Kofta Kabobs and Tzatziki Sauce Come To San Clemente

Another great recipe to use with the Pita Bread recipe from a few days ago are kofta kabobs with tzatziki sauce.  Most recipes for the kabobs I have seen and my original recipe were made with lamb.  Because we cannot find lamb very easily here I have modified my original recipe to use part ground pork and part ground beef. It worked well and tastes great.

Kafta Kabobs

  • 2/3 pounds ground pork (needs a good bit of fat)
  • 1 1/3 pounds of ground beef
  • 4 stems of parsley or cilantro *
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped *
  • 3 cloves garlic, roasted, peeled and chopped *
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Small pinch of clove
  • Small bunch of mint leaves, very finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • dash of chili flakes to taste

*Note: if you are grinding your own pork and beef add the onion, garlic and cilantro to the grinder, it just makes it so much faster and then it will be blended completely into the meats.

Roast the cumin, coriander and clove in a frying pan until they release their aroma, about 1 minute.  Cool slightly and grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.  Add all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl mixing well and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Shape the meat into a 6 inch tube shape like a sausage.  Gently cook for 3 minutes on a side, the meat will flatten out a bit but continue to cook until all sides have taken on a nice brown color and are a bit crispy.

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 medium cucumber peeled, seeded and grated – then squeeze out excess liquid
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup thick yogurt or Kefir
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated fine
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • for garnish, chopped dill or cilantro and a dash of cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together and sprinkle with garnish and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make your pita bread (or use rolls) and place one kabob in the center of the pita and liberally cover with tzatziki sauce.  You can also use hummus or hummus and tzatziki together for yet another taste sensation… Beyond Yummy!!!!

Panna Cotta

IMG_2110I tried making Panna Cotta with the Kefir instead of buttermilk and it works great and tastes wonderful. Not just an every day dessert, it’s nice enough to share with company. Turn the cups out onto a dessert plate add a sprig of mint or slice strawberries and it is fancy enough for guests.

Panna Cotta
2 T of cold water
1 1/2 t powder gelatin

1 C cream
1/2 C sugar
2 C buttermilk or Kefir
2 t vanilla extract

Put gelatin and 2 tablespoons of water into a small bowl to soften for 5 minutes. Pour cream into a saucepan with sugar heat just to melt sugar, remove from heat. Add softened gelatin and stir to be sure it is incorporated. Add kefir and vanilla extract. Pour into small pudding cups and refrigerate. Yum!

IMG_2081

Kefir – Cultured Milk similar to Yogurt

We fell in love with kefir when we were living in Panama. Some sweet soul, sorry I forgot who gave me the culture, was kind enough to share their kefir grains with us when we lived their over five years ago..

Kefir is a cultured, creamy product with amazing health benefits. Kefir is tart and has a refreshing flavor similar to a drinking-style yogurt or buttermilk. It contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly probiotic bacteria found in yogurt.

The grains are just that, they look like little grains of rice. You start with about one tablespoon of kefir grains and you add milk. It can be cows milk, goats milk, raw milk and even boxed milk works. Leave the milk mixture on your kitchen counter for 18 to 24 hours in a glass container. Do not close the lid completely or drill holes in the top to allow air to escape. Use a coffee filter with an elastic band to cover to keep little critters out. Strain using non-metal strainer into a clean storage jar. If you want a richer more tart flavored kefir – allow the kefir to sit on your counter for a few more hours after you have removed the grains. This gives you fresh kefir every day in any quantity that you need.

Kefir is a great preventative probiotic which will promote gut health, absolutely necessary while living in this climate.

IMG_2090I received this kefir from Rodger and Glennda Kauffman who are living in Bahia de Caraquez. The culture is very healthy and is reproducing grains which I will share with anyone who may be traveling through San Clemente.

You can use kefir to make smoothies using the fruit of your choice if you are not a plain yogurt eater. Plus one of my future posts will be for a dessert called Panna Cotta using kefir.  Really yummy….

Kefir

While living in Panama, I was given a gift of Kefir Grains. I did not know anything about kefir at the time but decided to try it. What a wonderful yogurt type drink it makes. I think it is more flavorful than anything you buy in the store. First I guess I need to explain that kefir is a probiotic beverage. I have purchased two types of grains: milk kefir grains and water kefir grains.The milk kefir grains can be used with cow milk, goat milk or coconut milk. The water kefir grains can be used with sugar-water, juice or coconut water but more on water kefir when I start working with that in a few weeks.

Kefir grains consist of bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic relationship. The term “kefir grains” describes the look of the culture only – it is not a grain at all.

San Clemente 8.18b.2013 002I purchased these grains from a company in the US and had a friend bring them with her when she visited the states last month. They come in a dehydrated state and need to be rehydrated with milk to work properly.

Kefir 8.11.2013 008 I have a supply of raw milk delivered to my door three times a week. For .60 cents I buy a quart of beautiful full fat milk that I have used for making puddings in the past. Now I am using it for my kefir. It will take up to 8 attempts to get my grains really producing. Right now I am only making one cup at a time to get the grains to multiply. Once they start to multiply I will have more grains than needed and will eventually be able to share with friends and neighbors.

Kefir 8.11.2013 011The result, using one cup of kefir with a half pint of fresh frozen strawberries, was two dessert dishes of almost soft-serve consistency. No sugar added just the fresh frozen berries with the tart kefir…it was a hit.