This dinner nearly turned into a disaster! First, I realized I was out of garlic when I was preparing the yogurt sauce. Then Joe broke the news that we were out of gas for the grill. We had been looking forward to these grilled lamb burgers for days! Despite this, these are probably the best burgers I’ve ever had. The yogurt did suffer for lack of garlic (and the burgers too, because I would have liked to mix in a clove), but with enough lemon juice and spices, it turned out pretty superb.
The warm broccoli salad I had planned did suffer without the grill, though. I love grilled onions, so I put in extra and I sliced them pretty thick. All this before I heard the no-gas news. Cooked in a sauté pan left they get limp and overwhelming. So if you’re without a grill, slice them thinner and half the amount.
Oh yeah, this recipe is a mouthful to say. It might be best left as a weekend recipe, but if you’re really good at prep work then go for it on a weekday. It’s really not hard – it is just chicken on a skewer after all, but there are a fair amount of components.
I managed to get my work to order Bon Appetit under the guise that we should have magazines that appeal to all interests. No matter that I may be the only one there who reads it, I still count! This month’s issue had a section on spiffing up the lowly chicken and this recipe definitely did the trick. It’s light, yet complex, and fun to eat too. Plus, it was made by the chef at a restaurant that I’ve been to back in Cambridge, MA – Oleana.
For my boyfriend’s birthday, I got him a ridiculous grill. We’ve been using it all the time – such a treat after using a Smoky Joe for years! But if you don’t have a grill, or if it’s too cold and snowy, you don’t have to grill the chicken for this recipe, or make kebabs for that matter. You can broil it, or bake it, or use a grill pan if you’ve got one.
The cucumber is kind of a lowly vegetable. It’s a vehicle vegetable, or a garnish kind of vegetable. These two recipes let cucumber play an important role, though. I served both of these together with some chicken for a Greek style meal. They work perfectly together, but also equally well apart. Tzatziki is a simple, yet incredibly delicious, condiment that you’ll always find at Greek restaurants. It’s actually really amazing how a small amount of simple ingredients can make plain yogurt to die for.
Cucumber also does great when married with other vegetables in a chopped salad. It’s has a nice in between texture – not crunchy, but not mushy. This particular salad, or salsa as the original recipe calls it, is a great side dish or topper to meat. It’s so good, I found myself eating it by the heaping spoonful while waiting for my chicken to cook. I think the key is to slice your red onion as thin as you can so that its flavor really seeps into the whole dish. It also mellows out too. I’m a little averse to eating a thick slice of red onion on a sandwich (gives me a mysterious headache), but if they’re sweated a little it somehow becomes perfect.