Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Middle Eastern Lamb Pockets & yogurt sauce





Middle Eastern Lamb Pockets

These lamb pockets are the sandwich version of Middle Eastern kebabs. They are scrumptious -- and can be easily adapted into kebabs, if desired. Savory grilled mutton combines with tomatoes and onion, all contained in a soft pita pocket, for a delight you'll not soon forget. You can skip the yogurt sauce if you like -- but once you try it, you won't want to. This can be made on pretty much any grill you like, anytime of the year -- outdoor charcoal or gas grills during the appropriate season, or on your stovetop or George Foreman during the rest of the year. Which is great, because these are so delicious you won't want to be limited to certain months.


2 lbs mutton, chopped or coarsely ground
2 large onions, chopped coarsely
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves OR 1 tablespoon dried, chopped parsley leaves
2 tablespoons crushed pine nuts/pignolia/pignoli nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch each of allspice, cinnamon, and ginger
3 medium tomatoes, cut into quarters or sixths 
6 - 10 pita pockets 
1 recipe yogurt sauce (below)

In a large bowl, mix mutton, parsley, pine nuts, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon and ginger. Knead together until mixture is somewhat pliable. 

 

Combine well with onions. Mix should loosely clump together when pressed. You can add tomatoes now, or grill them separately. If you find that you have too many onions to allow moderate cohesion, throw the extra on the grill ahead of time as well.


Spread mixture in single layer in grilling basket or on aluminum foil over charcoal or on gas grill, or on stove top or George Foreman indoor grill. 

Grill at medium temperature. Cooking times may vary depending on temperature, meat and vegetable piece size, etc. Meat may finish prior to vegetables, or vegetables prior to meat. Tomatoes should be softer and skins should just start to rupture. Onions should be soft and somewhat flaccid. If they finish before mutton, simply remove from grill and set in serving bowl. Cook meat to desired doneness. Remove from grill. If one portion finished before the other, add together and mix gently to reintegrate ingredients. Serve in pita pockets, drizzled with yogurt sauce




Yogurt Sauce
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
1 teaspoon olive oil
Parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)
Pine nuts (for garnish)

Warm yogurt over medium heat -- do not boil -- or heat in microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring between intervals. Yogurt should be very warm but not scorching. Combine with paprika, place in serving bowl. Drizzle with oil and garnish with pine nuts and parsley.






Middle Eastern Lamb Pockets

2 lbs mutton (from leg or shoulder), chopped or coarsely ground
2 large onions, chopped coarsely
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves OR 1 tablespoon dried, chopped parsley leaves
2 tablespoons crushed pine nuts/pignolia/pignoli nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch each of allspice, cinnamon, and ginger
3 medium tomatoes, cut into quarters or sixths 
6 - 10 pita pockets 
1 recipe yogurt sauce (below)

In a large bowl, mix mutton, parsley, pine nuts, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon and ginger. Knead together until mixture is somewhat pliable. 
Combine well with onions. Mix should loosely clump together when pressed. You can add tomatoes now, or grill them separately. Spread mixture in single layer in grilling basket or on aluminum foil over charcoal or on gas grill, or on stove top or George Foreman indoor grill. Grill at medium temperature. Cooking times may vary depending on temperature, meat and vegetable piece size, etc. Meat may finish prior to vegetables, or vegetables prior to meat. Tomatoes should be softer and skins should just start to rupture. Onions should be soft and somewhat flaccid. If they finish before mutton, simply remove from grill and set in serving bowl. Cook meat to desired doneness. Remove from grill. If one portion finished before the other, add together and mix gently to reintegrate ingredients. Serve in pita pockets, drizzled with yogurt sauce


Yogurt Sauce
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
1 teaspoon olive oil
Parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)
Pine nuts (for garnish)

Warm yogurt over medium heat -- do not boil -- or heat in microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring between intervals. Yogurt should be very warm but not scorching. Combine with paprika, place in serving bowl. Drizzle with oil and garnish with pine nuts and parsley.

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