Monday, July 9, 2012

Spicy Thai Lamb Kabobs

First - I apologize for my absence this last week. I really needed a break and Wednesday holiday screwed up my internal calendar. I didn't intend to take a week off from blogging, but I feel much better  now that I'm rested.

It's July, which means cookouts, weekends at the beach, and standing directly in front of the air conditioning when necessary. When it comes to summer entertaining, burgers and hot dogs have become the default setting. As much as I love the classics, I also like to mix things up a bit. Which is why I was thrilled to be able to host another lamb supper club courtesy of the Tri-Lamb Group.

Using a gorgeous boneless leg of lamb, I decided to make some yummy kabobs to throw on the grill. For this little soiree, I decided to go with a Thai theme, using my favorite spicy Thai marinade for the meat and coming up with some Thai inspired side dishes. Lamb is an ideal meat for entertaining because its flavorful and extremely lean. It grills beautifully and soaked up the complex flavors of the marinade.

I am always thrilled to have another lean meat option. On average, a 3oz serving of lamb has ONLY 175 calories. Additionally, a serving of lamb has 23 grams of filling protein, and is filled with B vitamins, iron and zinc.

Anyway, so I put together a simple menu that would incorporate a whole bunch of Thai inspired flavors, ginger, garlic, chilies and cilantro were emphasized in every dish. I'll be bringing you the rest of these recipes this week, so keep an eye out for these tasty treats.

Spicy Thai Lamb Kabobs
Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Rainbow Peanut Slaw
Thai Guacamole
Raspberry Ginger Sangria

Since this was an outdoor party I had lots of opportunities to snap some photos of my garden! Everything is coming along nicely - the heat wave fried my kale, so I learned a lesson about planting cold weather crops early. So far things are coming along nicely. I've already got tons of hot peppers coming in, some will be mature in a few weeks. I've also got cherry and roma tomatoes. I am sooo excited about these. In other news, the butternut squash is taking over the garden, growing in every direction and covering all the other plants. I had no idea it would be so ... vigorous.

Read more for the full recipe!

Kebab Tips:
1. Try to cut your ingredients into roughly similar sized pieces. This will insure even cooking. Depending on the selection of veggies used, this may be a challenge
2. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, longer if you have time
3. If using wooden skewers, always soak in water for 10-20 minutes before using to make sure they don't burn on the grill
4. Sear kabobs on direct heat and then move to indirect heat to ensure juiciness
5. Stabilize large chunks of meat and veggies with two skewers if necessary
6. Leave a small amount of space between ingredients. They should just barely touch on the skewer. This will ensure everything cooks properly and safely.

Marinade Ingredients:
1.5 cups low sodium soy sauce
juice and zest of 1 lime
2" piece of ginger, peeled
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, washed
2 jalepenos, washed (thai chilies are best but hard to find)

Kabob Ingredients:
24 oz boneless leg of lamb, trimmed
1 medium yellow onion, skin removed
1 large red bell pepper, washed, seeded and cut into 1" chunks
1 medium zucchini, washed, sliced in half and cut into 1" slices
8-12 cherry tomatoes
4-6 leftover chilies from marinade
8 wooden or metal skewers


1. Make the marinade. Combine soy sauce, lime juice and zest, ginger, cilantro and 2 chilies (or jalapenos) in a food processor. Puree. Set aside.
2. Cut leg of lamb into 1-1.5” chunks. A 24oz leg of lamb should yield anywhere from 24-30 chunks, depending on how you cut it. Aim for similarly sized, square pieces, as these will cook evenly.
3. Slice onion into quarters and then halve each quarter. This will yield triangle sized chunks of onions.
4. Slice pepper into 1” square chunks
5. Cut zucchini in half, length wise. Then cut into ½” wide slices
6. Thread veggies and lamb onto skewers in any order or combination of your choice. Use 3-4 chunks of lamb per skewer and make sure to separate the pieces of lamb with veggie chunks. I used the following order of ingredients: zucchini, lamb, onion, lamb, pepper, lamb, onion, lamb, pepper, tomato, chili. Depending on how long your skewers are, you may be able to fit some more veggies. 
7. Make sure to leave a small amount of space (think ¼”) between pieces on the kebobs. This will ensure everything cooks properly
8. In a shallow dish or pan, arrange skewers and cover with marinade. Make sure to evenly distribute the marinade so that all ingredients are coated. 
9. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 3 hours before grilling
10. Remove meat and discard any excess liquid.
11. Heat gas or charcoal grill. If using gas, set temperature to high heat. If using charcoal, prepare hot coals and then spread in one even layer.
12. Grill kabobs for 10-15 minutes, turning 3-4 times, until meat is medium-rare. If you are using a meat thermometer, remove lamb from heat when the thickest part reads 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
13. Allow kabobs to rest for 8-10 minutes. Serve! 

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At July 10, 2012 at 6:13 AM , Blogger Guru Uru said...

These kebabs looks absolutely gorgeous my friend :D
Perfectly flavoured!

Choc Chip Uru

At July 10, 2012 at 9:33 AM , Blogger Stephanie said...

Wow, your garden looks amazing!!! I really don't have much of a green thumb, but one day I hope to grow some of my own vegetables. I think it must be so rewarding to go pick homegrown vegetables right before eating them... not to mention delicious!

At July 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM , Blogger Dara Reppucci said...

Thanks Stephanie! We'll see if everything survives to be picked and eaten, this is my first attempt at gardening...

At July 10, 2012 at 1:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful cookout menu, and I love your Thai twist on lamb kebobs!

At July 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM , Blogger Jenn Kendall said...

your garden is gorgeous!! i'm just thrilled that my basil plant is still alive. i can't even imagine having actual vegetables growing! your dinner party sounds amazing, i love the thai theme and i totally wish i was invited :)

At July 10, 2012 at 9:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kabobs are so in right now. These look delicious. Great looking garden as well!

At July 10, 2012 at 9:40 PM , Blogger Foodie Stuntman said...

Don't feel guilty about taking a week off. I've taken a month before. hahahaha...

Besides it's not like you haven't been busy.

At July 12, 2012 at 10:57 AM , Blogger Lori Lynn said...

I've been cooking with leg of lamb too! Your kebobs sound delicious with the Thai flavors. Love the last shot of those perfectly charred lamb kabobs on the picnic table in your garden, so summery!

At July 14, 2012 at 4:02 PM , Blogger bonnie said...

I love to cook with lamb, my mother adores it and these kabos would be a perfect addition to our summer grilling meals! thanks

vianney ~

At July 15, 2012 at 1:20 AM , Blogger Baker Street said...

I cook a lot of lamb even though I don't eat myself! My family would love these kabobs. Bookmarking this for next week! :)

At July 19, 2012 at 8:51 AM , Blogger Pola M said...

Have to prepare this marinade for my next grilling session! It sounds delicious!

At August 2, 2012 at 9:33 AM , Blogger Lori Lynn said...

Congrats on winning the challenge! Well-deserved!!


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