- Yield: 4
Minced Honey BBQ Squab Served with Israeli Couscous in an Iceberg Lettuce Cup ►
Couscous, made colorful with green onions and carrot slivers, combines perfectly with minced honey-glazed grilled squab and mushrooms. The smoky grill flavor is a wonderful foil for the silky couscous. Simple lettuce cups work well as holders for this and many other appetizers.
- Soy Sauce - 1/4 cup
- Honey - 1 tablespoon
- Sesame Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Black Bean Paste or Tabasco - 1 teaspoon
- Garlic Cloves - 1, minced
- Dry White Wine - 2 tablespoons
- Gingerroot - 1 tablespoon, grated
- Squabs - 4
- Shiitake or Domestic Mushroom Caps - 16
- 4 iceberg lettuce cups - To make the iceberg lettuce cups, pull off four large leaves and trim the edges to leave a cup suitable for holding the minced squab.
- Israeli Couscous
- Carrots - 4
- Shallots - 4, minced
- Olive oil
- Chicken Stock or Squab Stock - 2 cups
- Israeli couscous - 1-1/2 cups (alt. other couscous)
- Parmesan Cheese - 2 tablespoons, grated, fresh
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
To prepare the marinade: In a medium bowl, mix the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and black bean paste. Add the garlic; stir well. Add wine and ginger. Mix and set aside.
Prepare a grill for direct heat cooking: Light a charcoal grill and let the coals burn until covered with light grey ash. Or, light a gas grill according to manufacturer’s directions. Place the cooking grate on top and let it heat for a minute or two until hot.
To prepare the squabs: Split the squabs along one side of the backbone. Cut along the other side of the backbone and remove the bones (the squab bones and trimmings may be used to prepare squab stock, or discarded). Turn the squabs over, spread out, and flatten with the side of a cleaver or a meat mallet. Place the squabs and mushrooms in a zippered plastic bag or a glass dish and add the marinade. Marinate for 10 minutes; discard the marinade.
Place the squabs, skin-down, on the cooking grate. Arrange the mushrooms on a cool part of the grill. Grill 30 to 40 minutes, turning the squabs and mushrooms half-way through the grilling time. If the squabs are cooking too quickly, move them to a cooler part of the grill. Remove the mushrooms when done; set aside.
Remove the squabs and let cool. Remove the breast bones from the squabs (the breast bones may also be used to make stock). Remove the legs and thighs in one piece; set aside. Mince the grilled squab meat and mushrooms; reserve for use in the couscous.
To prepare the couscous: Prepare the carrot daisy garnish for the couscous by cutting off and trimming each carrot end into a daisy; set aside. Peel and finely chop the remaining carrots. In a saucepan, saute the diced carrot, green onions, and shallots with a little olive oil. Add the broth and couscous; cook for 20 minutes, or until the broth is absorbed.
When the couscous is cooked, remove from the heat. Add the minced squab meat and mushrooms and mix well. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve: Place a lettuce cup in a glass bowl and place in the center of each serving plate. Fill each with the couscous-squab mixture. Place 2 squab legs on top and garnish with a carrot daisy.
*To make the iceberg lettuce cups, pull off four large leaves and trim the edges to leave a cup suitable for holding the minced squab.