I have a confession: we didn't fire up the grill a single time this weekend. I know! It's our duty as American citizens to grill over Memorial Day, right? We're one of three apartments in our building with outdoor space. The owners who live on the penthouse level have a rooftop terrace. Then, there's us and our next door neighbor. The patio is one solid rectangle of pavers divided by an absolutely exquisite lime green plastic sheet. Last fall, the building dug up the old patio, added better drainage (this is good and overdue - we've had one major flood and a handful of rainy day leaks), and relaid pavers. When the work crew put the green plastic wall back up, they split the belongings.... incorrectly. We have their table and our chairs, some of their planters, and the bottom half of the grill only. Some of the items are properly sorted out now, but our little Weber is exceptionally rusty. Since Memorial Day weekend is also for Pure Relaxation, the end result was no rust scrubbing, no grilling, but lots of tasty indoor food.
I probably could have made this story a lot shorter by also noting that it rained in NYC this weekend the nights that we cooked which, inherently, puts a damper on grilling, pun intended.
While I can't share any grilled recipes from this weekend, I can share a recipe I made on our grill pan in the last couple of weeks. We'd tried a lamb dish that looked beautiful but left us shrugging indifferently flavor-wise, so I was fixated on a redemption recipe.
Enter Ina. Any time I've made one of her recipes, it's perfect. Flawless, even.
"I woke up like dis", said the lamb after marinating overnight (almost a full 24 hours) in Greek yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and finely diced cilantro. Ina's recipe calls for rosemary but I had cilantro and, you know, waste not want not.
While I soaked the wooden skewers in water (so they don't burn during cooking!), I got to chopping. The red bell pepper and red onion ended up in wedge-ish pieces to join the lamb.
Since I couldn't get our grill pan as hot as a regular old outside grill, I did each skewer for about 2 minutes a side and then finished all of them in the oven.
Just imagine that grilled smell of sweet pepper and sharp onion, both with dark charred sections. The aroma should be bottled. Plus, these two vegetables stood up to the cooking well and had a great texture to counter the soft, melty lamb.
Speaking of veggies, remember the mini cucumbers, radishes, and tomatoes from the picture above? I cooked 1/3 cup of whole wheat couscous and tossed in those sliced veggies with a splash of red wine vinegar.
And then, feasting.
This final shot of lamb comes with the Beyoncé-inspired caption, "I look so good tonight." The yogurt marinade left the lamb exceptionally tender and tangy with a ton of flavor from the lemon and cilantro. The couscous salad was a crunchy and refreshing counterbalance to the richness of the meat. I can say with confidence that this is now a go-to lamb recipe and I'll definitely be making it again once we de-rust the real grill!