If I’m going to spend time in front of the tube, I choose to watch cooking shows. And here in Amsterdam, I have the pleasure of tuning in to 24 Kitchen, to catch a few in Dutch. To clarify, I’m not a fan of competition cooking shows. I don’t garner much by watching someone make an entrée out of cow tongue, celery hearts, and pop rocks… to me, the concept behind this show I can easily Chop from my repertoire of educational viewing. I’d rather spend an afternoon with Donna, Martha, Nigella, Nigel, or Jamie, where I feel I am treated to skills and tips I can apply to my own cooking.
Having said this, I will admit to some BBC dandies, and an obsession with the annual Great British Bake Off, and the Great British Menu series for both the cooking, and their entertaining hosts. And one more, the original BBC Master Chef, draws me in when special guests or themes come around. The series is currently showing celebrities behind the cooktop and an episode last week had me in my kitchen, designing my own version of Kofta – a Middle Eastern kebab. In the version I saw, they used lamb as the minced meat. I had a trio of lamb, beef, and pork that needed to be used up and this seemed like the perfect chance. As an aside, one reason I decided to make this recipe is because I am currently cleaning out my freezer, making way for the kilos of wild blueberries I am stocking up on each weekend at my local market. I like to have these on hand for my smoothie making in the winter months.
And now back to the kofta!
- 500 grams each of lean ground grass fed beef, and lamb
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp garam masala
- 2 Tbsp ground fenugreek
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 egg
- small handful, about half a cup, of finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- a healthy grind of fresh pepper, and sprinkle of kosher salt
Basically, you put all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix everything, preferably with your hands, until it comes together and you can form the mixture into elongated egg shapes. I got 10 out of this recipe.
Depending on how you are going to cook them, you can form them onto skewers and grill on your barbeque. Or, as I did, no skewers necessary, I grilled the kofta in my grill frying pan. I heated the pan to high, turned it down to medium, seared one side for about 4 minutes, and then grilled the other three sides for about 3-4 minutes per side.
I served the kofta with homemade tzatziki, and I whipped up a batch of Conchiglietti with Everything but used brown rice in lieu of pasta to save my gut from gluten. Tasted as delish as the original Orzo with Everything I learned about from Epicurious.
So friends, here you have it: Kofta with Tzatziki and a Scrumptious Brown Rice Salad! Middle Eastern and Mediterranean delights on one plate. The day after I made this at home, I treated one of my friends at school to lunch. She comes from a Syrian background so I wanted to have a native, as it were, helping with a taste test. I’m happy to report, the combination of flavours received top marks! This time around, watching a mildly competitive cooking show, seems to have been worth my while 🙂