COOKBOOK CONFIDENTIAL COOKBOOK CLUB – Sue Loncaric reviews Spicy Ground Beef Kebabs with Tomato-Sumac Sauce

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Hi there,

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to my friend and multitalented blogger, Sue Loncaric. Sue publishes a fabulous blog for women on the topic of thriving after the age of 50, Sue’s blog is filled with articles ranging from diet, cooking, and fashion, to you name it. It is a wonderful resource of ideas on how to live your best life.

What follows is Sue’s review:

Tuesday Night’s Mediterranean

Spicy Ground Beef Kebabs with Tomato-Sumac Sauce

I’m delighted to have recently joined the Cookbook Confidential Book Club, hosted by Bernadette from New Classic Recipes, and to present my first review.

Our first Cookbook selection is Chris Kimball’s Milk Street Tuesday Night’s Mediterranean. I had not heard of Chris Kimball or the Milk Street recipes, so I Googled Chris Kimball to find out more. I also couldn’t find a copy of the book at my local library. However, I did find a sample view on Amazon which included a few recipes that I could try. I didn’t want to necessarily purchase another cookbook and have it just sit on my shelf.

As my selection in the sample was limited, I chose the Spicy Ground Beef Kebabs with Tomato-Sumac Sauce. It sounded tasty and used some flavors which again, I had not used or heard of before.

The book suggests that the ‘recipe is a take on kebab hindi, that despite its name, is a Levantine, not Indian, dish’.

Levantine relates to the Levant, a region in Eastern Mediterranean.

In 2023, I’ve reintroduced our Home Restaurant Date Nights, where my husband and I take turns making a special dinner just for the two of us. As it was my turn to be chef, I used this recipe as the Main course served with Rice.

‘Broiling’ meant, as I believe, that is an American term and not one we usually use in Australia. I discovered it means a 

  • cooking process that involves the use of very high heat for a short period of time. It is also a low-fat form of cooking, so a win/win there in the healthy eating stakes.
  • I had to convert from Imperial to Metric
  • I also converted the servings to suit 2 rather than 4 – 6 (although this would reheat well for another meal if you want to make the full quantity).
  • Cilantro is also known as Coriander
  • Sumac is a popular Middle Eastern spice that is related to the poisonous shrub of the same name.  the culinary variety is safe to use and has vibrant red berries. I played it safe and bought it in the herbs and spices section of the Supermarket. 
  • I preheated my fan forced oven to 180C

COOKBOOK CONFIDENTIAL – Sue Loncaric reviews Spicy Ground Beef Kebabs with Tomato-Sumac Sauce

Recipe by Richard Kimball
Course: DinnerCuisine: MediterraneanDifficulty: Easy


Cooking time




  • 1 1/2 lbs 1 1/2 80% lean ground beef

  • 1 1/2 tsp 1 1/2 ground cinnamon and all spice

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 pints 2 cherry or grape tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons 2 extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon 1 ground sumac

  • 1 large 1 onion, 1/2 finely chopped, 1/2 thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 cilantro, loosely packed and roughly chopped


  • Heat broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the element. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  • In a large bowl, combine the beef, chopped onion, cilantro stems, pine nuts, cinnamon, allspice, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
  • Using hands, mix well and divide into 12 portions and shape into a patty 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter; arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Broil patties until well browned on top and center temperature is 160F, (70C), 7 to 9 minutes.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and cover with foil.
  • Discard any liquid that remains on the baking sheet and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, toss together the sliced onion, tomatoes, oil, sumac, 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Distribute in a single layer on the baking sheet and broil until the tomatoes burt and onions char, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Using the back of a fork, crush the tomatoes to form a chunky sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the baking sheet and stir gently to combine, add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spoon the sauce over the patties. Sprinkle with cilantro leave and drizzle with additional oil


  • How did the recipe rate?
  • ✰✰✰✰✰ – The recipe was relatively easy to make and the ingredients readily available at my local supermarket or already in my pantry.
  • ✰✰✰✰✰ – The meal tasted delicious with strong flavours and I would definitely make it again. It is also healthy as the meat is broiled and not fried.  I also used the premium grade beef with less fat, so a win/win on taste and being good for us.

