Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ground Beef Kebabs with Creamy Dill and Feta Sauce

Towards the close of summer, our school year ends. We break at the peak of seasonal enjoyment. The mornings are cooler, so gentle strolls out to water the garden seem to take a bit longer, as children pick and savor little tommytoes, or help me coddle and coo at the butternut squash...no nasty heat to blast our morning to rot.

My level of contentment seems to rise, also. Cooking seems less a necessity. I spend a lot more time around the stove or counter, tinkering away at new recipes. To wrap up my sentiment toward this time of year, I just plain old LOVE fall.

This recipe came from 1) my boredom with ground beef, 2) an excess amount defrosting in my fridge, and 3) my children love anything on a skewer.

I gave the meat mixture a Mediterranean flare, but you could add any of your favorite seasonings or veggies to make it your own. Also, this meal was as kid friendly as I could make it. If I were dining alone, I would include marinated artichoke hearts, stuffed olives, and maybe some stuffed grape leaves along with.

Ground Beef Kebabs with Creamy Dill and Feta Sauce

For Kebabs
8 wooden skewers, soaked in water at least 10 minutes
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp dried oregano, or 1/2 tsp fresh oregano minced
1/4 tsp onion powder, or 1/4 of an onion, grated
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, divided into small wedges and separated a little (or any other veggies that you might want to add to your skewers)

For Dill and Feta Sauce
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/8 tsp dried dill
1 to 2 tsp water

Heat your indoor or outdoor grill to medium high and spread a little vegetable oil on the grates, especially if you are using very lean meat like I did. Mix ground beef with garlic, cinnamon, oregano, onion, salt, and pepper. Using about 1/4 to 1/3 amount of the meat mixture, form a loose ball in your palm and then wrap that around a segment of skewer. Tuck a small onion wedge on each end and one in between your next meat mixture.

Place the kebabs on the grill and let cook for about 6-8 minutes on each side. Give a little extra sprinkle of salt and pepper on the top, for extra flavor. Be sure to rotate them so that all edges cook on the grill surface. Don't be too hasty to move them about, but rather let them alone so they get lots of toasty marks on all sides.

Once removed, let sit for a few minutes while you assemble a few accompaniments. Mix the sour cream, feta, and dill to make your sauce. Add enough water so that your sauce can be spooned and delivered onto your plates easily. I served our meal with pita bread, that I grilled for a few seconds on each side, and some chopped tomatoes. You can fill the pita with the meat and onions, adding a dollop of sauce and some tomatoes, or you can eat them separately. Little Harry enjoyed dipping everything, not so neatly, in the sauce.

Mangia Bene!

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