom in and leave the top third of the pita out.

2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small cucumber
1 tsp salt
350 g greek yogurt
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tsp extra salt
1 tsp black pepper

1. Slice the top and bottom of cucumber, grate the cucumber with a fine grater.
2. Scatter the cucumber on a plate, and scatter 1 tsp of salt and leave it for 30 minutes
3. Squeeze the cucumber with your hands, drain.
4. Combine the minced garlic, olive oil, cucumber, 1 tsp salt, black pepper, yogurt, mint, mix well.

Serve 4

Happy Australia Day Everyone!!!

'Till then,