Not Your Father’s Ordinary Kabobs from Not Amy

Oh, this tangled web we weave – and by ‘tangled,’ I mean ‘strangely interconnected.’


Spend even a tiny bit of time in the music world/community/biz/whatever-you-want-to-call-it and you’ll realize that six degrees of separation is pushing it – it’s usually more like a degree and a half, and even that might be stretching things. In my mind, it makes perfect sense that a good pal of mine from Portland moved to Yakima and ended up playing with a guy who used to be in a band with some of my favorite people in Seattle. We good people stick together – even if we’re relocated, our natural tendency is to gravitate toward one another.


(I’d say something witty here, but it turns out that sneezing your head off and being clever are mutually exclusive endeavors. On the plus side, my mildew-infected new desk has inadvertently led me to discover that Claritin and coffee are the springtime incarnation of the Seattle speedball…)


While I wait to see who wins the tea tree oil vs. mold battle in the war to reclaim a piece of office furniture (not to mention my physical and mental well-being,) I encourage you to check out Not Amy. And if you have any suggestions as to how to remove mildew from oak (in an unventilated basement office) without killing me, my co-workers or their two elderly dogs, my nostrils and I would be eternally grateful.


I met Chad Bault through the Derby guys back in ’05 and was blown away by his power, presence and pop-infused twangst – not to mention his sarcasm-tinged goodnaturedness. I can’t for the life of me remember how Navid first got in touch – whether he was sent my way through the Curtains For You fellas (who he used to play with) or Mr. Bault. But as I got to know him, it made all the sense in the world that the Nice Person Network would bring him and Bault together.


Claritin doesn’t pay for itself, so I’m going to be working backstage at the Daughtry gig tonight – but if you’re in Seattle, I’d highly recommend that you go see Bault, Navid and Jenny (aka Not Amy) at the High Dive.


It’s barbecue season here in the U.S. (and always BBQ season in Australia), so try out Navid’s killer kabob recipe at your next shindig – and look out for Not Amy. Their acoustic-driven, harmony-laden tunes are good year-round!


Navid’s family secret kabob recipe


You can put ANYTHING on a skewer and call it a kabob, but my dad is from Iran and from what I’ve gathered (over decades of eating this for 2 meals per week), this ground beef kabob is the go-to. Anytime you find yourself in a Persian restaurant, order the kabob-e-koobideh. It’s how they stay in business. Persian restaurateurs know that we are all fully capable of shoving chicken and onions on a skewer, but they also understand that most of us don’t know the secret recipes for making ground beef taste like something other than a hamburger or a meatball, so they open restaurants and serve this ground beef kabob. It’s their equivalent of the hamburger, and guess what, the Iranian Big Mac makes Ronald McDonald look like a jackass.


You need:

1-1.5 lbs ground beef

1 large white onion

1 large egg

2 stale pieces of white or French bread

garlic powder






-Take your stale bread and turn it into bread crumbs. Just rip it into pieces and throw it in the food processor. Use white or French bread, everything else is too flavorful. Make sure the bread is either stale or toasted and cool, otherwise the moisture ruins it.


-Put it in a giant mixing bowl


-Put your onion in the blender. Turn it in a kind of slightly rough puree. Like grits at Denny’s, where it looks like it should be smooth but there are still chunks lurking.


-Put beef in bowl with crumbs, put the onion in there, put the egg in there, then mix it with your hands, and don’t be a baby about it.


-Add a dash of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I know you LOVE garlic (because everyone LOVES garlic) but don’t go crazy… add a DASH, one dash. You aren’t making Italian food. Now add a palm-full of sumac. Sumac is this crazy spice you can find add all the uppity grocers in town, or at the diviest middle- eastern markets. I recommend the latter, because you will get 5 times as much for about 1/10 of the price. Now get your hands in there. Make sure you mix it until it’s consistent.


-Spread it out on a cookie sheet, until it’s about ½ inch deep. Cut it into rectangles.


-Heat your barbecue


-Grill your meat. Flip it ONCE. These are delicate little things so don’t poke and prod and flip them 30 times. Let the grill get hot, throw them on, turn the grill to medium/medium-low and let them cook.


-Serve with rice and torshi, which you should also get while you are at the seedy Lebanese grocery. It’s pickled everything, and it tastes good on everything.


Now you have kabob- the real Persian kind. You didn’t even have to get your skewers out.


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