Steal This Recipe® Lamb Skewers with Garbanzo Bean Stew & Couscous | Luna Park, California

October 24, 2012

Executive Chef Joe Jack of Luna Park shares with us this exotic recipe

'Stolen with permission' from Executive Chef Joe Jack of Luna Park, which has two locations in California; San Francisco and Los Angeles. If you are looking for some bohemian style dining in either city, Luna Park might be just the ticket, offering up Californian bistro fare. The restaurants' hip setting is framed with red brick walls and decorated with modern art and kitschy crystal chandeliers. For a special romantic evening, make a reservation to dine in one of the private wooden Pullman booths cloaked in muslin curtains.

About the chef: Luna Park co-owner and Executive Chef Joe Jack is a native of Iowa, but his cooking is more a product of Europe and California than the American heartland.

Following working at San Francisco’s Monsoon, Chef Jack honed his skills in Umbria, Italy, while cooking at Villa Roncalli and Enoteca Bacco Felice; two highly regarded establishments in Foligno. There Jack developed a keen appreciation for the region’s fresh, robust cuisine, distinctive wines and quality, seasonal ingredients cooked simply, without excessive embellishment; a hallmark of authentic Italian cuisine.

When he returned to San Francisco, he continued to refine his Italian cooking as Executive Chef at Tutto Bene and Tutto Mare, where he met Luna Park co-owner, A.J. Gilbert, and polished his traditional American cuisine at Sunny Jim’s and Chow. In 2000, he and Gilbert created San Francisco’s Luna Park. With the great success in San Francisco, he and Gilbert decided to take their winning concept to Los Angeles. Jack’s culinary philosophy, is all about “keeping it simple”.

Chef’s note: If lamb is not available, pork loin is a good option for the recipe, and regular eggplant could also be substituted for Chinese eggplant. The recipe also calls for Harissa which is a fiery hot sauce originating from Tunisia. It is usually made with hot chilies, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway and olive oil and can be found in cans and jars in Middle Eastern markets and supermarkets.

Luna Park L.A. 
672 S. La Brea Ave. 
Los Angeles, CA 90036 
323 934 2110

Luna Park S.F. 
694 Valencia St. 
(Valencia @ 18th) 
San Francisco, CA 94110 
415 553 8584

Lamb Skewers with Garbanzo Bean Stew & Couscous is served at Luna Park for $14.95.
This recipe makes 1 restaurant serving and can easily be multiplied.

This is a 5-part recipe: 
Skewer Seasoning Mix 
Lamb Skewer 
Saffron Sauce 
Garbanzo Bean Stew 

Skewer Seasoning Mix Ingredients:
3 tbsp salt 
2 tsp ground fennel seed 
2 tsp ground coriander 
1/2 tsp ground cumin 
3 tsp minced rosemary 
1 tsp ground chili 
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Skewer Seasoning Mix:
Combine and mix.

Lamb Skewer Ingredients:
1 inch square piece red bell pepper 
2 x 1oz pieces lamb sirloin 
1 inch thick piece Chinese eggplant 
1/8 wedge red onion 
1 crimini mushroom 
Skewer Seasoning Mix

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Lamb Skewer:
Begin by coating the skewer components with the Skewer Seasoning Mix. Set skewer aside for grilling. 
(This is the time to make the Couscous, Saffron Sauce and the Garbanzo Bean Stew.) 
When ready to serve, cook skewers on a hot grill, approximately 10 – 14 minutes, making sure to turn frequently for even cooking. 
Place finished skewer on a bed of Garbanzo Stew and drape with Saffron Sauce. 
Garnish with several strands of saffron.

Saffron Sauce Ingredients:
1 x 16 oz can vegetable broth 
1/4 cup diced plum tomatoes 
1/2 tsp. saffron 
1 tsp garlic 
1/4 cup diced onions 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp toasted, ground fennel seed 
1 tsp toasted, ground coriander 
2 tsp Harissa sauce 
1 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp tomato paste 
Salt to taste

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Saffron Sauce:
Begin the sauce by sautéing the onions, garlic and olive oil in a sauté pan until translucent. 
Add in saffron and stir for one minute, then deglaze with white wine. 
Reduce mixture until wine has evaporated. 
Add tomatoes, fennel, tomato paste, coriander, Harissa and vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. 
Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Garbanzo Bean Stew Ingredients:
1/4 cup finely diced onions 
1/2 cup diced carrots 
1/2 cup garbanzo beans 
1/4 cup white wine 
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 
1/2 tsp chili powder 
2 tbsp diced plum tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth 
1 tbsp olive oil

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Garbanzo Bean Stew:
Begin stew by sautéing onions, with olive oil, in a medium saucepan, until onions become transparent but not brown. 
Add garbanzo beans and cook out any remaining liquid. 
Add wine, and reduce until dry. 
Then add tomatoes and chili powder, and mix well, add salt to taste. 
Add vegetable broth 1 cup at a time, allowing garbanzo beans to absorb the broth before adding another cup. 
Continue to add broth until beans are completely soft; then add carrots and a small amount of broth. Simmer mixture until carrots are tender, adding stock only if necessary. 
Finished stew should be sticky and relatively dry.

Couscous Ingredients: 
¼ cup couscous 
¼ cup water 
1 tsp salt 
Several strands saffron

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Couscous:
Boil the water. Pour the water over the Couscous, salt and saffron. 
Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.