Beef Kofta Kababs with Tzatziki

Story by Natalie
Beef Kofta Kababs with Tzatziki
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When I think of dinner with friends I can't help but think of a feast. And when I think of feasting I think of many dishes filled with succulent foods, arms crossing, hands reaching and fingers dipping. I think of a meal that lasts more than a few short minutes, more than is required to simply nourish your body, but rather is long enough to nourish your soul. And while I love the idea of feasting with friends, I can't help but think about how tired I’ve been recently and how I’d prefer not to be standing in my kitchen for hours attempting to achieve this vision I’ve created in my head. In the design world it’s referred to as champagne taste on a beer budget. In my world of hosting, entertaining, and feeding my family I’m not entirely sure what the equivalent is called, but I’m constantly living it.


Nothing screams feast more than Mediterranean food. Fact.

Beef Kofta Kababs with Tzatziki

There once was a time when I loved spending hours crafting the perfect meal with slow roasted meats, complimenting sides and cocktails to pair. However, with the current state of our home and the massive remodel of our 100 year old diamond in the rough, my time, space, energy (and sanity) are things of the past. As a result, I’ve been rethinking the way I do entertaining. After chatting with Holly and realizing I’m most definitely not alone in these feelings we decided to provide you with a little “how to” for the most decadent feast at a fraction of the cost and time. (If that’s not the definition of success, I’m not sure what is.)

Nothing screams feast more than Mediterranean food. Fact. There are other ethnic cuisines that succeed at providing decadent dining experiences, but mediterranean is by far my favorite. Aside from delicious, it’s beautiful, relatively healthy and, if you take a few of our suggestions, can be extremely easy. For this easy and cost-effective feast we made beef kofta as our main. If you aren’t familiar with kofta it’s mixture of ground meat, Eastern spices, onions, and plenty of garlic all mixed together and grilled to perfection. It's so simple and so flavorful!

Beef Kofta Kababs with Tzatziki
Beef Kofta Kababs with Tzatziki

Now that your amazing protein is on the table, the rest is simple. In true Mediterranean feasting style we like to add and add and add to the table and when you think you have enough dishes add some more! And then when you actually have enough, just add a bunch of wine and start feeding your hungry guests and sit and talk and eat and talk some more. Then keep eating.

Kofta is paired well with pita bread (store bought keeps it easy), a simple salad of onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and oil. A large hunk of fresh feta. Olives. Good hummus (homemade is so worth it if you have the time, but totally skipable in a pinch) and a healthy serving of tzatziki (which we have a wonderful recipe for). This meal is meant to serve 4, but there is no such thing as too much food when feasting, so you’ll probably want to double, triple or quadruple the recipe.

Beef Kofta Kababs with Tzatziki

Now, instead of avoiding having company over, you can embrace it. Skip out on the clean house (no one actually cares), pour a glass of wine (or two or three) and feast. Trust me, your soul needs it.

Beef Kofta Kababs with Tzatziki

Beef Kofta Kababs with Tzatziki

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 lb ground beef
1/2 onion grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sumac (optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

garnish

flat leaf parsley
fresh feta
hummus
tzatziki
cucumbers
tomatoes
red onions
olive oil
pita bread

Method

  1. Prepare hummus and tzatziki. Both can be made or bought a day or two in advance.
  2. Heat grill to medium high heat. Place onions in a food processor and grate or grate by hand. Lay on a paper towel and ring out excess liquid.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, pepper, salt, marjoram, rosemary, cumin, oregano, sumac and cinnamon using your hands. Meat can be cooked right away, but it will taste better if it has time to sit. You can even prepare it a day ahead and refrigerate.
  4. Using one hand to mold the meat and the other to hold the skewer, pack about ½ cup of meat around the end of the skewer.
  5. Lay the meat on the preheated grill and cook until cooked through, rotating the skewers every 2-3 minutes.
  6. While the meat is cooking, slice up your garnishes and dish up your sides.
  7. Serve meat hot with warm pita, fresh feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, red onions, pepitas and whatever else you can dream of.