HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Leftover Lessons: "Greek" Lamb with Orzo or Orecchiette

"Greek" Lamb with Orzo
"Greek" Lamb with Oricchiette
        
Amanda (l.) and Merrill (r.)
Food 52 is a food ‘community’ headed by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs.  Amanda is likely most famous from having edited the Essential New York Times Cookbook, the 2010 revision of the original New York Times Cookbook.  Since she was following in the footsteps of none other than Craig Clairborne, it was some task.  I personally was very pleased to see that Ms. Hesser included the recipe for Monte’s Ham, which first appeared in the Times in 1998.  Food52 has a vibrant on-line recipe share to which bloggers and home cooks from all over contribute.         

Some months ago, I was intrigued by a post for a Lamb dish which topped a bed of lemon-flavored Orzo.  The dish came from a Food52 contributer who signs herself ‘Fiveandspice’ (www.fiveandspice.com).  Along with the recipe came the story of its origins. Fiveandspice’s Mother had seen it in a magazine and incorporated it into her family’s bill of fare.  Since the family was good solid Norwegian stock living in Minnesota, the original "Greek" Lamb with Orzo provided quite a contrast to their usual Norwegian meatballs and fish cakes. I'm not sure my friend Phillip, whose background and cooking is authentically Greek, would attach a Greek flag to the original recipe, but in Minnesota it was positively Pelopponesian. And remained so until Fiveandspice encountered April Bloomfield’s recipe for lamb meatballs in a spicy sauce.  I can always endorse anything Chef Bloomfield does with lamb—see http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2010/04/visit-to-april-bloomfields-breslin-and.html.  What Fiveandspice did was to revisit her Mother’s recipe incorporating both Chef Bloomfield’s techniques and, I would say, ingredients.  I’d been waiting for the weather to call for heartier dishes and this winter has over delivered on cold, snow, ice and the overwhelming desire to stay indoors until, say, April.  So I set out to make Fiveandspice’s Lamb with Orzo.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Meat Mushroom and Potato Skillet Gratin Adapted from Melissa Clark in The New York Times



         At the risk of people believing I must be going steady with Melissa Clark, I am rushing this out in advance of the latest winter storm.  Even though I just shared Melissa’s superb Pork Chop recipe the middle of last month, I could not resist posting this latest triumph from last Wednesday’s “A Good Appetite” column.  This is stuck-in-the house, freezing-cold-outside food at its finest.  It’s Melissa’s inspired combination of elements you find in a crisp potato gratin and in a cottage or shepherd’s pie.  It’s cheesy, rich and come to think of it, gluten-free!  It’s not the fastest dish in the world to cook which makes me think that if you’re going to be housebound for any length of time, it will be the perfect thing to prepare.  It also has the great advantage of being a one-pot dinner.  Well, that is unless like me and Melissa you feel it would look a whole lot better on a plate with a nice big green salad tossed in a lemon vinaigrette.  So what changes did I make to Melissa’s original recipe?  Don’t think I didn’t try to make the original....