Friday, July 25, 2014

Cypriot Sausage Kebabs with Tahini Sauce

We use the grill a lot in the summer. We don't have air conditioning in our house, so when the temps kick up into the 80s and 90s, the last thing we want to do is turn on the oven. So my gas grill comes in handy. I saw this recipe in my Fine Cooking magazine and thought it looked so delicious that I put it on the menu for that very week. This turned out to be a big winner. They are super flavorful and the tahini sauce is heavenly...smooth, nutty and cooling to the palate. Andy said I must keep this one for the future, so it has officially gone in the menu box for future use.

Cypriot Sausage Kebabs with Tahini Sauce

1 lb. ground pork butt (I used Italian sausage)
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 12-inch flat skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes if wooden)

Tahini Sauce:
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt; more as needed
1/8 tsp. cayenne; more as needed

Make the kebabs
Using your hands, gently mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Wet your hands and divide the pork mixture into 6 portions. Rewetting your hands as necessary to avoid sticking, squeeze each portion of the pork tightly around a skewer to form a long, ridged cylinder. Transfer to a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 4 hours.

Make the tahini sauce
Put all of the ingredients and 1/4 cup water in a food processor and process until smooth. (Alternatively, whisk in a large bowl; the texture of the sauce will be a bit more coarse.) Season to taste with more salt and cayenne. Set aside. (You can make the sauce up to 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

Grill the kebabs
Prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) gas or charcoal grill fire for direct grilling. Oil the grill grate. Brush the kebabs with oil and grill, turning occasionally as grill marks form, until browned and just cooked through (cut into one to check), 8 to 12 minutes. Serve with the sauce.

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