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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grilled Lamb Shawarma

Many years ago, I used to live in the Stevens Community apartments, near what is now called "Eat Street". During the summer, when my windows were open with no air conditioning, I could smell the cooking from all the restaurants down the street. One of my favorites was a little place called Jerusalem's, and I loved ordering the shawarma, because it was a flavor combination unlike anything I had tasted before, and the price was quite reasonable.

We went to see a show in the old neighborhood not too long ago, so I took Ray to my old favorite place, and the food just didn't live up to my memory. I have been craving good shawarma ever since, then this month's edition of Food and Wine came, and here is a grilled version I can make at home! This rub/marinade could be used on almost any kind of meat, and other than the grilling time, the meal came together quickly and easily.

Grilled Lamb Shawarma (based on June 2012 Food and Wine magazine version)

For the rub:
1 head of garlic, roasted **see note
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 lemons
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
Salt and pepper
1 4-5 pound leg of lamb roast 
**To roast the garlic: Cut the top off the head of garlic, and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap in foil and place on grill or bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes until garlic is brown and soft. Let cool. 
Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the head of garlic into a small bowl. Add olive oil, zest and juice from both lemons, paprika, cumin, coriander and cinnamon. Mash all the ingredients together with a fork until smooth. Butterfly the lamb leg roast (cut it open and lay flat), and cut several 1/2 inch slits into the fatty side. Spread the rub all over the roast. Place in a container and refrigerate overnight. 

The next day, remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Preheat grill to medium to high heat (about 400 degrees). Generously salt and pepper the lamb roast, and place on the grill fatty side down. Grill 15-20 minutes per side, until pink in the center. Remove and let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. 

Serve with:
Grilled pita bread 
Sliced cucumbers 
Greek yogurt 
Fresh dill 
Red onion 
Feta cheese 

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