Maybe the best lamb kebabs on the face of the planet—at least that’s how I felt on this particular night when we dined on these babies! A tangy, garlicky marinade made with lots of fresh oregano that paired perfectly with the full-flavored lamb in the Grilled Lamb, Tomato, and Halloumi Skewers. Not a lamb fan? You could use chicken or pork cubes in its place.
The halloumi cheese block is cut into 16 equal pieces.
What the heck is halloumi? It is a Cypriot semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk—and doesn’t melt! Unlike most cheeses, which melt at high heat, halloumi holds up well to grilling, so it makes a great addition to a kebab. The cheese is white, with a distinctive layered texture, similar to mozzarella and has a salty flavor.
Having experienced not-so-pleasant results recently when cutting lamb into 1-inch cubes for kebabs, this time I cut them into 1 3/4″ to 2″ chunks. Russ grilled them at four minutes per side on high heat, turning once, resulting in perfectly medium-rare deliciousness.
We added slightly more garlic than the recipe calls for—which we almost always do. A boxed Zatarain’s Yellow Rice dish stood in for the orzo because it is gluten-free, although the following recipe includes the orzo directions. I did include all of the other ingredients into the rice, cutting the amount of the mixture to a 1/4 cup and topping some steamed green beans with the rest.
The halloumi cheese and lamb made a perfect combination, and the leftovers (if you have any) are great!
Scallions are sliced and the fresh mint is ready to be minced.
About 2 pounds of boneless lamb leg is cut into almost 2-inch chunks.
Halloumi cheese squares and lamb chunks are tossed with the marinade.
- Kosher salt
- 10 oz. (1-1/2 cups) dried orzo
- 1-1/2 lb. boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 48 pieces)
- 8 oz. halloumi, cut into 16 pieces
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 16 cherry tomatoes
- 4 whole scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
- 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
We have used this style of tossable skewers twice now and find they work great—the food stays in place and does not turn.
Meat, cheese and tomatoes are threaded onto skewers.
After 4 minutes Russ turned the skewers and grilled for another 4 minutes.
The sauce was mixed into our rice side and drizzled over steamed green beans.
- Put the lamb and halloumi in a large bowl. In a small container with a lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover tightly and shake vigorously. Toss the orzo with 1/3 cup of the mixture and pour the rest over the lamb and halloumi, tossing to coat.
- Thread 6 pieces of lamb, 2 pieces of halloumi, and 2 tomatoes onto each of eight 12-inch metal skewers, alternating a tomato and a piece of cheese between every 2 pieces of lamb.
- Grill, turning once, until the halloumi is browned and the lamb is pink in the center (cut into a piece to check), 4 to 6 minutes total.
- While the lamb is cooking, toss the scallions, mint, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with the orzo (or rice.) Season to taste with more salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Serve the skewers with the orzo.
By Adeena Sussman from Fine Cooking