What’s for dinner? How about fragrant spiced lamb skewers with bits of pistachio and sweet date within, served with a buttery couscous/red lentil combination flavored with shallots and lemon zest? Sound good?
It is…and it’s easy too! The Old Bay seasoning packs a lot of exotic flavor and pairs beautifully with the other fragrant spices.
You can grill the lamb skewers outdoors or broil them indoors, or you can get the old George Foreman grill good and hot and do them that way .
If you do grill or broil them, you probably should soak the bamboo skewers in water to prevent them from burning; you don’t absolutely have to (I almost never do), but do keep a close eye on them.
Here’s how to make the Lamb and Date Skewers With Lemon Zest Red Lentil Couscous:
For the lamb skewers:
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 lb ground lamb
1/4 cup chopped dates
2 Tbsp minced shallot or onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 Tbsps Old Bay seasoning
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 large egg
12 bamboo or metal skewers
Sesame seeds for coating (optional)
For the couscous:
3 cups water
1/2 cup red lentils
1 Tbsp minced shallot or onion
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup couscous (small grain type)
2 Tbsp minced or grated lemon zest
1/4 cup parsley (or cilantro) leaves, chopped
Toast the pistachios and the cumin seeds in a dry skillet for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Remove from pan and let cool.
In a mixing bowl, combine the pistachios and cumin seeds with the lamb, dates, shallot, garlic, seasonings, and egg until well mixed. Cook a small bit of the meat mixture and taste for salt.
Form the meat mixture into 12 flattened sausage shapes around the skewers. Coat skewers in sesame seeds, if using. Grill or broil 2-3 minutes per side until lightly browned and firm. Keep warm.
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil and add the lentils, shallots, and salt; cook 5 minutes. Add the butter and lemon juice. When the butter has melted, stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat, and let sit for 5 minutes.
Uncover the couscous, sprinkle on the lemon zest and parsley, and fluff with a fork. Divide the couscous among four plates and top each plate with three of the skewers. Serve with a cooling salad of chopped seedless cucumbers dressed with yogurt, thyme, and freshly grated black pepper.
Makes 4 servings.
Please join us tomorrow to read our newest daily food and cooking article on Hugging the Coast, our new recipe for Mexican Fiesta Salad With Fried Garbanzo Beans.
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