Thursday, August 26, 2010

Singing In The Rain - the barbecue that never was


I kept thinking that we'd have a barbecue evening that coincided with Nick being here, myself having prepared a lavish and yet impromptu banquet of salads and spiced what-nots to throw nonchalantly on the coals whilst my beloved boys lounged in the golden rays of summer evening.

And yet, as the last days of summer holiday inch closer, the weather seems less and less balmy as each hour passes. Our family of local ducks chat happily as they wander over the lawn, eating bugs as they crap randomly on the grass. Hey ho...

Knowing that Candice's Go Ahead Honey barbecue deadline at Gluten Free Frenzy had well and truly arrived despite the damp sky and conservatory strung with an entire load of wet washing. I set some chunks of lamb a marinading in a north African scented spice mixture and cranked up the oven grill all the way to eleven for Pinchitos Morunos (moorish skewers).

In the heat of the steamy kitchen, over a card game with a rude name, Fin and I pulled pieces of juicy, piquant lamb, from wooden skewers - chasing them down with garlic yogurt, crisp gem lettuce and buttered French beans. The grey evening crowded at the window - wondering what that amazing smell was, licking it's lips for a morsel of summer supper.

'Wow! This is good meat!', said Finley with a satisfied smile, laying a final paprika smeared ace on the table. 

It certainly was.

I urge you to try these delicious skewers whether you get some more summer, or just want a taste of it when the rain has set in. This is my entry for Go Ahead Honey it's Gluten Free - hosted by Chandice at Gluten Free Frenzy. Pop over and check out the round up at the end of the month, or contribute yourself!

Pinchitos Morunos (pin-cheet-oss mor-oo-noss) serves 4-6



500g diced lamb (shoulder is good)

3 garlic cloves crushed to a paste with salt

1 fresh bay leaf chopped finely (or 1 dried, crumbled)

dessertspoon of rapeseed or olive oil

3 tsp fresh oregano chopped (or 1 tsp dried)

large pinch of saffron threads infused in a dessert-spoon of cider or red wine vinegar

1 heaped teaspoon each of cumin, fennel and coriander seeds ground in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

good grind of fresh black pepper


Combine everything in a mixing bowl and leave to infuse for at least an hour or up to four hours.

Soak some wooden skewers in water while you wait.

When you're ready to cook the skewers, thread about 5 pieces onto a skewer and cook for about two minutes over hot coals on either side (or under a hot grill as we did). Don't overcook, you want pink and juicy on the inside, not grey and solid!

You could also just cook the pieces under a hot grill and serve them in a bowl with some flatbread or crisp lettuce and garlic yogurt to accompany.

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