Dinner in 25 Minutes

Spiced Lamb and Cashew Kebabs

6 servings

The combination of ingredients may seem rather unusual, and the result isn't particularly attractive. But the subtly earthy flavor and texture are fabulous, particularly when paired with warm pita or flat bread and a spoonful of thick plain yogurt. Adapted from "Delia's Summer Collection," by Delia Smith (BBC, 1993):

12 ounces ground lamb (may substitute ground turkey)

1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus additional for serving

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 fresh green chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped

4 ounces roasted cashew nuts, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peanut oil

In a food processor or in a bowl using your hands, pulse or combine the lamb, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, chili pepper, cashews, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper to taste until everything is ground together and the mixture resembles coarse sausage meat.

Take about 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll it on a flat surface into a sausage shape, squeezing the mixture firmly together. Repeat until you have used all the mixture; you should have about 12 pieces. Thread the patties onto 4 skewers, 3 per skewer. (May cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.)

Preheat the grill or broiler.

Brush the kebabs with oil and cook, turning once, until no trace of pink remains, 3 to 5 minutes per side side. If desired, sprinkle with additional cilantro.

Per serving (without yogurt or pita): 301 calories, 13 gm protein, 8 gm carbohydrates, 25 gm fat, 41 mg cholesterol, 8 gm saturated fat, 193 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber

-- Renee Schettler

Made With Fun

You can tell your kids how much fun it is to cook. But will they believe you? You might have better luck plunking them down in front of the Food Network. Beginning Sunday, the all-cooking network will premiere "Cook With Your Kids."

A week of specially scheduled shows will cast a youthful spin on cooking know-how, including episodes featuring Alton Brown, Rachel Ray, Sara Moulton, Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse.

One of the thousands of contestants entered in "Emeril's Cook With Your Kids Contest" was 11-year-old Springfield resident Lora Cooper. She and her herb-crusted halibut recipe will be featured in a special episode that airs on Sunday at 8 p.m.

For more information, see www.foodtv.com.

Jewish Foodways

As part of a nationwide celebration of the 350th anniversary of the arrival of Jews in this country, on Oct. 10-11 the Judaic Studies Program of the George Washington University is hosting Are We What We Eat? American Jewish Foodways, 1654-2004.

The conference, also sponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food, Lilith Magazine, Jewish Women International, the Jewish Women's Archive and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington, will examine the influence Jewish food has had in America and look at how Jewish cooking has changed over the years.

The event will feature lectures, seminars and exhibitions, which are free and open to the public, and a $100 kosher dinner with a keynote address by restaurant critic, writer and cookbook author Mimi Sheraton on Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.

For more information, call the GWU Judaic Studies Program 202-994-2190 or see www.gwu.edu/~judaic/350/ food_conf.htm.

SHOPPING CART | Olive Oil Potato Chips

A greaseless potato chip is hard to find.

Thick and golden brown, these olive oil potato chips from Good Health Natural Foods ($2.99 to $3.99 per five-ounce bag) have a light and airy potato-y goodness that's not overwhelmed by oil or salt. The plain and the rosemary are swell, though we liked all the bags we've ripped open over the years, including cracked pepper, lemon, garlic, blue and sweet potatoes and trio (a blend of the plain, blue and orange).

Olive oil potato chips are available locally at some health-food and specialty stores, including CostPlus, Giant (in the Natural Foods section) and some Whole Foods Market locations. Also available by mail order; call 631-261-5608 or see www.goodhealthnaturalfoods.com.

QUOTED | On Mushrooms

Mushroom are the gift of nature, but a good cook is the gift of God.

-- 19th-century mycologist Mordecai Cubit Cooke,"Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms"

When the moon is at the full

Mushrooms you may freely pull;

But when the moon is on the wane,

Wait ere you think to pluck again.

-- English folk rhyme

On the subject of wild mushrooms, it is easy to tell who is an expert and who is not: The expert is the one who is still alive.

-- former music critic Donal Henahan



When challenged with what to throw together for dinner from the contents of your refrigerator, consider consulting your favorite search engine instead of your favorite cookbook.

Type the ingredients on hand into the search box of most search engines -- we tried Google, Yahoo, Safari, Netscape, Lycos, AltaVista, Infoseek, Ask Jeeves and HotBot -- and see what ideas pop up. A Google search for tuna and olives turned up 48,800 hits, including recipes from diverse sources such as an Australian pasta company and food writer Erica de Mane.


If a clove of garlic has sprouted a green shoot, the garlic is relatively old and may be somewhat bitter. You may, however, remove the shoot and use the clove.


FRIDAY-SUNDAY: Greek festival at St. Katherine's Greek Orthodox Church. Free admission. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, noon-9 p.m. 3149 Glen Carlyn Rd., Falls Church. Call 703-671-1515.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY: Greek festival at Saint Sophia Cathedral. Free admission. Noon-9 p.m. 36th St. and Massachusetts Ave. NW. Call 202-333-4730.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY: Mount Vernon's wine festival and sunset tour featuring wines from 16 Virginia wineries. Benefits Mount Vernon and its educational programs. $25. 6-9 p.m. South end of George Washington Parkway, Mount Vernon. Call 703-780-2000 or see www.mountvernon.org.

SATURDAY: Taste of Bethesda -- festival featuring samplings from 48 local restaurants. Free admission; tastings 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Fairmont, Norfolk, St. Elmo, Del Ray and Cordell avenues, Bethesda. Call 301-215-6660 or see www.bethesda.org.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY: Russian festival at St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Free admission. Noon-6 p.m. 4001 17th St. NW. Call 202-726-4989.

SUNDAY: The Evolution of the American Cookbook -- discussion with Willis Van Devanter. Sponsored by the Culinary Historians of Washington, DC. Free. 4-6 p.m. The George Washington University at Mount Vernon College, Eckles Library Auditorium, 2100 Foxhall Rd. NW (W Street entrance). Call 703-281-5281 or see www.chowdc.org.


OCT. 6: Wine-tasting class at Wolf Trap sponsored by the Wine Tasting Association. Class will be taped to air on public television in March. Free. 1:30-5 p.m. 1645 Trap Rd., Vienna. Call 703-799-1221 or see www.winetasting.org.

OCT. 14: How to Cater Your Own Party and Live to Tell About It -- seminar with former caterer and food writer Ed Bruske. Sponsored by the Smithsonian Associates. $25 for nonmembers. For location, call 202-357-3030 or see www.resident associates.org.

PLEASE NOTE: Space limitations sometimes prevent Food from publishing all submissions. For possible inclusion, send notices -- including organization name, date, cost, time, address and phone number -- to: To Do, Food, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington D.C., 20071 or food@washpost.com. Submissions must be received at least 14 days prior to publication date.