Previous month:
November 2016
Next month:
February 2017

December 2016

Adding more flavor to grilled foods, no seasoning required

Pecan Wood
Pecan Wood

By Mike Thayer

I’m a charcoal grill enthusiast.  Charcoal grills deliver better flavor than gas grills every time. Don’t get me wrong, gas grills have their place, but along with the great flavor charcoal delivers, charcoal has other advantages like the flexibility of using it to give big steaks that high heat sear, or using it to cook ribs low and slow. Another advantage charcoal grills have over gas is that you can easily add wood to the fire, putting another layer of flavor on that great looking piece of meat. You can add wood to a gas grill, but you’re pretty much restricted to using wood chips and you have to keep those chips away from the gas burners, almost forcing you to buy one of those gas grill accessories - the wood chip box. In my experience, the gas grill and those little wood chip boxes just don’t measure up to the flavors you can add using a charcoal grill setup.

My preferred brand of charcoal is Kingsford and I buy the competition briquettes when it’s available. They tend to burn a little hotter and a little longer. I like briquettes because they also deliver a more consistent burn vs. lump coal which comes in different shapes and sizes, doesn’t stack as well and perhaps most importantly, quality lump coal tends to run quite a bit higher in price. Pro-lump coal enthusiasts say it provides better flavor, but if that’s the case, then you might as well just throw the real wood log on the fire.

Wood: You can really add a whole other dimension of flavor by using wood in your grilling. Fruit woods are excellent for adding some sweetness to meats, and all woods suitable for grilling give you that nice smoke ring of flavor that is craved by grill masters, weekend grillers and food enthusiasts alike. Some woods are better with certain meats than others, experiment with different woods and have fun with it. Below is a list of the more commonly used woods. You can use logs to grill or smoke with exclusively, or mix them with charcoal briquettes or lump coal. I like to use a combination of charcoal briquettes and wood logs when grilling low and slow for bigger cuts of meat, and a combination of charcoal and wood pellets when grilling thinner cuts over direct heat, lid-on preparations.

Apple and Cherry woods: Probably the most popular of all the fruit woods, both giving off a mild sweetness. Excellent for poultry and pork, with cherry being particularly good when grilling or smoking ham.

Hickory: The most popular wood for smoking meats, delivering a strong flavor. Don’t overdo it if you haven’t grilled with it before and use with the bigger cuts of meat, it can be overpowering. Good for all meats, but better with beef and lamb.

Mesquite: The trendy wood right now. It burns hotter and faster than hickory so it’s an excellent choice for the weekend griller. It delivers a nice, lightly sweet flavor. Good for all meats, fish, vegetables, especially good with ribs.

Oak: The second most popular all purpose wood. Like hickory, it delivers a strong smoky flavor but not as overpowering. It’s good with beef, fish and pork butt.

Pecan: Doesn’t burn as hot as other woods, delivering a more subtle smoky flavor. Excellent for all meats, good with just about anything you want to grill or smoke.

Other woods to consider: You really can’t go wrong with just about any fruit wood, most of them are mild and sweet. Citrus woods are all good, don‘t hesitate to use them. Peach, pear and mulberry all deliver another dimension of flavor. Maple, birch and ash are nice changes of pace and even seasoned grape vines or lilac branches are nice flavor enhancements for the grill.

Woods to AVOID: Anything in the Pine family (terrible flavor, burns too fast and hot), walnut (heavy, bitter smoke flavor, can be used with other woods but why bother…), elm, cypress, redwood.

TIP: The best smoke comes from the coals of the wood, so when grilling, let the log or logs burn down. Wood in smokers is a different story.

Wood chips and chunks: Wood chips and chunks are great because not everybody has a big backyard to store a cord of wood in. You can store a smaller size bag of wood chips or chunks on an apartment balcony, you can mix chips/chunks in with charcoal briquettes and they are readily available most anywhere grills and grill accessories are sold. Many of the wood flavors previously mentioned are available, apple, cherry, oak, hickory and mesquite. TIP:Do NOT soak wood chips in water for at about 30 minutes prior to placing them over hot coals.  You've probably heard this from somebody claiming this creates better smoke and extends the burn time.  It actually does the opposite.  It creates white smoke, which is bitter.  You want 'clean' smoke which is blue.   Wood chips are excellent for lower and slower style grilling, such as with chicken, thick cut chops and ribs.

