Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Hibachi

Finally going to get to give the new little hibachi a real test. Last weekend I cooked a few little pieces of rib-eye but it wasn't a true test. Tonight will bring the small lamb kabobs into play and where the little grills really shine. Those of you familiar with Yakitori style food know there is just something about cooking little skewers of meat over a hot little charcoal fire. Yakitori which means grilled bird in Japanese usually means chicken and any part of the chicken from the heart, small intestine, skin and even the tail. All on a little bamboo skewer and grilled over a little fire. Many of the Yakitori restaurants will also have other meats available for grilling as well.
I sort of got of track with the talk of Japanese because mine tonight is Greek. I got a 1.5 pound chunk of boneless leg of lamb this morning at Whole Foods and brought it home and cut it up into 3/4 inch cubes, this is smaller that what you would normally do for a kebab but the traditional size for the little skewers you get from the street vendors found outside many of the bars in Greece. This chunks are marinating now in Greek yogurt, oregano, olive oil and garlic. After a few hours they will be gloriously fragrant and ready to skewer and grill. I will use the small 6 inch bamboo skewers which, again is traditional and they fit nicely on a hibachi. If wasn't so lazy I would go out and cut some rosemary branches for skewers but the little bamboo ones will do for tonight. I have hardwood charcoal but not the olive wood stuff they use in Greece but I think it mostly in my head that it makes a difference on something so quickly cooked.
These little skewers of grilled lamb in a pita pocket with some tomato, lettuce and parsley made for many a meal when I lived in Cyprus. They were only 250p for five skewers in the sandwich and I really fell in love with them. It was a full meal and consistently good wherever you went. The little kebab stand in front of the Red Lion pub which was around the corner from my apartment would start on mine the minute he saw me come around the corner. Sitting at one of the outside tables with a hot kebab sandwich and a cool Carlsberg and watching the world go by was a favorite evening pastime.
So anyway, that is the Sunday evening menu at chez Fallenmonk. Back on the road early tomorrow morning for the final week in Asheville then home for a weekend and then off to the U.K. north of London for a wedding and then for what should be a restful week in the south of France at a friend's cottage. It should be a fairly inexpensive vacation. Airfare (business class) all on air miles, one night in the posh hotel for the wedding and then a few days with English friends before we meet some other English friends and head off on the Dover ferry for France. No cost for the cottage for the week, just food and wine and what petrol we burn sightseeing. One night in the Hilton at Gatwick (on points) and home. The biggest expense will be one night at the hotel for the wedding. Some typically British country house type place and I am expecting the room to run 150 quid or more which at the current rates will set me back $350 or more but it is just one night and these are old and dear friends and it is their oldest daughter and all that. Besides it is fun to stay in these places once in a while to see how the other half lives.

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