Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Return to the Scene of the Crime

On a quiet Tuesday evening, I returned home from school, tired and hungry. I returned to Oleana, back to where I had begun Random Apps. I had not been back since that night, choosing instead to always dine at new places. Stephen again was working and I shared with him what he helped start, and he remembered: “Yeah, you were a pain in the ass that night!” What began as a way to redeem myself with Stephen had taken on a life of its own.

Since I had arrived to late in the evening, and in fact, I think I was the last person to sit down, I could not find a suitable recipient for a random app of kindness. I sat at the bar next to a Lebanese couple. They frequented Oleana as it is the best restaurant for true Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors. They were already half way through a five-course tasting, so I did not want to burden them with an extra carrot puree. As I waited for my fideos with spicy chickpeas, one of my favorite dishes with its creamy hints of orange and vanilla and a touch of chili, we chatted. They very graciously shared a taste of their food with me: a venison chop with ground venison kibbe, warmly spiced with cinnamon and lemon. In fact, it reminded me of a Turkish dish with Lamb: Adina Kebabi.

Adina Kebabi

1 lb. ground lamb
1 onion, finely chopped
½ cup chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. lemon zest
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tbs. mint
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

1. Gently mix all ingredients together. Form into a sausage shape around a skewer.
2. Grill over medium high flame, until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with Salad and Grilled Pita..


1 red onion, finely sliced
¼ cup flat parsley leaves
1 ½ tsp. sumac

1. Mix everything together.

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