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This July 4th Cookout Calls for Mashawi on the Kamado Joe

posted on: Jun 30, 2021

This July 4th Cookout Calls for Mashawi on the Kamado Joe
Credit: Pinterest

By Waverly Nohr/ Arab America Contributing Writer

With the Fourth of July coming up this weekend, there is no doubt that the smoky aroma of the grill will be wafting through the air in neighborhoods and parks. With the recent craze of the Kamado Joe, egg-like grill, there is sure to be even more cookouts with burgers on most grills. This summer, celebrate being Arab American by grilling some Mashawi instead.

Firstly, let the Kamado Joe be explained. While this grill is aesthetically unique, the shape serves a purpose as well. Unlike other grills that wear and tear, the Kamado Joe’s ceramic build provides longer use. The ceramic material also helps create better insulation, similar to a meat smoker. The smoky flavor is one that many grill enthusiasts enjoy and find it hard to recreate in an average grill.  

This July 4th Cookout Calls for Mashawi on the Kamado Joe
Credit: St Louis BBQ Store

Mashawi is an important staple in the Arab world, ranging from all meats and sometimes eaten on skewers. The Arab world makes it more flavorful than anywhere else. This is a result of not only the spices used to marinate the poultry, beef, or lamb, but also the patience that is practiced when making mashawi. A few steps are essential. First being to marinate your dish for at least the recommended time or overnight. By doing this, the meat will be much more saturated with your marinade. Also, make sure that you fire up your Kamado or traditional grill in time to make the July 4th dinner. There’s nothing worse than the “hanger” that comes when waiting for such delicious meals. Nevertheless, the anticipation will be well worth it. 

A popular source for recipes, Bon Appètit, put out a recipe for Mashawi. This recipe below is by Kamal Mouzawak. 

Grilled Chicken Skewers with Toum (Shish Taouk).

This July 4th Cookout Calls for Mashawi on the Kamado Joe
Credit: Bon Appètit

Ingredients 

4 SERVINGS 

TOUM 
6 garlic cloves 
2 large egg whites 
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 
1 ½ cups vegetable oil 

CHICKEN AND ASSEMBLY 
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 
2 Tbsp. tomato paste 
1 Tbsp. ground coriander 
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, plus more for grill 
1 ¼ lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs 
4 pitas, warmed 

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT 
Five 8″–12″-long metal skewers 

Preparation

Toum:

Step 1 
Pulse garlic, egg whites, and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. With motor running, very gradually stream in half of the oil (this will help the emulsion stay together). Scrape down sides of processor and continue to process, gradually adding remaining oil, until mixture thickens and becomes light and airy (it should cling to a spoon). Season with salt. 

Step 2 
Do Ahead: Toum can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. 

Chicken and Assembly:

Step 3 
Mix lemon juice, tomato paste, coriander, ¼ cup toum, and 3 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl to combine. Transfer marinade to a large resealable plastic bag. Save remaining toum for serving. 

Step 4 
Working one at a time, slice chicken thighs in half lengthwise and season generously with salt. Add to bag with marinade, seal bag, and massage marinade into chicken. Chill at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours. 

Step 5 
Let chicken sit at room temperature 1 hour before grilling. 

Step 6 
Prepare a grill for medium heat; oil grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, folding pieces back and forth accordion-style so they pile onto themselves (it should be about 3 strips per skewer). Grill, turning occasionally, until browned and beginning to char in spots, 10–12 minutes. 

Step 7 
Serve chicken on top of pitas, with pickles and reserved toum alongside. 

Step 8 
*Note: Raw egg is not recommended for the elderly, pregnant women, children under four, and people with weakened immune systems.  

This next recipe is one Mashawi recipe from Zaatar and Zaytoun collection.

Lebanese Shish Lamb Kebabs, also known as Lahm Meshwi.

Credit: Zaatar and Zaytoun

Ingredients

  • 500 g lamb fillet diced into cubes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp regular olive oil suitable for cooking
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, add the regular olive oil, pomegranate molasses, dried oregano, salt and black pepper and stir well
  2. Add the lamb cubes and stir with the marinade to coat well. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least a few hours before grilling
  3. Take the marinated meat out of the fridge at least half an hour before you grill. Skewer the lamb pieces on metal skewers and set on a tray
  4. Once the charcoal is ready, grill the lamb kebabs on each side for a few minutes until slightly charred
  5. Transfer the cooked kebabs inside some flatbreads to keep them warm and tender
  6. In a small dipping bowl, add some pomegranate molasses to serve with the grilled lamb (optional)

Have fun this 4th and celebrate being an Arab American by trying these recipes out! A drink such as Qamar Al-Deen would pair nicely with your chicken and lamb skewers, and the recipe for that drink can be found here! 

Check out Arab America’s blog here!