I am just back from Doha where I had a few days of intensive eating, although not camel this time! However, because I was in the region and because my hotel was packed with Saudi families, having crossed the border to celebrate Eid in Qatar, I thought I would post a Saudi recipe for camel kabab which is actually the best way to eat camel unless you are having the hump. The good news is that you can now get camel meat in the UK from either Exotic Meats or Kezie Foods. You can of course skip the camel meat and make the kabab with lamb or beef but you won’t have a fun talking point over your meal. The traditional recipe calls for millet flakes but I use millet grains because it makes for a prettier presentation as you can see in the picture above. The grains also give the meatballs a nicer texture. So there you go, a recipe for meatballs with a difference. Hope you enjoy them!
I went to Waitrose today with the intention of buying one chicken breast for a recipe I was testing. As I looked at my options in the organic section — I only buy organic chicken; I used to trust free-range but I don’t anymore; am not even sure you can trust organic but if I start on this path, I will probably end up eating nothing which may not be such a bad thing at least for a while — I realised that I could buy a whole organic chicken for only a little more than the price of the pack of breast filets I was looking at. They were more than I needed anyway, and I wouldn’t eat what I don’t use — breast is my least favourite part of the chicken. So, I bought the whole chicken and jointed it myself, deciding to marinate and roast the legs and wings to have for my lunch, use one breast for my recipe and freeze the other in case I needed to test the recipe again. Now, if I were roasting the chicken whole, I would have kept it plain finishing it with either lemon juice or sherry to have a tasty gravy. But for the pieces, I decided to make the marinade I use for wings, with garlic, spices, lemon juice and olive oil. Here is the recipe. As you can see from the picture below, I really enjoyed my lunch!
For those of you who read my blog regularly, you will know about my camel hump adventures during the filming of Al Chef Yaktachef for Abu Dhabi TV. This was three years ago and from that day on, I have been wanting to write an article about camel hump. Finally I did. If you buy Lucky Peach’s Travel issue no. 7, you will find my piece with a picture of the sweet baby camel who gave up his life to provide me with the best camel hump I have ever eaten. Admittedly, I have not had so many but the few that I have tasted were nowhere near as good as this last one. And not so much because of my cooking skills, although I cooked it for less time than an Emirati cook would have, but mainly because the baby camel was a particularly fine milk-fed specimen. As a result, its meat was particularly tender.
Christmas is round the corner and I thought I would share with you this festive stuffed breast of lamb that my mother used to cook for xmas eve when it was only us around the table. I much preferred it to the turkey she roasted when my grandmother, aunt and uncles joined us. She used the same stuffing for both, a highly seasoned mixture of rice, meat and nuts and she occasionally varied on the breast by using a neck or a shoulder. Both neck and shoulder have more meat on them but the breast (a large, triangular piece of flat meat that lines the ribs) is delicious even if a little too fatty. Anyhow, there are two ways of stuffing it: one is by folding it in half over the stuffing and the other is by creating a pocket between the skin and the rib meat and filling it with the stuffing. In both cases you sew the edges to encase the stuffing.