HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Lamb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lamb. Show all posts

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Seamus Mullen's Herbed Lamb Meatballs with Rich Tomato Sauce

  
         Seamus Mullen’s name would give you no clue as to this particular chef’s specialty.   Chef Mullen is the chef/owner of two wildly popular and critically acclaimed restaurants specializing in modern Spanish cuisine.  The first, Tertulia in Greenwich Village (359 6th Avenue, NYC 10012 Tel: 646-559-9909) has the stars to prove it.  The second one, El Comado, is located in the Gotham West Market, a food court unlike any other in the city.  For one thing, it’s at 600 11th  Avenue, a neighborhood so far west in Hell’s Kitchen, the owners of the apartment building above it conceived the place as a way to draw tenants.   Otherwise these poor souls would have to walk blocks before they found anything to eat.  Instead, they can go downstairs to 8 highly original food destinations.  

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.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Turkish Lamb Pita Pizzas adapted from Semsa Denizsel in Food and Wine Magazine



        Need I tell you, we didn’t have lamb for Easter.  Instead we had one of our glorious whole, bone-in hams, with a side of Kielbasa.  As much as we enjoyed our feast, I had lamb on my mind when we came back to the city.  A couple of weeks ago, I’d found a recipe for Lamb Pizza.  Pizza, I need not tell you, has pretty well taken over the world.  And apparently Turkey is no exception.  This particular pizza is the work of a woman named Semsa Denizsel who owns a take-out food shop and restaurant in Istanbul called Kantin.  Chef Denizsel is no stranger to Food and Wine Magazine, which is where I encountered her recipe. She’s provided them with four of her recipes so far.  I am sure there are more coming as Ms. Denizsel is acquiring a reputation as an authority on Turkish Cuisine.  Kantin is located in Istanbul’s poshest neighborhood.  Now 13 years old, the focus of the food there is simple, honest and homemade.  The Chef is a complete locavore and a seasonal cook.  So even when something like eggplant floods the markets of Istanbul, if it isn’t locally grown or in season you won’t find it at Kantin.  What you will find is inventive cooking like these lamb pizzas spiced with red pepper and sweetened with sun-dried tomatoes.  Topped with an egg and baked in a hot oven, they’re elevate a simple week night supper into an adventure.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce or "Kefta Mkaouara"



As much as I would love a true tagine,
I'd have to store it in someone else's
NYC kitchen
         Not too long ago, I published a recipe for Moroccan Meatballs that was a huge hit.  People wrote about how much they loved the flavors and the simplicity of making the dish.  I am pleased to say that today’s recipe will add to your Moroccan repertoire with another easy-to-make meal.  This time, I used ground lamb and a host of spices all of which are pantry staples that you likely have on hand.  The cherry-sized meatballs are cooked in a tomato sauce to which another handful of spices are added.  Then the whole thing cooks away until you add fresh eggs, which poach on top of the dish.  In Morocco, the meal would be made in a tagine, the cone shaped casserole so characteristic of North Africa.  The dish would then be placed in the center of the dinner table and the diners would scoop out the kefta and sauce and eggs with pieces of bread.  As wonderfully communal as that idea sounds, lacking a tagine, I used a big covered sauté pan.  That pretty ruled out its going on our dining room table.  But it certainly didn’t make my Kefta any less delicious.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Rack of Lamb



New Zealand where there are
9.2 sheep for every human
         I’d be hard pressed to remember the last I cooked something this impressive and yet so easy.  I must admit to having approached preparing rack of lamb with a degree of trepidation.  This dish is restaurant territory to me and I associate it with a hefty price tag on menus everywhere.  Truth be told, while not inexpensive, the lamb for 2 was about $18.00. Bless the people of New Zealand for this relative bargain. And bless whoever ‘frenches’ these racks because they involve no trimming at all and can go straight into the pan.  New Zealand lamb accounts for almost 1/3 of all lamb eaten in the US. Australia is by far and away the biggest producer of lamb, responsible for 2/3 of all the lamb imported into this country.  While researching this piece, I was quite surprised to discover lamb is very good for you. Who knew that Lamb is a significant source of omega-3, containing about 50 % the amount found in cod or tuna on an ounce-for-ounce basis ?  Or that lamb contains something called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), that protects the heart?  And it’s a very good source of immunity boosting protein, heart-healthy vitamin B 12 and niacin. Lamb is even listed as one of the World’s Healthiest Foods.  And we haven’t even gotten to how delicious it tastes. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

