Middle Eastern Lamb Fondue

"This originally came from a fondue cookbook that I got to go with my fondue pot. But, I've made so many little tweaks that I think I can now call it my own. This is a full meal recipe, and half the fun is cooking your own dinner around the fondue pot with friends. All you'll need to add is a bottle of wine, or a pitcher of tea. Don't be intimidated by the long ingredients list. This comes together easier than you think."
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  • Cut lamb into bite size pieces, and place in a zipper bag with lemon juice, garlic, herbs, and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Marinate for up to 8 hours, or at least while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  • Prepare the sauces. For the tzatziki sauce, grate or finely mince the cucumber, squeeze out as much water as you can, and mix with yogurt and seasonings. Refrigerate until ready to use. This can be made a couple of days ahead, if you like.
  • For the apricot relish, heat oil in a small skillet or saucepan, add onion and garlic, and cook just until translucent. Add drained apricots, and sherry if using. If you don't use the sherry, add the same amount of apricot juice from the can. Simmer for just a few minutes, until the liquids just begin to thicken. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add parsley, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. This can be stored in the refrigerator, but should be reheated before serving.
  • Make the salad by dicing tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers into bite sized pieces. Quarter or slice olives, and toss salad with oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Remove the lamb from the marinade, and pat dry with a clean towel to avoid splattering. Serve lamb on its own plate to avoid cross contamination.
  • Set out lamb, salad, bread, and sauces where they're easily reached by your dinner companions. Be sure to provide small plates, and spoons for the sauces.
  • Now, you're ready to set up the fondue pot. Fill about halfway with vegetable oil, and heat to 375. (At the right temperature, it will brown a cube of bread in about 30 seconds.)
  • Each person spears a cube of lamb, and cooks it to their taste in the hot oil. The piece can be set on a piece of pita with a little bit of sauce, and eaten that way, or with a fork with or without sauce.

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