Here at Travel Oregon, we feature a recipe each month from a local restaurant, using local ingredients. We hope you enjoy this month’s recipe!

This recipe hails from Neil Clooney, chef of Ashland’s Dragonfly Café & Gardens. Chef Clooney, who took top honors at Iron Chef Oregon 2008, uses local produce and product in his inventive and delicious Latin / Asian fusion cuisine.

Cumin rubbed lamb skewers with mint mojo, and arugula, asparagus and goat’s cheese salad in chipotle lime dressing (detailed recipe and instructions to follow)
(Serves 3-4)

Our cast of characters. Not pictured: Brown Sugar, Salt, Pepper, and the Chipotle Peppers (we had to run down to the store for these!)

First step is to put together your marinade. Into the bowl goes the cumin, cilantro, garlic, kosher salt, pepper and lamb. Once you’ve mixed it all together, cover and pop into the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Next, let’s work on the mojo. Into a small food processor, put your mint, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, olive oil. Then, blend until it’s a course puree.

Regretfully, I do not have an image of the chipotle lime glaze preparation. But! It’s easy to prepare – place one chipotle chili and a bit of adobo sauce into a blender along with the lime juice, olive oil, and brown sugar. Blend until it looks like the above.

Now, let’s get our asparagus ready for the grill by breaking off the tough ends, and then seasoning them with salt, pepper and olive oil. We’ll do the same to the goat cheese.
On a very hot grill, quickly char the goat cheese on both sides. Also, add the asparagus and cook for a few minutes, until it has a slight char to it.

Once your asparagus is done, place the lamb onto skewers and place on the very hot grill. If you have a larger grill than I do, be sure to place the lamb on the very hottest part of the grill. Turn every few minutes and once the lamb is slightly charred with a bit pink, remove from the grill and let rest.

While the lamb is resting, cut the asparagus in to thirds and in a large bowl, crumble the goat cheese over it. Add the arugula and lightly dress with the Chipotle Lime Glaze.

And, we’re done! Place the salad on the top of the plate, a kebab in the center, and the mojo at the bottom. Drizzle a bit of the chipotle lime glaze on the lamb kebab. This is a fun summer meal, so I decided to serve it on fun summer plates.

The verdict: This is a perfect summer dinner! Both light, and filling at the same time. I loved the chipotle lime glaze just on it’s own – I think I’ll make this again as a salad dressing.

We asked our Twitter and Facebook friends to suggest a wine for this month’s recipe. From all the great suggestions, we chose a Boedecker Cellars Pinot Noir

Let us know if you try this, or any of our other Travel Oregon Recipes of the Month!

Cumin rubbed lamb skewers with mint mojo, and arugula, asparagus and goat’s cheese salad in chipotle lime dressing
(Serves 3-4)

Download a printable recipe

For the lamb skewers
1.5 Magnolia Farms Lamb kebab meat (you can buy this already cut up)
4 teaspoons cumin, ground
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup cilantro, loosely packed and chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 grinds black pepper from a mill
4 metal skewers

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl and massage so they all get to know each other really well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours. Then place 5 or 6 pieces on to each skewer.

Mint mojo
1 cup mint leaves packed in tightly, approx 1 bunch
¼ cup cilantro leaves packed in tightly
1 lime, juiced
1 garlic clove
1 pinch kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil
Place all of the ingredients in a small food processor and blend until it’s of a coarse puree consistency.

Chipotle lime glaze
1 chipotle in a little adobo sauce
½ cup olive oil
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup lime juice
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until emulsified.

1 bunch asparagus, locally grown
6 oz goat cheese, Juniper Grove farm, Redmond OR
3 oz arugula, organically grown in Klamath Falls

To assemble
Start with a really hot grill; lightly season goat cheese and asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on grill. Char the goat cheese quickly on both sides, remove before it melts. The asparagus will take a few minutes longer, it should still be slightly crunchy, a bright green with a little char to it. Place the asparagus and goat cheese on a plate to cool down.

Next put the lamb skewers on the hottest part of the grill for about 10 minutes total, turning every few minutes. When they are slightly pink on the inside with a nice char on the outside, remove skewers and let rest for a few minutes.

Cut asparagus into three lengths and crumble goat cheese into chunky pieces. Add asparagus and goat cheese to arugula and lightly dress with chipotle lime glaze.

Place salad at the top of the plate, a nice tablespoon of the mojo at the bottom, skewers in the middle, then lightly drizzle a bit more chipotle lime dressing over lamb. If you wanted to you could serve some nice warm pita breads with this.

about author Rhiannon West Chamberlain

Rhiannon is a native Oregonian who grew up exploring the nooks and crannies of the Oregon Coast and daydreaming in Powell’s City of Books. She now lives in NE Portland with her husband and her new baby boy and looks forward to teaching him to love Oregon as much as she does. Rhiannon attended both the University of Oregon and Portland State University, where she studied Journalism and Mass Media. She claims to ‘bleed green’ and happily cheers for both the Ducks and the Vikings every chance she gets. In her free time, Rhiannon enjoys sipping Oregon Pinot, finding new restaurants, bargain hunting and trying new recipes – sometimes successfully. She has a child-like enthusiasm for trying new things and rediscovering old ones – such as skee-ball, mini golf, and big slides.

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  1. Justin says…

    WOW…definitely have to give this one a try. Keep them coming. I love your recipes. Thanks.

    Written on June 9th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
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