From Montreal’s Joe Beef: A recipe for four hour Lamb for two With Condimint


Jennifer May's Photo of the Dish
My rendition of the dish 
         There was a time when everyone who visited the south of France came back and immediately went straight to their oven to prepare something called “Seven Hour Gigot of Lamb”.  It was one of those marvels that appealed to lazy cooks as it involved very little work—just cutting up tomatoes, onions, garlic and rosemary and making some elementary rub for the lamb itself.  Of course the thing fell apart the minute it finally emerged from the oven and everyone swooned over the garlic-y sweetness.  As it turns out, the lamb didn’t necessarily need all that time in the oven and the extreme greyness of the meat didn’t contribute much to the aesthetics of the dish. So one Sunday, when I came across a beautiful shot of a crispy brown piece of lamb encircled by bright green peas of two varieties, a few artichoke hearts and what appeared to be green onions, I was hooked.  It didn’t hurt that this recipe was found in “The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of sorts” (Ten Speed Press 2011).  The cookbook has brought Montreal’s famous Joe Beef restaurant even more fame.  I should imagine you will soon have to sell your first born to get a table. Or you can just buy the book and cook from it yourself. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Merguez Lamb Patties and Gold Raisin Couscous



Kibbi at Open Sesame
        The first time Andrew and I went out West to see Mason, my grandson, Kym and Alex took us to Open Sesame, a Lebanese Mediterranean Grill in Long Beach (5215 E. 2nd Street, Long Beach CA. Tel: (562) 621-1698).  It was our first foray into Lebanese food and it was a huge hit with us.  We started out with an appetizer of Kibbi, a shell of lean ground beef and bulgar filled with pignoli nuts, onions and herbs.  For the main course, I opted for Kafta, a wonderful spicy skewer of ground sirloin and lamb mixed together and then grilled.  Between the Kibbi and the Kafta, there was a little redundancy.  However they were both so delicious, that on my next trip west, I practically begged Kym and Alex to take me there.  I was so into the food that I asked Omar, our waiter, if I could possibly get the recipe for both Kibbi and Kafta. He was very apologetic that somebody had taken their house cookbook home! 
Kafta with Hummus and Basmati Rice at Open Sesame
        I’ve been craving those flavors ever since.  And one night recently I was also craving lamb.  Doing a quick search, I found a recipe from the late lamented Gourmet that captured the distinct taste of North Africa’s wonderful spicy Merguez sausages.  In this case, you create your own Merguez flavor by incorporating a whole medley of spices into the ground lamb.  Pairing this with the sweetness of a raisin-filled couscous contrasts perfectly with the deep spice of the meat.  At Open Sesame, the Kafta was served with a garlic-y hummus and a cucumber yogurt salad.  You could easily add these to the plate and have a feast of Lebanese and North African flavors.  I opted to steam some fresh asparagus that gave the plate a little color, crunch and springtime appeal.  This dinner will take you  all of about 15 minutes to prepare and a total of 30 minutes from start to finish.  Here are the recipes:

Recipe for Merguez Sausage Patties and Golden Raisin Couscous

1 1/4 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 1/4 pounds ground lamb

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons harissa (spicy North African condiment)*

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or water

1/3 cup golden raisins

1 cup couscous

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Zest of 1 lemon

*Harissa is essential to this dish.  It is not that uncommon. I found it at Fairway. You can order it on-line at www.amazon.com/grocery
preparation
Lamb with spice mixture added 

  1. 1.   Toast fennel seeds in a small heavy skillet over medium heat until fragrant and a shade darker, about 1 minute. Grind to a fine powder in grinder.
  2. 2.   Mix together lamb, garlic, harissa, spices (including fennel), and 1/2 teaspoon salt thoroughly with your hands (do not overmix). Form into 4 oval patties (about 3/4 inch thick).
  3. 3.   Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook patties, turning once, about 9 minutes total for medium-rare.
  4.             While patties cook, bring broth, raisins, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then stir in couscous. Let stand off heat, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; stir in cilantro, zest, and salt to taste.
  5.     Serve patties on couscous.


        

Monday, February 7, 2011

Simple Grilled Lamb Chops and Chickpeas in Star Anise and Date Masala


      The great challenge of home cooking is finding ways to bring new life to everyday family favorites.  At our house, this is a true mission since every meal is a candidate for this blog. We are constantly on the lookout for ways of making meals that are new and different.   One of the easiest ways of doing this is changing up the sides that go with, for instance, grilled lamb chops.
      Lamb chops are a staple at our house.  We buy trimmed loin lamb chops for an amazingly good price at Costco .  The last time I looked at our butcher’s,  1 lb. of them were the same price as the entire 10 pack that I’d bought there !  We divvy them up, use our Seal a Meal, then freeze them and pull them out and defrost them in the fridge.  They do not seem worse for wear and they are very juicy with the distinctive rich flavor that makes lamb so deliciously different from any other meat.  I marinate them in Worcestershire sauce then grill them under the broiler for 6 minutes a side. Perfection!  But last fall I was reading the New York Times Sunday magazine when I discovered a great accompaniment that really makes the simply grilled lamb chop a whole other dinner.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Singapore Lamb Curry with Stir-Fried Noodles





