A friend of mine bought me the Balaboosta cookbook by Einat Admony last Hanukkah as a hostess gift and it has completely changed the way my family eats. It quickly became my go to cookbook and helped me incorporate Israeli cooking into our lives in a way the cookbook Jerusalem didn’t.
Balaboosta is a really practical cookbook. Unlike most cookbooks that are organized by appetizers, meat, desserts, etc. Balaboosta is organized by occasion (romantic dinners, barbecue, casual dinner parties, etc.) The ingredients lists are more than manageable and the instructions are straightforward. This Herbed Meat Kebabs recipe is now a staple in our house and it is one of my son’s favorite dishes. This meal takes me only 1/2 hour to make so it is a frequent mid-week meal for us. The recipe is below.
The dish is served with a Parsley and Red Onion Salad that is also in the cookbook. Don’t rack your brain over that one, it is just red onions, parsley and vinaigrette. We also serve ours with hummus and grilled vegetables.
Grilled veggies is the easiest side ever. My go-to veg during summer is zucchini but I also grill peppers and onions. I’ve got the only kid that eats grilled onions. I just put olive oil and salt and pepper on the veg before grilling. Nothing fancy but always great.
I can’t be bothered to make my own hummus anymore now that there are such great store-bought varieties.
This picture above is the one that changed our lives! There is a picture like this in the book and it taught me the correct way to eat a pita! Stupidly, I always thought a pita was cut open and the goodies were inserted inside the pocket. Well, you know what happens with that…the pita breaks and it is a hassle to repeatedly gather it back together again. The book illustrated this way to eat it and guess what…it’s way easier. Thanks, Balaboosta!
The other things I make in the book are the Adobo Steak, Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Preserved Lemons and the Harissa. I use the harissa on everything while the batch lasts.
If you are stuck in a rut with your cooking, I highly recommend the cookbook Balaboosta. Did you ever have a cookbook or food blog that changed the way you eat?
HERBED MEAT KEBABS
Makes about 35 kebabs; serves 6 to 8
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon water
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix really well with your hands. Shape the ground beef mixture into cylinders about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter, put them on skewers, and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
- When the grill is fired up, place the meat kebabs over the heat and grill them until good and charred on each side, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Serve these kebabs hot off the grill with a side of Spicy Grilled Salsa and Red Onion Parsley Salad (both in the cookbook).
Excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books). Copyright (c) 2013. Reprinted with permission.