Wood pellets: I love these things. They are truly versatile, add great flavor and they’re so easy to use. No soaking necessary! They are an excellent addition to charcoal briquettes, or mixing with wood logs, kicking that great taste level up another notch. You can add a handful or two depending on how heavy you like smoke flavor. Like wood chips, wood pellets are designed to add flavor through their smoke. They last longer than wood chips - another plus - but also like wood chips, you’re not going to want to try and cook with pellets as your lone fuel source in a typical patio grill setup if you‘re just doing a couple burgers or hot dogs. They‘re best used in a mixed fuel source preparation. TIP: If you only have one type of log wood to grill or smoke with, say, oak, pick up some apple wood pellets to add to the fire. Layers of flavor! I really like this mix when grilling pork, cherry is excellent as well.

Venting: No, I’m not talking about being able to rant at someone about how bad your day went……. I’m talking about giving your charcoal grill set up a chance to breathe. This is believe it or not one of the most under performed but vital task in grilling. It impacts the heat, the level of smoke (and hence affecting the flavor of the food), and the burn time. Whether you are using charcoal, wood, or a mix of fuel types, don’t forget to vent your grill properly. You’re creating a fire, and fires need to breathe. Vents are your friend. Most grills have at least two sets of vents. There’s typically a set in the lid and a set, if not two, in the base. The vents in the base are essential for letting your fire breathe, the vent in the lid is there for two reasons, to regulate smoke and to work as a draw. Opening that lid vent lets the hot air escape, allowing the lower vents to draw in the cooler outside air with fresh oxygen for the coals to breathe. I’ve seen guys grilling with all the vents closed and they wonder why their fire never really got hot enough, the food took longer to cook and in some cases, the fire prematurely burned out. They didn’t let the coals breathe, the only oxygen the fire got was when the lid was off or opened. If there’s no wind and you’re just grilling burgers and hot dogs, leave your vents wide open. I personally like to leave the lid off in that case until it’s time to melt the cheese for the burgers. If it’s windy, you want to shut your vents a bit, perhaps nearly closed all the way depending on just how windy it is, but never completely closed. If you want a little more smoky flavor on whatever you’re grilling, shut the lid vent a bit. If it’s raining and you don‘t have the luxury of being in a covered area, you may want to close that lid vent a bit. If it’s raining a lot, get out the umbrella. If you don’t have an umbrella, it sucks to be you.

Save


Chapter 8 - Fish Recipes

Grilling Good Eats

By Mike Thayer

If fried fish is about the only way you will eat fish, then you'll come to like grilled fish even better than fried after reading this chapter.

That's pretty much the only way I used to eat fish, fried...  Beer batter was preferred and I had absolutely no interest in offerings that were 'baked,' 'poached' or just sauteed in butter.  There just wasn't enough flavor in the fish and the texture wasn't right in those other preparations.

Enter, the grill.

Smoke does A LOT for fish, so does the kind of heat you get from a grill.  The texture of fish changes when placed directly over a fire and it absorbs smoke flavor readily.  Fish and the grill are a perfect pairing because what turns out to be mush in a poached offering, becomes crispy on the outside but tender on the inside deliciousness in a perfect bite delivered from the coals......   What is bland in a baked preparation becomes, "I didn't know salmon could taste this good!" in a grilled preparation.  I don't care how much seasoning and pretty decorative parsley is placed on the fillet, baked fish sucks.

