A few weeks ago, Mrs W published this recipe and I got sold on it straight away.
Yesterday we had our second barbecue and I spent quite some time preparing for it, this last week has been stressful and I needed to relax and what better way than by preparing lots of food?
So the main thing was of course Mrs W's spicy lamb kebabs. I'd ordered a butterflied leg of lamb from the local butcher and I got to see him prepare it, it's quite a skill. He also kindly used a special stapler to puncture lots of holes everywhere, so that marinade could soak in better. Very nice. At home, I removed as much of the fat as I could, then diced it, stirred in the spice mixture and put it in the fridge. I realised only yesterday morning that I'd forgotten the olive oil, so I quickly added it then and decided to keep my fingers crossed that it would work.
On Saturday morning, I sliced the aubergines and sprinkled with salt and pepper and lined them up on a baking tray. I put a small bowl upside down under one end of the tray, so that any liquid that the aubergines would produce would gather in the lower corner. On the skewers I added figs as per the original instructions and they worked ever so well. The glazing didn't go thick, but maybe that's because I might have screwed up the proportions a bit. There was plenty left over as well.
Mrs W also recommended couscous or quinoa to go with the lamb and I decided on couscous, mainly because I'd never made quinoa before and couscous is very quick to make. I made 250 g couscous and stirred in 2 tbsp olive oil. When it had cooled down, I chopped about a handful of fresh coriander and stirred in. This worked out very nicely.
In addition I also made a green salad and this time I mean really green. Green peppers, unpeeled cucumber, parsley, peppermint, dill, iceberg lettuce and lime. Wonderfully tangy. All cut into small pieces, the lime peeled as well. And I got to use the parsley and mint from my new herb garden - an old set of stackable strawberry pots that I've put on the patio.
Then Lundulph said that we can't entertain without crisps and dips. Now I thought the lamb kebabs and aubergines and couscous were very Middle Eastern in style, so I thought I'd get matching dips. The hummus on offer in the supermarket didn't look too nice and I decided to make my own. Also I thought I'd try my hand at "сух таратор", that is suh tarator literally meaning dry tarator - like tarator but with strained yoghurt and with pickled gherkins instead of cucumber. Sadly it turned out I didn't have gherkins, like I thought I did and so only put dill in the strained yoghurt.
I'd never strained yoghurt before. I had two jars of my home made stuff, which isn't too sour. I put my large sieve over the wine bucket, then lined it with three layers of cheese cloth and poured both jars into it, about 1 litre in total. And it started dripping. I put the whole setup into the fridge, because it was taking time and I worried that the yoghurt would turn into cheese. Must remember for next time, do one jar at a time, smaller portions take less time.
If it sounds like I've been busy, then it's because I have. But it was great fun to do. And I remembered to soak the bamboo skewers for hours and still they caught fire, mostly at the end where we'd threaded the meat, I guess the fat that stuck is what made that possible.
Of course we also had dessert. I took this opportunity to make the Daring Bakers May challenge, so I'll blog about it when the time for that comes. All I can say is that it was delicious.
Finally, Lundulph had bought some nice chicken breasts for backup. We didn't use them, but I marinated them in the left over glaze for the lamb kebabs and have frozen them now. I think it will work out nicely in future barbecues - if the weather keeps up like it has this week, we're bound to eat more grilled things this Summer.
But the lamb recipe is a keeper and I'm very grateful to Mrs W for this. Sorry for the lack of photos, but we were busy eating and licking our fingers.