Spiced Beef Skewers with Roasted Squash & Garlic Rice

Spiced Beef Skewers with Roasted Squash & Garlic Rice

10 Ounces Ground Beef
4 Wooden Skewers
½ Cup Brown Rice
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Butternut Squash
1 Lemon
3 Tablespoons Panko Breadcrumbs
2 Teaspoons Ras El Hanout
1½ Tablespoons Golden Raisins
¼ Cup Labneh Cheese

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut off and discard the squash ends; using a knife, carefully peel the squash, then separate the neck and bulb. Cut the squash into ½-inch-thick rounds; scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon.

In a small pot, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add half the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Stir in the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 43 to 45 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork.

Once the rice has cooked for about 10 minutes, place the squash on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; turn to coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast, flipping halfway through, 30 to 32 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. Top with the lemon zest, the juice of 2 lemon wedges and a drizzle of olive oil; carefully turn to coat.

Once the squash has roasted for about 15 minutes, in a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, raisins, ras el hanout and remaining garlic; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form into 4 oval-shaped patties, each about 1 inch thick. Transfer to a plate. Working 1 at a time, insert the ends of the skewers lengthwise through the patties. Season with salt and pepper.

While the squash continues to roast, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Carefully add the assembled skewers and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.

While the skewers cook, in a bowl, combine the labneh and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the cooked skewers, cooked rice and roasted squash between 2 dishes. Serve with the seasoned labneh on the side. Enjoy!

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