Teriyaki Salmon

Here's a fantastic marinade for about two pounds of salmon:

Marinade ingredients

  • Half cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
  • The juice from half a lime
  • One Tablespoon of dried, minced onion
  • One teaspoon of garlic powder
  • One Tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • Couple dashes of balsamic vinegar

Directions
Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl or big measuring cup, set aside. Cut your salmon into four equal pieces (optional), place in a Tupperware bowl or a big zip lock bag, pour in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least one hour.  Fish does not need a lot of time to marinade, don't marinade more than four hours, or your fish will turn to mush.  Salmon is great for the grill, remember to take the fish out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes prior to placing over the coals. You’re doing this to inspect the fish and make sure it‘s well covered in the marinade. It’s not about letting the protein come up to room temperature like you hear some of the cooking show talking heads say, that’s just yada, yada talk to kill air time. The truth is, refrigerated meats and/or fish won’t come up to room temperature in just 30 minutes, not even close. OK, back to the salmon…..

Put the fish over direct heat, fish side down at first (not skin side), let them sizzle for about two minutes to get some nice grill marks, do NOT cover. Flip to the skin side after two minutes, keeping it over direct heat to get that skin crispy.  Now you can put a lid on it, for about another 3-5 minutes to get that nice charcoal flavor.  Remove from the grill and let them rest. This recipe is a real crowd pleaser.   Excellent served with grilled lime wedges, a side of rice pilaf and glazed carrots.

 

Simple Grilled Shrimp

20200715_000808Shrimp is such an easy thing to do on the grill, it's quick, delicious and crowd pleasing.  And you don't have to worry about seasoning it up a whole lot, let the shrimp itself, be the star. 

Ingredients:

  • Two pounds of jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • One teaspoon garlic powder
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • One teaspoon dried parsley flake
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Put the shrimp in a large ziplock bag.  Mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the shrimp in the bag.  Refrigerate for one hour.  When the grill is ready to receive, put the marinated shrimp on metal or water soaked wood or bamboo skewers over direct heat.  These cook up rather quickly, about a minute or so on each side or until pink all around with a slight char from the grill.  Hit them with the juice from the other half of the lemon, some garlic butter (if you've been paying attention throughout the book, you know to always have some garlic butter sitting over indirect heat on the grill) and serve immediately.  Ingredient Option:  Add some chili flakes to the garlic butter.

 

Tasty Grilled Tilapia

Tilapia is my go-to fish, it's readily available, it's cheap and the best part is it can take on any flavor you want to throw at it.  It is a more delicate fish than the 'meatier' fillets like salmon or tuna, so you may want to use a grill basket or grill sheet when throwing this fish on the grill.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tilapia fillets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Two tablespoons Cookies Flavor Enhancer or all purpose seasoning salt
  • One lemon, sliced into four wedges and brushed lightly with olive oil

Directions:

Season the fish on both sides with the seasoning salt and place into a large ziplock bag.  Pour in the olive oil and refrigerate for one hour.  When the grill is ready to receive, place the fillets and the lemon wedges over direct heat and put the lid down so the fish and citrus can absorb some smoky goodness.  This fish cooks quickly, it's only going to need about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remember, because this fish is flaky, you may want to use a grilling basket or grill sheet.  Serve the fish immediately, squeezing that grilled lemon wedge over the Tilapia at the table.

Serving Options:  Tilapia is SO versatile!  Brush it with your favorite BBQ sauce before placing on the coals.   A classic preparation of garlic butter with fresh chopped Italian parsley is also very good.  And there's nothing like a little kick, Tilapia brushed with Sriracha is excellent.

 

Tuna Steaks

Quality tuna on the grill is tough to beat.  A nice thick cut tuna steak is to fish, what a Ribeye steak is to beef.  And because tuna is so good, there's really no need to doctor it up much, you want to really enjoy the essence of this fish.  I prepare mine quite simply.   Dress the steaks with olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides.  When the grill is ready to receive, put the tuna steaks over direct heat.  And this is an excellent piece of fish to get those great diamond grill marks on.  Rotate the fish a quarter turn after one minute, then let it sear another minute before flipping, keeping the tuna over direct heat for another minute or two.  With tuna, you don't want to cook it all the way through, you want a strip of pink running through it, just like a medium to medium rare Ribeye.  If you cook tuna all the way through, it tends to dry out, meaning a much less enjoyable piece of fish.   Enjoy tuna steak as is with a side or rice, or slice it up to make some fantastic fish tacos!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Crab Dip & Toasted Garlic Bread

