Skip to main content

Middle Eastern Mezze - Kafta and Eggplant with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Kafta – Meat Kabob

This is a wonderful mezze and is a perfect accompaniment the hummus and babaghanoush to make it a full meal. These are easy to make and can be done in the oven or on the grill.


1.5 lb of ground Beef or ground Lamb or a mix of both. Don’t make the meat too lean or it will not hold together and will be dry.
1 large Onion grated, salted and drained in a strainer
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Allspice
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
One handful Parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper

Put ground meat into a food processor and pulse until creamy, then add onion, parsley and spices. And pulse until completely mixed. Form into a sausage shaped patty.

Grill on a charcoal or gas grill until browned and seared outside but still pink inside, or under a broiler on a lined baking sheet until finished. Try to turn just once during cooking.

Remove from grill or broiler and cover with aluminum foil and let rest while you prepare the other mezze for the table.

Eggplant with Pomegranate and Yogurt

This is a fantastic dish to bring the flavors of the eggplant together with the sweetness of the pomegranate and creaminess of the yogurt


One Eggplant, sliced in ½ inch pieces
3 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
1 Garlic clove, crushed
2 cups Yogurt, use a thick Greek style
Pine Nuts
Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix the pomegranate molasses and yogurt together and allow to come up to room temperature.

Slice the eggplant and add the garlic to 2 tbsp of the olive oil and lightly brush both sides of the eggplant. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 30-40 minutes, making sure to turn once during cooking. Remove the slices from the oven.

Take remainder of the garlic and olive oil and quickly sauté the pine nuts. Spread the eggplant with the yogurt and molasses mixture and pour the pine nuts over the top and serve.


Popular posts from this blog

Marlow and Son’s Butterbeans, Garlic Confit and Preserved Tomatoes

I first saw this recipe in Bon Appetit and was fascinated. It used interesting ingredients combined in a unique way and I had to try it. The recipe was given in response to an email from BA writer to Marlow chef Patch Troffer, but the recipe had no measurements and timing. After making it, I adjusted a few things and added quantities and timing and was very happy with the results. I ordered my dried beans from Rancho Gordo in Napa and they were excellent.

To make it spectacular, you really do need to make the garlic confit and preserved tomatoes. They aren’t hard to make, but set aside a bit of time. Make a full recipe and then use the rest for other dishes.
Garlic Confit
3 heads of Garlic, peeled and left whole.  3/4-1 cup Olive Oil  4 springs fresh Thyme  2 Bay Leaves 2 dried Chili Peppers

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and cook on barest simmer for 1-2 hours. (This broad cooking time is due to the fact that some garlic has more moisture than others). You’ll want the cloves to be s…

Norfolk Style Seafood

This is such a good recipe and so simple to make. The story behind this recipe is interesting. When I was a young boy, we used to go to a seafood restaurant in Washington DC called O'Donnell's. They had wonderful food, and most importantly, they had Buck.

Buck was a gentle giant at 6' 2" and was always talking to me about his recipe. He had invented this style of cooking seafood and had even developed special pans which could be used over open flame and then it could be delivered to the tables still sizzling. He was rightfully very proud of this. 

After being there quite a few times, Buck shared his recipe with me and told me to keep it a secret. Since this was over 40 years ago, I guess I can reveal it now. 


1/2 lb Shrimp, Jumbo Lump Crab or Langoustines, raw and shelled
2 Tbsp Butter
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Dash of Old Bay Seasoning
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Few dashes of Tabasco
Splash of White Wine
Salt and Black Pepper

Heat your pan until fairly hot, then add butter an…

Golden Mountain Sauce

I love making Thai food at home, and I've always prided myself on getting that authentic Thai flavor, but if I’m completely honest, I have to admit it always seemed to be missing a little something.

Well, I have found out what that little something was. It's called Golden Mountain Sauce and it has been called the "secret of Thai cooking" and has been used in Thailand for over 50 years.

Use it as you would soy sauce, but mix it equal parts with fish sauce to get the real Thai flavor. Here is the perfect dish to try it out.

Gai Pad Prik Grapao/Chicken with Hot Chilies and Basil
Thais’ love fresh basil, and use many different types. Most of us are familiar with Sweet Basil, and this is easy to find in any market. However, it’s the “Holy Basil”, known as Bai Grapao, which is the most flavorful and authentic.
This basil has an anise type of flavor and gives this dish an amazing flavor and dimension that just doesn’t taste the same with sweet basil.
You should always use fres…