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Recipe: Chef Karen Nicolas’ Spiced Lamb Kofta with Israeli Couscous Salad and Tahini Vinaigrette

Karen Nicolas, executive chef at Todd Gray’s Equinox, is one of only a handful of lucky toques to be named among Food & Wine magazine’s 2012 Best New Chefs in America. Chef Nicolas recently sailed on Amsterdam as part of the Culinary Arts Centers program and gave a couple of exciting and mouth-watering demonstrations.

Spiced Lamb Kofta Surrounds an Israeli Couscous Salad and is finished with a Tahini Vinaigrette

Spiced Lamb Kofta Surrounds an Israeli Couscous Salad and is finished with a Tahini Vinaigrette.

LAMB KOFTA (meatballs)

Ingredients:
1 lb ground lamb meat
½ c finely sliced green scallions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoons mild paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black peppercorn
1 egg, beaten
¼ c breadcrumbs
¼ c milk

Instructions:
1. Soak the breadcrumbs in the egg and milk until soft
2. Combine all ingredients and mix well
3. Shape the meat mixture into desired size meatballs
4. Bake in a 350 F oven @ 20 minutes, until cooked through

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Karen2

ISRAELI COUSCOUS SALAD

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup Israeli couscous
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup diced cucumber
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
¼ c chopped fresh spinach
¼ c thinly sliced green scallions
2 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
3 tbsp chopped toasted slivered almonds
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:
1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan.
2. Cook the couscous, stirring frequently, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Add 2 cups water and the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the couscous is just tender and the liquid is absorbed, 9 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
4. Mix together the remaining ingredients.
5. Add the couscous and the dressing. Toss until all the ingredients are coated. Transfer to a large serving bowl and serve.

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TAHINI VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 small garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp salt
3/4 vegetable oil

Instructions:
1. Combine all ingredients except oil in blender and blend well. Gradually blend in oil.

Holland America Line is a proud partner of Food & Wine magazine on the Culinary Arts Center program.

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