Time for one more shot of the Kufta Kebab. This time it’s a Syrian preparation of kebab wrapped with muhammara, walnuts and yogurt. I saw a recipe in a newsstand Bon Appetit magazine the day after I made Kufta, and I couldn’t resist giving it a shot. That recipe called for pomegranate syrup, which I didn’t have, so I made an approximation with lemon juice, honey, and a touch of molasses. If I’d had grenadine, I’d have used that and lemon juice.
The important part of the dish, though, is fire-roasted red peppers. I spent a couple hours over a bbq grill last fall, roasting a dozen or two red bell peppers until the skin charred and split. It’s just as easy to do a few over a gas burner, or under the broiler, but it’s hard to match the smoky char of the bbq. I love my grill. This year I intend to try making my own charcoal for it, but that’s still a ways off.
BTW- don’t try to warn me about the dire health and environmental harm caused by charcoal grilling. I once ate s’mores roasted over a railroad tie fire. The Earth is frankly relieved that all I’m doing is charcoal grilling.
adapted from Bon Appetit (January 2010)
* Small onion, halved and sliced
* 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted red peppers (2 large peppers)
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (I used 2tsp lemon juice, 1tsp molasses and 1 tbsp honey to replace)
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
* 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
If starting from whole fresh peppers: char on all sides and place in a paper bag or tupperware to cool down. The trapped steam will loosen the skins. Peel the cooled peppers, reserving the juice collected inside (the juice is, in my opinion, the tastiest part of a roasted pepper).
Saute onions over medium heat with a dash of olive oil until they soften. Add peppers, water and pomegranate molasses. Simmer until reduced by 2/3. Add parsley and walnuts and toss to mix.
Spread a pita or flatbread with a spoonful of muhammara. Top with Kufta and yogurt.