Baked Crap Dip & Toasted Baguettes
Baked Crap Dip & Toasted Baguettes

I love a good crab dip, but that's not easy to do when you live in the Midwest....  It's not like good, fresh crab is readily available and canned crab is, well, eh....  Hopefully you've got a nice seafood shop near you that offers lump crab meat.  In a pinch, the imitation stuff will do, it's better than canned which undoubtedly will have shell bits in it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion, reserve some for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • The juice from one lemon
  • Baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Baked Crab Dip on Toast
It's another dose of YUM!

Directions:  Mix all ingredients (except the baguettes and melted garlic butter of course) together in a medium sized bowl.  Transfer to a cast iron skillet and grill over indirect heat on the grill until bubbly, golden brown, and delicious, about 45 minutes.  The key is low and slow with this.  About 10 minutes before pulling from the grill, melt the garlic butter in a grill safe bowl and toast the sliced baguettes, brushing them with the garlic butter on both sides until golden, brown and delicious.  Serve the baked dip on the toast and enjoy!

You would pay high dollar to get this kind of an appetizer in a restaurant and finding a restaurant that even has this appetizer on the menu could prove to be a challenge.  Making this yourself makes sense and it's SO tasty!  It's another dose of YUM!

Get your copy of Grilling Good Eats now available in paperback on Amazon!

Grilling Good Eats Book


Chapter 7 - Lamb Recipes

Grilling Good Eats

by Mike Thayer

If you've never had lamb before, it's a MUST try!  Lamb is the go-to meat in much of the Mediterranean. It's used there like beef is here in the states to make sandwiches, casseroles, entrees and sides.  It's enjoyed as roasts, chops and you've probably heard of a 'Rack of Lamb' which is delicious!    The meat presents a whole different flavor profile and it's outstanding!  So if you're looking for something a little different to try, lamb is the ticket, no mint jelly required!

Meat Temp for Lamb:  To get a medium rare, grill lamb until the meat thermometer hits the 135 degree mark.   Remember to let the meat rest after pulling it from the grill!

Mike's Lamb Chops

A lamb chop from the grill is OH SO TASTY!  If you've never grilled lamb before this is the cut to grill that first time.  They are easy to do and do well and by serving lamb to dinner guests you'll look like a real grill pro.

Ingredients

  • 6-8 lamb chops
  • ½ cup white wine (use something you like to drink)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub
  • 1 Tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried Rosemary

Directions
Whisk together the wine, olive oil, rub, garlic powder, minced onion and Rosemary. After placing the chops in a ziplock bag, pour the wine mixture over the chops and let those flavors marry, refrigerating for at least four hours. Grill over direct heat, lid off, to get that good sear and great looking grill marks, 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops. After you’ve got that great presentation side look, flip the chops over to the low heat side of the grill and cover. Grill for about another 15 minutes or until the meat thermometer hit’s the 135 degree mark (medium rare). In the grill set-up, cherry wood pellets add another layer of flavor. TIP: Trim some of the fat off the chops before marinating or rubbing and save it to create pan drippings. When you’re grilling, put those fat trimmings in a cast iron skillet over low heat and let them render to create the base for a sauce or gravy.

A quick pan sauce for chops…. Combine lamb fat drippings with a little flour, some black berries or blueberries - whatever kind of berry you might have on hand for that matter - and some balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste and you’ve made an excellent compliment to the chops!

