Stringing fruit and meat onto skewers brings to mind a musical composition: variations on a theme of proteins, vegetables and fruit. The melodic kebobs in this recipe are orchestrated with rich background tones of tangy marinated lamb, punctuated by sweet notes of plump, juicy grapes. A rhapsody in food, the dish harmonizes beautifully with a serving of fruit-spiked couscous.
Today I’m letting a half-used bottle of pomegranate molasses inspire my arrangement. Most of us have read about the healthful benefits and antioxidant properties of pomegranate; pomegranate juices, in fact, are commonplace in grocery stores.
But have you ever cooked with pomegranate molasses? It’s a thick, sweet and tart syrup, with only one ingredient listed on the label: pomegranate juice concentrate. I purchased the Cortas brand of pomegranate molasses from the Mediterranean Market on Stone School Road, costing about $3-4 for a 10-ounce bottle.
This is a great deal for such a flavor-packed condiment, the rich tangy flavor complements lamb so well.
Lamb could very well be ithe most overlooked meat in America. It’s surprising because across the world its popularity far exceeds beef. In fact, savory lamb recipes are the staple of our planet’s oldest cooking traditions. Another ancient culinary tradition is cooking sticks of meat over a flame.
Researching the history of kebobs (or kebap, kabab, kebob, kabob, kibob, kebhav, kephav) is like taking an exotic trip through the Middle East and Asia. According to wikipedia.com, kebobs were invented as a way to conserve fuel. Today, they are a colorful and delicious way to stretch your meat or seafood dollar.
When stringing kebobs, I often use well-soaked, flat-edged, bamboo skewers. The flat edges keep the ingredients from spinning when turning the kebobs and soaking the wood helps keep your skewer from burning over hot fires. Kebob rack and skewer racks are handy as well. Metal or soaked bamboo or wood, the choice is yours – it makes little difference to the taste of the kebob.
Served with a fruity couscous salad, this is a symphony of color, texture and flavor. I wonder if Mozart would approve?