Saturday, April 5, 2008

Lamb kofta, sweet and hot eggplant, and Israeli couscous with pine nuts and lemon zest

I made this dish last night. For the kofta, I mixed together ground lamb, finely diced red onion, garlic, parsley, ras-al-hanout, and sumac and cooked it over the grill. To make the eggplant, start by generously salting and letting the slices stand for about 30 minutes. The salt draws out a lot of liquid and removes the bitterness from the eggplant. Wipe of the salt and press out the liquid with paper towels, then broil the eggplant until golden brown on each side. Meanwhile mix together the juice from 1/2 lemon (for 1 eggplant), 2 T honey, 1 tsp cumin, a pinch of cayanne pepper, 1 tsp grated or minced ginger, and 1/3 cup water. Cook the eggplant with this mixture for about 10 minutes (this recipe comes from Claudia Rodin's Middle Eastern cookbook). To make the couscous, start by cooking minced shallots or red onion with olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add the couscous and chicken stock to cover and cook over medium heat until the couscous is done...just taste periodically until it gets to the texture you like. When it is done, stir in the zest from half of a lemon, a bunch of chopped parsley, and toasted pine nuts.

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