 

Iskender

This is my favorite lamb dish! When I was in the military and stationed in Turkey, Iskender, (named after the guy that invented the dish, İskender Efendi) was my go-to order when I dined out.  It's another dose of YUM made with thinly sliced grilled lamb served in a tomato based sauce over a bed of grilled pita bread and topped with yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • Two pounds of lamb tenderloin, cut into long thin strips
  • One large onion, coarsely grated
  • The juice from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • One Tablespoon sweet paprika
  • One six ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 pita rounds, grilled, then chopped into bite sized squares

Directions:

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and onion in a small mixing bowl, set aside.  Place the lamb pieces into a large ziplock bag, pour in the marinade and refrigerate for at least two hours.  Combine the yogurt, half the crushed garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate. When the grill is ready to receive, thread the marinaded lamb onto metal or water-soaked wood or bamboo skewers.  Cook the lamb over direct heat, turning frequently until you get a nice golden brown crispy edge to the meat.  As that meat is cooking, place a cast iron or grill safe pan over the indirect heat side of the grill, melt the butter, add the remaining garlic and stir for about a minute.  Add the paprika, tomato paste and water, stirring to incorporate.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Pull the meat and sauce from the grill when done and throw on the pita bread over direct heat.   You just want grill marks on the bread, about a minute per side.  Remove from the grill and slice into bite sized squares.  To Serve:  Plate the grilled pita, top with a layer of the lamb, then the sauce, then a couple dollops of yogurt. 

You'll LOVE this dish!  Serving options:  Grilled peppers, roasted tomato wedges, and/or tabouli salad add a nice finishing touch to the dish.

 

Lamb Kabobs

If you remember from the beef chapter, I wrote that beef stew meat is not recommended for making kabobs, it's too tough of a cut of meat and needs a very low and slow preparation to be good.  Cooking beef stew meat over direct heat on the grill, well it just won't get tender by the time it's cooked through, leaving you with a chewy piece of meat.   That's not the case with lamb stew meat.  Lamb stew meat cut from the shoulder in this case is fine for making kabobs (loin cuts are even better), especially with a great marinade to assist in the tenderizing process. 

Ingredients

  • Two pounds of lamb stew meat
  • One green bell pepper, rough chop (bite size pieces)
  • One red or yellow bell pepper, rough chop
  • One medium onion, rough chop
  • About two pounds of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Directions
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, olive oil, wine, salt, pepper, rosemary and cardamom, set aside.  Place the lamb stew meat in a large Ziplock bag, pour in the marinade and refrigerate overnight.  The veggies don’t need to marinade that long, you can actually get away with dressing them just before you start the charcoal. If you’re going to use wood skewers, remember to soak them in water for about 30 minutes prior to loading them up with the meat and veggies. KABOB TIP #1: Always put your meat and veggies for kabobs on separate skewers. A meat and veggie skewer combo looks great in the meat counter display case at the grocery store, but the fact is the veggies on the skewer cook through much faster than the meat. You want tender crisp veggies with a hint of charcoal flavor, not dried out, charred veggies to go with that lamb. KABOB TIP #2: Don’t overload the meat on the skewers, leave some space between the cubes. Meat that is packed too tightly won’t cook evenly, won’t look as nice when served and most importantly, won’t taste as good. Place your meat kabobs over hot coals to get a good sear, lid off. Turn a quarter turn after about two minutes, repeat through four rotations giving you a medium rare kabob. Place your veggie kabobs on the grill after the meat kabobs are cooked halfway through. Serve together with rice pilaf and warm pita bread.  It's another dose of YUM!

 

Grill Roasted Rack of Lamb

A rack of lamb is basically what chops look like all lined up before they're cut into chops.  A rack of lamb is also "frenched" which means the rib bones are left intact, but are scraped and cleaned for a more attractive presentation.  This is a FANTASTIC meal when done right and here's a recipe that does just that!   A nice add to the grill setup:  Along with charcoal, throw in a couple big handfuls of cherry wood pellets.

