the appetizer:

The Breakaway Cook by Eric Gower explores global ingredients with recipes like Umeboshi Scallops, Galangal-lnfused Dungeness Crab with Baby Greens, and Breakaway Kofta.



Breakaway Kofta

Breakaway Kofta

Serves 3 or 4


Ground meat cooks easily and quickly, takes well to spices, is inexpensive, and has all kinds of homey, cozy associations. I call this kofta (Middle Eastern grilled kebabs of ground meat) because of the Middle Eastern-inspired seasonings of pomegranate molasses, coriander, and cinnamon. Try it with a lighter red like Tempranillo or even a Pinot Noir.

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon star anise
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 pound ground lamb, beef, or a combination
  • 1 large egg
  • Chiffonade of fresh mint leaves

Preheat the broiler. Toast the coriander seeds and star anise in a small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a coffee or spice grinder, add the cinnamon, and pulverize to a fine powder.

In the same pan, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion and spices and saute over medium heat until the onion softens, about 3 minutes. Add the pomegranate molasses and continue to saute for 2 or 3 minutes.

Place the ground meat in a large bowl, add the onion mixture and the egg, and mix well. Form any shape you like, but the classic is the sausage shape. Dust with some more salt and pepper. Place in a broiling pan and broil very close to the heat until well crisped, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, flip them over and broil the other side, another 5 minutes. Transfer to warm plates and top with the mint. Serve hot.

  • from:
  • The Breakaway Cook
  • Recipes That Break Away from the Ordinary
  • by Eric Gower
  • William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers 2007
  • Hardcover; 240 pp. $29.95
  • ISBN 978-0-06-085166-8 (006085166X)
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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This page created August 2007

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