Delicious, spiced meat kebabs served on a Middle Eastern Classic—a bulgar wheat salad.
Viking’s “The Kitchen Table: A Culinary Journey Around the World (Viking Cruises 2016)” is a world-straddling food voyage. Picking just one recipe from this lavishly illustrated treasury is hard work. But on a Sunday evening, the pairing of lamb richly flavored with onion, garlic, cumin, and parsley with a lemon-y parsley-filled Tabbouleh was irresistible. As we pulled the lamb from their bamboo skewers their scent alone was mouthwatering. They’d been laying atop a salad that’s more parsley than bulgar, the ancient Middle Eastern whole grain wheat. The parsley is complemented by fresh mint, chopped tomatoes, scallions, and plenty of lemon juice. It’s altogether an irresistible combination made even more so because of how easy it is to make. It can be grilled or cooked on a griddle pan or, our preferred method, in a non-stick skillet.
Meet the man behind Viking’s spectacular Culinary Adventures…Anthony Mauboussin
If you know anything about cruising, you’re likely aware that Viking Cruises top all kinds of lists of firsts. Viking is considered first in River Cruising, where they started out just 25 years ago. And in 2015, Viking launched its first Ocean-going cruise ship. Viking Ocean now has 8 of them and another 6 in the pipeline setting sail by 2027. Never mind that they’ve now entered Expedition cruising to both poles and the Great Lakes and the Mississippi. Astonishingly one man is in charge of everything in every Viking Kitchen. The monumental job is on the handsome shoulders of one Anthony Mauboussin. A native of France’s Loire Valley, Chef Mauboussin now lives in Andorra with his Mexican-born wife Ana. The chef is tasked with developing recipes unique to each Viking Port of call. To put that in perspective, the 2022 World Cruise alone will visit 57 ports in 28 countries.
Chef Mauboussin develops 3 recipes for every Viking Port of Call.
An appetizer, a main course, and a dessert are created to represent every destination. Consulting his 250 cookbooks, the chef develops menu items by working on four a day. He researches his dishes to make sure they are a true representation of local port ingredients. The work doesn’t stop there. Mauboussin then confirms that his chefs de cuisine can be readily supplied with the ingredients needed to make each dish creates. He checks to assure that Viking’s galleys can be provisioned at various port stops. This often means stocking up on fresh produce to last 6 to 7 days. Menu tastings occur every day at 5 p.m. to ensure that the recipes have been followed from the detailed recipe books created for every menu. The results, Viking’s passengers will tell you, are spectacular. Just like this recipe for Lamb Kofta with Tabbouleh. And after it more recipes from the Chef.
Lamb Kofte with Tabbouleh
Lamb richly flavored with onion, garlic, cumin and parsley with a lemon-y parsley-filled Tabbouleh--an irresistible combination
- For the Lamb Kofte
- 2 lbs. (900 g.) Ground Lamb
- 2 red onions
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp. dried chili flakes
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Olive Oil
- For the Tabouleh
- 1.5 oz. (100 g) bulgar wheat
- 13.5 fl. oz. (400 ml.) water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 ¾ oz. (50 g) fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp. fresh mint
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
- 4 scallions (finely chopped)
- 1 whole lemon, juiced
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
- Grating of nutmeg
- Extra Virgin olive oil
- Step 1 To Make the Kofte
- Step 2 Preheat the grill or griddle pan. (If using a skillet wait until you are ready to cook the kofte) Soak 12 bamboo skewers in water.
- Step 3 Place the minced lamb in a bowl with the chopped onion, garlic, chili flakes, cumin, parsley, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands.
- Step 4 Split the mixture into 12 equal-sized balls and squeeze them around the bamboo skewers to form rough sausage shapes.
- Step 5 Brush each one will olive oil and grill, griddle, or cook in a skillet until golden brown all over and completely cooked through. Lamb is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 F /62.5C. Rest for 3 minutes.
- Step 6 To make the Tabbouleh
- Step 7 Rinse the bulgar wheat in cold water until the water runs clear.
- Step 8 Bring the water to a boil and add the bulgar wheat and salt. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for around 15 minutes. Drain then let the bulgar stand while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Step 9 Remove all the thicker stalks from the herbs. Chop the parsley, mint, tomatoes, and scallions. Add them to the bulgar wheat along with the lemon juice and spices. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add a drizzle of extra virgin Olive Oil.
- Step 10 Arrange the tabbouleh on plates and top with the lamb skewers and serve.