Ingredients:

  • A rack of lamb (usually has 8 bones exposed)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub (plain ol' salt and pepper works great too!)
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, rub, rosemary and cardamom.   Dress the rack of lamb with the mix.  When the grill is ready to receive, place the lamb on the indirect heat side of the grill.  This preparation requires a reverse sear.  We want this cut of meat to cook to a nice medium rare throughout and starting out on the indirect heat side of the grill with the lid down will get us there, with the rack absorbing all that delicious smoky flavor.   Roast for about 30 minutes, then transfer over to the direct heat side of the grill to get a nice caramelized edge to the meat, about two minutes per side or until the thermometer hits 135 degrees.  Let the lamb rest for at least five minutes before cutting into 2-bone sections for serving....  YES!  DOUBLE CHOPS!

 

Leg of Lamb

When you purchase your leg of lamb at the store, do not be tempted to buy a 'boneless' version.  Don't be tempted for two reasons:  1.  A boneless leg of lamb - which means the bone has been removed - means it's no longer a LEG OF LAMB.  And 2., the more important reason, no bone means less flavor!  If you’ve got a grill big enough to accommodate a leg of lamb, this will be some of the best lamb you have ever eaten.  Go for about a 5 - 6 pound leg.  The key here is low and slow cooking using the “Snake Method” style of arranging your coals. The night before grilling, rub the roast down with Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub. If you don’t have a favorite rub, here’s a quick and easy rub to try.

Dry Rub Ingredients

  • One tablespoon Kosher salt
  • Two tablespoons of granulated garlic
  • One tablespoon onion powder
  • One tablespoon dried rosemary
  • One tablespoon paprika
  • One teaspoon dried mustard
  • One teaspoon black pepper
  • After rubbing down your leg (I know what you're thinking, not actually your leg stupid, the lamb leg!) put it in a big zip lock bag or plastic container and refrigerate.

Directions
Your grill set-up is going to use the ‘Snake Method.‘ After you’ve lit your charcoal chimney with about 15 starter briquettes in it, pull your leg out of the refrigerator (ok, not YOURS, the lamb!), inspect, dab off any excess moisture (if any) with a paper towel, let that leg air out, reapply some rub if needed. Once your charcoal in the chimney is ready, pour those hot coals at one end of the snake, making it the head of the snake. This is good for about a 225 - 250 degree temperature and up to six hours of cook time (depending on the size/length of the snake) as the snake burns from head to tail. Don’t forget to add a few chunks of fruit wood, chips or pellets, as they really do add to this preparation! To keep the leg moist, nestle one of those disposable foil pans into the open space at the bottom center of the grill. Add two cups of hot water to the pan. The pan serves two purposes, not only keeping the leg moist, but also catching the roast drippings during the cooking process for an Au jus. Get your grilling grate in position and place your leg, fat side up, in the center of the grate and put the lid on. That leg fat (flavor) is going to slowly sizzle down the sides of the meat adding to the texture and flavor of that meat, before it drips into the pan of deliciousness below. You want that, if you did fat side down, you just won’t get as good of a final product. Check your leg - do NOT turn - after about two hours. When your leg hits that magic 135 degree internal temperature mark (medium rare), about 3 to 4 hours depending on the size of the leg, it’s ready to pull and rest. Slice thin and ladle some of that Au jus over the top. Enjoy!

 

Lamb Shawarma

The origins of this dish pre-date the Turkish-Ottoman Empire.  Traditionally the meat is put on a spit and grilled, served in any number of ways to include as an entree, a sandwich or a wrap.  

Ingredients:  

  • 2-3 pounds of boneless lamb shoulder, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • The juice from one lemon
  • One Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • One Tablespoon sweet paprika
  • One Tablespoon sumac
  • One teaspoon Kosher salt
  • One teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except the lamb until well incorporated.  Add the lamb strips and coat evenly.  Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.  When the grill is ready to receive, thread the lamb onto metal or water soaked wood or bamboo skewers and place over direct heat.  Rotate the skewers frequently until you get a nice golden brown crispy edge to the meat, about 5-10 minutes.  Serve immediately with grilled pita bread.   Shawarma is excellent paired with rice pilaf, Tabbouleh salad and/or hummus.

Related:  Lamb cuts and how to grill them

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Get your copy of Grilling Good Eats now available in paperback on Amazon!

Grilling Good Eats Book