Last week, Jan and I went over the hill to Santa Cruz to visit her “new” brother. While we were there, we stopped by a large book store that was going out of business. The cookbook section was fairly picked over, but as I was perusing the fiction section I found a book Izakaya: Japanese Bar food—someone had obviously picked it up and then changed their mind, leaving it “where ever.” Their loss, my gain. This Sunday, I decided to make a Japanese bar style dinner.
Tag Archives: grilling
I have done Greek lamb for the last three Easter Sundays. While I love Greek lamb, I wanted to do something different for this year. After looking at dozens of recipes on-line I could not find any that really grabbed me.
I, and my family, do not listen to NPR radio when we are at home, only when we are driving. As we listen to the shows, there are frequently little bits of factoids that must be shared with the rest of the family, usually over dinner. Those conversations always start, “Driving along listening to NPR….”
Shashlik is really just the Central Asian name for a kabob, something on a skewer. In Kashgar, at least on the street, this is almost always lamb coated in a cumin based spice blend. Lamb is cut into small (3/8 inch) cubes and skewered with bits of lamb fat. The stick is dipped into a tray of the spice blend and then grilled over hot coals. While the kabab is on the grill, the seller uses a fan to boost the heat of the coals and picks up some of the sticks to baste the skewers still on the grill with the rendering lamb fat dripping from them. If you like the crispy crust of grilled lamb you will be mad about these.
Jan saw a bunch of fruit at the farmer’s market and thought, “What goes with lamb skewers? Fruit skewers!” Some of the fruit was not quite ripe and I suggested that since I would already have the grill going we could throw them on. Jan thought this was a good idea.
I wanted a side dish to go with my Veracruz Fish Tacos and the marriage [casamiento] of black beans and rice seems a natural. In reading about the cuisine of Veracruz black beans are a must.
Veracruz being as first port of call on the east coast of Mexico had more contact with Europe than other parts of the Mexican interior. The joining together of the Old World rice with the New World beans is almost symbolic of Veracruz’s historic position as the place where European, black slave and indigenous native cultures combined to form something new.