Mike gave it a thumbs up and said it was very tasty and we should definitely add it to our list of favorite meals.

Sue Loncaric is an Australian Over 50 lifestyle blogger, certified health and life coach for women, and the founder of Women Living Well After 50.  She is a qualified Personal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor and takes classes for Over 50 Women in the Strong Healthy Women Virtual Studio. 

In 2020 Sue fulfilled a dream of starting the Conversations with Women Living Well After 50 podcast, interviewing and sharing stories from women who are Living Well.  

Sue is passionate about living a full and active life in Midlife & Beyond. Her mission is to encourage and inspire women Over 50 to live a fit, fabulous, healthier, and happier lifestyle by guiding them to realize their full potential.

Sue’s motto is ‘Make it Happen because life is too short to wait”.

Sue currently co-hosts What’s On Your Bookshelf? And What’s Been On Your Calendar?
You can connect with Sue through the comment section below, or via her Women Living Well After 50 Blog and social media.

Blog   Facebook Group   Instagram   Podcast   Goodreads

Thank you Sue for participating in this project, for giving us such a delightful recipe and peek into your life.

16 responses to “COOKBOOK CONFIDENTIAL COOKBOOK CLUB – Sue Loncaric reviews Spicy Ground Beef Kebabs with Tomato-Sumac Sauce”

  1. johnrieber – I love great food, interesting books, fascinating travel, outrageous movies, and bacon, especially when it sits on top of a great cheeseburger! I work in entertainment – and I have been lucky enough to interview some really talented Artists – that guides my posts: interesting and provocative movies, music, social media and of course, food, since I believe strongly in the maxim, "everyone eats!"
    johnrieber says:

    This looks like an easy and delicious mid-week meal! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Bernadette and John, for some reason the new comments button seems to have vanished so I had to use the reply button. I also made this dish but I had to make some adaptions to the cooking method and ingredients. My family also loved it. I like the way this recipe is presented, very professional.

  2. Awakening Wonders – Everyday life is filled with wondrous things and embraceable moments, but only if we allow ourselves to be fully awakened. I invite you to join me as I share passionate life adventures and ramblings that awaken my spirit. I look forward to awakening your senses to the simple, joyous wonders that are all around us. I feel that we are destined to become soulful adventurers!
    Awakening Wonders says:

    Appreciating your cookbooks and the talent you are showcasing! This recipes looks very good!

  3. Retirement Reflections – Vancouver Island, BC – Prior to retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope that you enjoy reading these reflections, and will be willing to share your own.
    Retirement Reflections says:

    Hi, Sue – This is a terrific review! The dish in the feature photo looks amazing.
    I appreciate that you reminded us we can usually trial a digital book sample before purchasing. This is a great feature to take advantage of as it helps us to make informed choices. Although I greatly enjoyed this cookbook, I do own others I dearly wish I had sampled first!

  4. Hello from the Southern Highlands south of Sydney, Australia – what a lottery win on a busy day . . . a great recipe > love sumac and never say no to coriander . . . and then there is that discovery tour to a blog I did not Know existed !

  5. What on interesting recipe! I have never added cinnamon to ground beef before. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Debbie – Tumbarumba, NSW, Australia – Travelling is in my family's blood and since being forced into an early retirement (due to a redundancy) I'm making the most of my 'spare time'. Along with travel, Rotary, running, cycling, reading, photography and social media, I love to blog. The community network, continually learning new skills, and sharing ideas is a source of great joy. Other things that make me happy are my husband, our three grown up daughters and family. I now have two new granddaughters, and two grandsons. Taking pleasure in the everyday beauty around us is essential to a happy life – take time to smell the roses! It costs nothing to smile 🙂
    Debbie says:

    Sounds and looks delicious. Well done Sue on having to convert things and learn new skills along the way, a great review.

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