After about a month in Food 52’s baking club on facebook, I joined its facebook cookbook club. I had such a great time exploring Dorie’s Cookies and Breaking Breads, I thought that cookbook club would be just as fun.
For the first month or so I followed along seeing what everyone cooked, but for this month I picked up the cookbook on tap at the library: Melissa Clark’s Dinner: Changing the Game. I didn’t know anything about the cookbook – but after reading her introduction I was in love, and fortunately found many recipes I wanted to try.
Melissa’s approach to dinner using this cookbook is meant to change how we serve and eat dinner. Most of the recipes are meant to be a stand alone meal that “shines bright on the table.” She also discusses how the more often a cook cooks a dish the less time it will take to prepare it. Flipping through the recipes I found so many dishes that felt approachable but would also increase my sophistication in the kitchen.
I was sold on this cookbook even before trying any recipe. And this evening I tried my first dish: Georgian Lamb Kebabs.
The dish begins by creating a spice marinade with both sweet spices and savory spices. Melissa does a wonderful job describing this marinade as a “juxtaposition of sweet spices…with cayenne and black pepper to give dishes both a haunting fragrance and a heated kick.” You get your first glimpse of this combination through smell when making the marinade. Shortly before cooking, you prepare a dill sauce to top the lamb. When I originally read dill sauce I was expecting a dish that was a yogurt based sauce. And this was not. It was more like a relish or a salsa. When I make this recipe again (which I will!), the dill sauce will be the only part I may change. It calls for a green chile, and with my sensitive reactions to cutting spicy peppers, I will likely cut it out until I increase my ability to cut spicy peppers without pain (any tips?).
The best part of the recipe is while it is primarily for grilling, she also encourages the cook to use your broiler. I don’t have a grill, so a grilling recipe that I can still make is very appealing to me!
If you can’t tell already from this post I absolutely loved this dish (feeding it to my fiance he says immediately that it will need to be made again). The spice mixture was unique and absolutely delicious! It was easy to do, even with all the chopping and dicing, and I can’t wait to serve it to others. Even more, I can’t wait to dig into Melissa’s cookbook even more. If this recipe speaks to how the rest will be, I can only imagine how much fun I will have, and how much my tastebuds will enjoy it.