For years the name 'Frankfurt' meant to us an airport rather than a city, a place where we caught a connecting flight to some other destination. We must have travelled through the airport a dozen times before we finally got a chance to spend a few days there, and that was when we discovered that Frankfurt is a charming, historical and beautiful city that is such fun to explore!
Frankfurt has a little bit of everything: ruins of its beginnings as a Roman town; a medieval cathedral surrounded by charming old timber houses; and sleek new skyscrapers that house some of Europe's biggest banks and financial companies. The Zeil, Frankfurt's main pedestrian shopping street, is the place to stroll, watch people, snack on food and of course, shop. The most eye catching building here is called MyZeil, with a huge vortex shaped right smack in it's middle! It's inside is equally futuristic with ramps, glass columns and lots of interesting shops.
Only a few steps from the bustle of downtown is a covered farmer's market where you can find fresh vegetables, sausages, cured meats and cheeses. It is a lovely place to browse and taste some of the best local produce.
One of my favourite things to eat in Frankfurt were the sausages and cured meats. While I couldn't get enough of the delicious Bratwurst, it was the cured meats that I found unusual. The salami and smoked sausages were often stuffed with intriguing things like broccoli, cheese and red peppers. Sliced thin and served with a variety of cheeses and crusty bread, they were fantastic.
One of the charms of travelling in Europe is sampling the foods of their immigrant populations. Over the years we have tried Indian restaurants in London, Indonesian rijstafel in Amsterdam, and Moroccan cuisine in Paris. Frankfurt and Berlin are the best places to find Turkish food. Frankfurt has excellent Turkish restaurants, but the most visible signs of its large Turkish population are the kebab stands that you find on every street. Massive rolls of Doner kebabs are grilled on vertical rotisseries and the meat shaved off in thin slices. Wrapped in a flatbread they are sold as Yufka kebabs.
My kababs are a gentle intermingling of Indian and Turkish flavours and are grilled on skewers on a barbecue. Serve them with rice or wrap them in pita bread or naan with some chopped salad and yogurt raita folded in.
For variety, try other ground meats such as chicken, turkey, pork or beef, in place of the lamb. For greater ease of preparation, you can also just shape the kababs into hamburger style patties!
Lamb Kababs With feta And Herbs
4 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
8 sun dried tomato halves (not oil packed)
1/4 cup each, tightly packed (washed and dried well): fresh coriander leaves, mint leaves, parsley and crumbled feta cheese
2 slices bread
1/2 tsp each, ground: cinnamon, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
1 lb (450g) lean ground lamb
1 lemon, halved
Combine garlic, ginger, onion, sun dried tomatoes and herbs in food processor. Process until well minced.
Add feta, egg, bread, spices and salt. Process to mix again.
Add lamb and mince well until well blended. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate, covered for 15 min or up to overnight.
When ready to grill, preheat outdoor barbecue to medium heat.
With dampened hands, divide lamb mixture into 8 equal portions and roll into balls. Press a skewer into each ball and gently stretch it into a 4 - 5 inch long sausage shape, moulding it with your hands and pressing gently to hold the meat in place.
Grill skewers for about 12-15 min, turning occasionally until cooked through and lightly browned.
Transfer to a platter and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.