Before you read today’s post, please take a look at the New York Times
Dining and Wine section published yesterday. It will give you some idea of what Monte’s Ham is all about.  And don’t forget our Friends and Family discount which will automatically take 10 percent off your total order. Just enter promotional code FNF10.  But hurry, Christmas is 16 days away!
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/dining/08charity.html?ref=dining




        I remember a friend telling me that once she gave her husband a Wok for Christmas, it was pretty much Wok-around-the-clock from that point on. As I remember, he was one of the first men I knew who’d taken over the kitchen and cooked almost everything his family of 5 ate.  Since he worked full time, I am sure he was as time-pressured as the rest of us and the Wok must have been a gift from heaven via his wife.  Stir-fries really can save the day.  Aside from much chopping, slicing, dicing and peeling, no cooking technique is as quick to yield delicious meals in very little time.  In fact, you have to really organize your ingredients since they are used at lightning quick speeds.  And what I really like is that you don’t need a wok to make these dishes.  Any large skillet can work on a stir fry.  And this particular recipe really gives you a curry in a hurry, a one-dish wonder that we paired with some kale.  Next time, we’ll likely go with spinach as the kale was not a success around our table.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ina Garten’s Pastitsio



        I’ve waited all summer for the first cool day to arrive.  Not that I don’t love every minute of summer, it’s just that I have been dying to try this gorgeous dish ever since I saw it in House Beautiful. With yet another dire weather prediction for high winds and heavy rains, it seemed the perfect night to hunker down with this wonderful comfort food.  And I always look forward to anything from Ina, whose new cookbook "How Easy is That?" is due out October 26th.  You can order it right here!  
Pastitsio, Ina informed us, is like a Greek version of lasagna.  Ground beef is combined with ground lamb and then flavored with tomatoes, then mixed with pasta.  And, as in a truly great lasagna, the whole thing is covered with a delicious Bechamel sauce with a twist: Greek yogurt is added to the sauce at the last minute.  This gives the topping a completely different taste…it tastes, well, Greek! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Simple Lamb Chops with two delicious sides: Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Ginger and Parmesan Smashed Potatoes



        One of the best buys at Costco are the loin lamb chops.  You get 10 of them for about $17.00.  The last time I looked at loin lamb chops at Fairway, they were over $17.00 a lb.  I’ve been wanting to write about them and kept searching for something amazing to do with them.   My usual preparation was just to douse them with lots of Lea and Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce, broil them quickly 6 minutes on one side, 4 on the other.   They’re always delicious but I was looking for something “different” to share with you.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Poached Lamb Steaks with Spring Vegetables





Last winter, when I was in my Food Writing Boot Camp, I bought any number of food magazines from all over the world.  From New Zealand came “Cuisine”, a very lavishly illustrated and beautiful publication that was published last September in Auckland.  Given its Southern Hemisphere location, it was completely counter-seasonal and featured recipes devoted to the coming of Spring.   So now that Spring is upon us here, I took it out and looked at it with fresh eyes.  In it, I found a recipe for Poached Lamb.  If there was anywhere on earth where they ought to know a thing or two about lamb, it is most certainly New Zealand.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A visit to April Bloomfield’s “The Breslin” and a recipe for Lamb Burgers with Yogurt Sauce and Tomatoes




        At The Breslin, April Bloomfield’s much-written-about “British Gastropub” at 16 West 29th Street,(TEL: (212) 679-1939), I  became totally enamored of the Lamb Burger.  It’s almost as outrageously tasty as the “Thrice Cooked Chips” that are as good, if not better, than any French fry I have ever tasted outside of France.  Together, these two items make the long wait for a table a reasonable proposition.  And that’s saying something because the place takes no reservations and even at lunch it’s jammed long before noon.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lamb and Tomato Curry and Indian Asparagus


Above: The ingredients of a great curry even look beautiful.   

 Indian curries are a favorite of mine.  While the Indians eat them to keep cool in their hot climate, I eat them to keep warm in ours—especially with this winter’s record-breaking low temperatures.  This particular curry was the brainchild of one of my favorite Indian cooks, Vij Vikram whose recipe for Short Ribs in Red wine and Cinnamon has already appeared here.  This time, Vij turns up the heat quite a bit but you can control it easily by reducing the cayenne pepper count if you must.  I find that Basmati rice goes a long way to putting out any fires. 
    I paired this with a recipe for Asparagus that was invented by an Indian vegetarian cook named Manjula Jain.  Manjula came to this country in the late 60s.  And like Vij, she has adapted a North American ingredient to an Indian palate.  Asparagus is not unknown in India but it is rare and usually confined to the south of India.  Manjula is from the north.  I admire both of these cooks so much for taking something locally grown and making it taste so exotic.  You can visit www.manjulaskitchen.com and see the extent of her vegetarian recipes.  I can’t vouch for them all, but the one for asparagus is a definite keeper.