yogurt sauce

Spiced Lamb Kebabs with Yogurt Sauce

by Anne Maxfield on June 16, 2016

Accidental Locavore Lamb Kebabs ReadyWho doesn’t like kebabs? The latest bon appetit had some great ideas and the Accidental Locavore had some local lamb (still working off the freezer).

There are three steps to making this version with lamb, but they’re all easy and you can do the spice rub and yogurt ahead of time. Serves 4:

Spice rub:

  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns or 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper

Accidental Locavore Spice Blend for KebabsLamb:

  • Vegetable oil (for grill)
  • 1¼pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces


  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon zest

Rub: Coarsely grind cumin seeds, peppercorns, caraway seeds, red pepper flakes, sugar salt and pepper in spice mill or with mortar and pestle.

Accidental Locavore Lamb Kebabs Close UpLamb: Prepare a grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off). Oil grates. Thread lamb onto 6–8 skewers, leaving a small gap between each piece of meat. Sprinkle generously with spice blend, pressing it onto the meat with your hands to help it adhere if needed.

Grill lamb over direct heat, turning every minute or so, until browned and beginning to char in spots, about 4 minutes. Move to cooler side of grill and continue to grill until lamb is cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes longer for medium-rare. 

Accidental Locavore Yogurt Sauce for KebabsYogurt sauce: Stir garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice into yogurt in a small bowl to combine; season with salt and pepper. Top garlic yogurt with cracked black pepper and a little lemon zest. Serve with the lamb and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Lamb Kebabs With Baked RiceMy verdict: If you’re looking for something to go with the baked rice, this is what we paired with it and it was a great dinner! Frank doesn’t think it’s really a kebab without veggies, so he added mushrooms, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onions and some lamb sausage to the skewers which meant we could have fed 6 easily. I “marinated” the lamb in the rub overnight and I’m not sure if that’s why it seemed a little overly peppery. Next time, maybe start with a heaping teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns and add accordingly.

If you don’t have a grill, you know a grill pan will work just fine.

The yogurt sauce is delicious (and calmed the heat from the peppercorns a bit). Definitely make it if you’re doing the kebabs. There was a little leftover which I added some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to and used it for salad dressing the next day. Need to remember that!




Stuffed Cabbage With Yogurt Sauce

by Anne Maxfield on October 15, 2015

Back Camera

This morning, the Accidental Locavore pulled out a cabbage from my CSA and it practically begged to be made into stuffed cabbage. It’s a simple dish–a little time consuming, but well worth it. Par-boiling the leaves takes the most time, but it’s easy. Don’t let the lengthy looking directions scare you off.

For the cabbage:

  • 1 cabbage
  • 1/2 pound of ground lamb
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/3 cup each dill, parsley and mint, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • A dash of allspice

For the yogurt sauce:

  • 1 cup of whole milk yogurt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic put through a garlic press
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Accidental Locavore Cabbage for StuffingCore the cabbage and carefully remove the leaves until they get too small to work with. Cut the spines out of the cabbage.

Fill your biggest, flattest pan with water and put it on to simmer. Place a few of the cabbage leaves in pan. You need to cover them with water, so do them in batches. Cook until just tender and pliable. Repeat with the rest of the leaves. Put them on a plate, or clean dishtowel to drain and cool.

While the leaves are cooling, mix the rest of the cabbage ingredients until well combined.

Take all the leftover small pieces of cabbage, and the spines, and line the bottom of a large flat pan with them (I use the same pan as for prepping the leaves).

If the cabbage leaves are large, cut them in half the long way (along the spine).

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of filling about an inch above the bottom of the base of the leaf. Fold up the bottom to cover the filling. Fold in the sides, and roll up. As you work, place the rolls in the pan so they’re resting on the seam (the end of the leaf).

Accidental Locavore Stuffed Cabbage in the PotDot with butter, about 2 TBSP, and fill the pan with water to cover the rolls. Place a large plate on top to hold them down.

Heat on medium-high until boiling, then turn down to a strong simmer for 30-35 minutes until tender.

To make the sauce, mix the yogurt with the egg yolks. Add to a small saucepan with the tomato sauce, garlic and salt and pepper. Stir to combine and heat slowly until warm. Pour over the stuffed cabbage, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: When we lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, there was a Turkish place nearby that made great stuffed cabbage. Since we’re far away now, I’ve had to try to duplicate it and this is pretty close. It’s become a favorite and I make it fairly often. Try to choose a cabbage that has big, smooth leaves, it will be much easier to take apart them. Do not do what I did the first time and try to use a red cabbage! It’s just too gnarly. I don’t know what the one I had from my CSA was, but it was round and flat and super easy to separate. The other thing is that you must use whole milk yogurt and mix the egg yolks into it. Otherwise it will break and while it will taste ok, it won’t look very appetizing.