Whether it's Indonesian satay, French brochette, or Turkish kebab, food on a stick is just plain fun. "Kofta" refers to kebabs made with ground rather than cubed meat.
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
- 1 pound ground beef chuck or lamb
- 3 tablespoons grated onion
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil, for brushing the grill
- Tzatziki, recipe follows
- Grilled flat bread
Smash the garlic cloves, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear mixture to a coarse paste. Mix the paste and the remaining 1 tablespoon salt with the meat, onion, parsley, and spices.
Line a pan with aluminum foil. Divide the meat mixture into 28 rough balls. Mold each piece around the pointed end of a skewer (if you use wooden ones, soak them in water for 15 minutes before threading them), making a 2-inch oval kebab that comes to a point just covering the tip of the skewer. Lay the skewers on the pan, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.
Heat a grill pan over medium heat or prepare a grill. Brush the pan lightly with olive oil. Working in batches, grill the kebabs, turning occasionally, until brown all over and just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with tzatziki and flat bread.
Tzatziki: Yogurt Sauce (Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce)
2 cups plain whole milk yogurt or 1 cup Middle Eastern-style plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved, and seeded
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/2 clove garlic
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried mint, crumbled
If you're using plain whole milk yogurt, line a small sieve with a coffee filter. Put the yogurt in it, set it over a bowl, and refrigerate 12 hours. Discard the expressed liquid and put yogurt in the bowl.
Grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater into another bowl. Sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons salt and rub into the cucumber with your hands. Set aside 20 minutes, then squeeze the cucumbers to express as much liquid as possible.
Smash the garlic, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to a coarse paste. Stir the cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and mint into the yogurt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Ease of preparation: easy