Dad wasn’t home, which means Mom and I get to eat food that he can’t eat! So I decided to make her a Greek dinner for Mother’s Day, which included making tzatziki sauce, naan bread, and “kebabs” which were really ground lamb rolled into balls. The recipe said to skewer them like you would a kebab, but I decided against since I was pan frying them.
I had to make the tzatziki the day before, to let the flavours “intensify”. It’s quite the messy process, as you can see below:
<— And then you squeeeeeeze out all the water. I used a few layers of paper towel, but a cheese cloth works better since it won’t rip easily, like the paper towel eventually did. When I made it a couple years ago, I used cheese cloth and it makes a huge difference in the amount of water you can get out!
After all that squeezing you get this lovely ball of cucumber fibres!!! —>
To which I added 2 cups of plain Greek yogurt, a squeeze of lemon juice (~1/3 of a lemon) and 4 cloves of garlic (minced) – the recipe said 1-2 cloves, but I like my tzatziki with a kick so I kept adding more until my tastebuds liked what they tasted.
Mixed it all up, chucked it in the fridge overnight, et voila, finished product! It was light enough not to cover up the taste of the lamb but strong enough to keep my mouth smelling like garlic a few hours post-dinner!
And then, when I started to make the naan, I discovered that we had no yeast, which required a quick run to Safeway. I’ve never started a batch of yeast before (you’re supposed to mix ~1 tsp active dry yeast with 1/2 cup warm water + 1 tsp sugar and let it sit). For the first few minutes, nothing happened. Then all of a sudden, about 6 minutes in, I saw a little spot slowly bloom to the surface… then more, then more, and all of a sudden the whole solution exploded with yeast blooms!!! (T, you would HATE this – it’s spotty to the max) The whole bowl was slowly foaming like a science experiment! Not gonna lie, I was definitely watching it in semi-horrified fascination; not to mention the smell of yeast isn’t exactly pleasant. After adding the rest of the ingredients to the yeast, I started kneading it, and I use that term loosely. The recipe said it would be “a little bit sticky”. LIES! It was so sticky I could
barely get it off my fingers! could not get it off my fingers without the assistance of a fork. Let me tell you… fun times to get more flour without getting dough everywhere -______-”
Anyways, finally got enough flour into it, and after allowing it to rise, was about to start rolling out chunks into naan shape, and found out that the rolling pin which has been lying unused for who knows how long, smells like the plastic mat it was rolled in -.-” i.e. disgusting. Needless to say, that went into the garbage, but what to roll with now? My genius mother hands me a clean, empty wine bottle. PURE GENIUS. She is seriously the most creative person I know. Anyway, second crisis handily averted, I discovered that you do not need to use oil to pan fry these babies like the recipe claims. Just a good-quality, big non-stick pan and high heat and you’re good to go! I forgot to take a pic of the stack of naan I made (we were too excited to eat), so here’s a pic of the last one!
And thennnn I made the pseudo-lamb kebabs, using ground lamb and secret spice cumin with a bunch of other delectable bits to make them into ball shapes to pan fry. Surprisingly, ground lamb lends itself quite well to making meatballs, as it’s a bit more stringy and sticky than ground beef, so it holds the ball shape a lot better when cooking! Anyways, pan-fried them to get a golden sheen, and then popped them in the oven to keep warm while I cooked the rest. They turned out perfect! This is the first time I’ve ever cooked with cumin, and boy does it taste amazing with lamb! It has such a unique taste… savoury and spicy but not spicy… dunno how to describe it… Oh! I know! SO GOOD ;)
Finally, after an afternoon of prepping and cooking,
The full meal deal: pseudo-souvlaki, accompanied with sparkling apple cider:
We nearly ate all of this between the two of us = way too full for dessert (quinoa chocolate cake – will post that later!)
Mom: “Best Mother’s Day ever!”
hehe the sweet smell of success (pun intended)
Happy Mother’s Day!!!