Pat together a meatball of lamb, mint and garlic, then thread it onto a length of cinnamon and grill. The stick serves as pot, potholder, plate, fork — and an infusion of flavor.
This recipe is by Leah Eskin and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
- 8 cinnamon sticks
- 1 Pound ground lamb
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1/2 Cup any combination of finely chopped mint, parsley, chives and cilantro
- 2 Teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 3/4 Teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 Teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- Olive oil
- Mint dip for serving, optional (recipe follows)
For the mint dip:
- 1 Cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 1/4 Cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
Step 1: In a bowl of cold water, place 8 cinnamon sticks. Weight them down with a plate, and allow to soak at least 15 minutes. Soaking will prevent the sticks from burning and allow you to unfurl them, yielding multiple skinnier sticks.
Step 2: In a large bowl, gently mix 1 pound ground lamb with 1/2 cup finely chopped herbs (any combination of mint, parsley, chives and cilantro), 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger, 1 clove finely chopped garlic, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper.
Step 3: With damp hands, divide the meat mixture and roll into 16 (1-ounce) balls. Slide each onto a cinnamon stick and press into a 2-inch-long blimp stationed at one end; stick and meat together will look like a child's drawing of a tree. Drizzle each with a little olive oil.
Step 4: Heat a grill to high, or set the oven to broil. Grill kebabs directly over high heat or broil about 4 inches from the flame, turning frequently, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes.
Step 5: These kebabs are nice either plain or served with mint dip.
For the mint dip:
Step 1: In a bowl, stir together 1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint, 2 tablespoons olive oil, finely grated zest of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon honey and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Step 2: Serve alongside lamb kebabs.