Tired of the mundanity of grilling ground beef into burgers and serving them up on dull old buns? Well, don't get your Turkish pants in a twist. Leave it up to Xenia to give you a few ideas to keep your family licking their lips and fingers and asking for more. I'll have you well on your way to a new recipe with just a few everyday spices and ingredients. Munlik's new instruments have been inspiring me to think more Middle Eastern these days. Man, that little nomad loves creating stuff with bamboo! If you don't know what I'm talking about then you'll be in for a surprise the next time he pulls out his instrument bag to accompany the drummers. Anyhow for the rest of you, Xenia suggests putting on some Middle Eastern music to get you in the mood while you hop aboard her magic carpet to ride around the food section of the souk and back to her creative kitchen.
The recipe I give to you today will make use of the familiar Middle Eastern pita bread. I want you to know that throughout the Middle East, bread varies somewhat from area to area, so put your kabob on whatever is available where you are; it may even be just served on a bed of rice or couscous, too. This is a great dish for period camping. Make the patties ahead and freeze them or grill ahead and just warm them up on a griddle/pan or over the fire. Pack pre-made bread or prepare your own like the nomads.
The nomads of the desert did not have ovens available to them for making their daily bread, they prepared a pita bread cooked on a griddle. Their bread is similar to the soft tortillas made by the Aztecs, the chapattis of India or the lavashes of Persia. The people living in the villages usually had a central oven in the village that they co-operatively shared for baking their bread in. They would prepare the dough at home and bring it over to the oven for the final baking stage. The pocket pita bread we are familiar with is baked in an oven and the pockets are developed as they puff up with the heat. They collapse when removed from the oven leaving you with a hollow center for the pocket.
Note: I mention using ground beef as ground lamb is nearly non existent around this area but if you have a source by all means use it instead. When grilling I use not the leanest grind of beef because the fat drains away easily and you will want these kabobs to be a bit juicy rather than too dry.
Mix the meat and spices together and make 4 long flat patties. Grill until well done over a barbecue grill. Prepare the sauce and chill for an hour in the refrigerator. Warm the pitas on a lightly greased griddle, spread the yogurt sauce over the pita place a patty on top and add the garnishes, fold over and enjoy.Forever shimmying