Moving on to serious business: Lebanese grills…
Kafta Meshwi (aka. grilled minced meat on skewers, also spelled kofta, kufta) is an extraordinary dish that both adults and kids love. After watching my 3 year-old and 18 months-old nieces gobble it as if they hadn’t eaten in days, I knew I had found a treasure: how to make kids eat healthy food at a barbecue (instead of chips & peanuts). Kafta Meshwi is a must-have at any barbecue.
Kafta Meshwi can be presented in a few ways: as meatballs or as a long strip on skewers. Here is a recipe for kafta meatballs…
Preparation phase: 15min (not including grilling)
Servings: 8 BBQ skewers
Ingredients: 1 pound of ground beef or lamb, ½ onion, 1 cup of parsley (about ½ bush), 1 tablespoon of Lebanese 7 spices, pinch of salt. Optional: peppers, onions, mushrooms to place on skewers
1. Place the wooden skewers in a tall cup or vase with cold water. This will prevent the skewers from burning too quickly on the grill
2. Cut the onion and parsley into very small pieces.
3. In a mixing bowl, place all of the ingredients: ground beef or lamb, chopped onion & parsley, Lebanese 7 spices and salt
Making Kafta Meatballs:
4. Now, roll up your sleeves and dig in. Mix all of the ingredients with your hands until well blend
5. Then, make small compact meatballs
6. Optional: if you wish to add veggies to your skewers, cut them into large pieces: peppers, mushrooms, onions etc…
7. Place the meatballs & veggies on the skewers just like you would place pearls on a string. Poke the meatball with the skewers and let it slide slowly. If your meatball is not compact enough, it will break & fall. Then, place the skewers gently on a plate.
Grilling: Grease the grill with oil spray and place the kafta gently on the grill at medium heat. When one side becomes dark brown, slowly turn the kafta over. Make sure the kafta does not stick to the grill. If you don’t have a grill, broiling the kafta in the oven also works – but don’t forget to turn them over so the meatballs cook on all sides.
Kafta can also be cooked on a plate in the oven with tomatoe sauce. That is called kafta bil sanieh, as opposed to kafta meshwi which is on the grill. To be continued …
Have you ever had kafta? Tell us about it…