My first experience with lulakabob was at a barbecue – of a sort. It was at a automobile-salvage yard in the middle of a winter afternoon just before Christmas several years ago; it was cold, muddy and windy. One of the yard guys laid a grill over a big hub cap full of hot coals and then grabbed a skewer and squeezed some kind of ground meat onto it and laid it on the grill. He kept transferring meat to skewers as a bottle of Grey Goose and a bottle of Black Label were passed around and plastic cups were filled. Ice and mixer were offered, but with a look that told me only sissies would use them. A heavenly aroma rose from the grill, and when I was handed a skewer hot off the fire, I found out why.
I’ve been a lulakabob fan ever since.
They’re so simple and delicious. I recommend them as an appetizer for parties, although my honey and I have them for dinner too. You can make them on the small wooden skewers you find at the market, but I recommend going to the cooking store of your choice and picking up flat metals ones because they do work much better. I’ve found them at barbecue-supply stores for lots of money, but I’ve also seen them at the 99 Cent Store. Needless to say the chi-chi ones are of better quality, but if you’re in a hurry or on a tight budget, go the cheap route!
As you may have deduced, lulakabob isn’t from these parts, so the hardest part of this recipe can be finding a Middle Eastern market that carries the essential ingredient. If you’re in Glendale, there are lots of them, including my favorite Central Grand Market on N. Central. I have discovered a new favorite out here in the Inland Empire called simply the Farmers Market on Foothill and Archibald in Rancho Cucamonga. It’s a great store with a fabulous stock of exotic foods and a fresh meat market at the back, stocking lulakabob already mixed; you can buy ground, spiced lamb, chicken or beef. Feel free to buy cucumber dip or tzatziki while you’re there and if you find a great market like the two just mentioned, you’ll be able to pick up fresh baked flat bread to accompany your lulakabob.
You can also buy a package of dried lulakabob spices with the directions to make any ground meat into lulakabob. I always have a couple packages on hand.
Take it home, open up your white butcher paper and let the kabob building begin. It’s easy; wash your hands well, scoop out a handful of ground meat and squeeze on to your skewer – it’s that easy. Make as many skewers as you think you need, and then add a couple more. Place them on a hot grill and turn them every two minutes; they only need about 7 minutes altogether. It’s a quick, yummy dinner – serve with a fresh salad, flat bread and a yogurt dip of your choice. That’s it — a perfect, lo-cal, low-fat dinner. Make them in smaller bite-size skewers for appetizers. They’ll go over great at any Super Bowl party, I promise!