Showing posts with label Lamb Dishes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lamb Dishes. Show all posts

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lamb Shanks with Vegetables and a Mint Gremolata

         Confession time:  I made this dish just as Spring was arriving. But by the time I got around to writing up the post, Spring had sprung and with it temperatures that suggested getting out of the heat and out of the kitchen.   But now that Fall is making it’s inevitable comeback, I revisited this dish.   And it has a lot to recommend it. Not the least of which is the classic combination of mint and lamb.  In this case, the mint forms the basis for a “gremolata”, a garnish usually associated with Osso Buco.  The early spring vegetables used here—the tiny baby potatoes and sugar snap peas--have become year round staples in our supermarket.  You can be forgiven for using trimmed full-sized carrots.  In point of fact, I did in the original recipe.   And if you’re a lamb fan who, due to price, has had to curb your appetite, this is a budget friendly way to enjoy the protein. In fact, the shank is likely the least expensive of all cuts of lamb.

Monday, September 9, 2013

North African Lamb Boulettes and Amy's Pomegranate Cumin Salad Dressing


I love a good meatball.  And that’s exactly what a boulette is in French.  So I cached away David Tanis’ recipe for a North African version that appeared in the NY Times almost a year ago.  You only have to look at the most recent posts here to realize it’s been a seafood summer.  We’ve been cooking and enjoying fish and shellfish every chance we get.  But last week, we decided to break our pescatorian diet and out came the City Kitchen article and recipe. Now Chef Tanis allowed as how he had created his recipe from many.  But at their core, this is a meatball with its roots in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.  All of these are former French colonies and if you’ve been adventurous in Paris and gone into Tunisian or Moroccan restaurants there, you’ve undoubtedly seem them in several guises on menus there.  They’re often an appetizer, or a side dish but they reach their full glory in a fragrant main course ‘tagine’ accompanied by couscous. You can make these with beef or lamb and Mr. Tanis has even made them with ground turkey.  I went with lamb because Lord knows we may have had a lot of fish this summer but we’ve also indulged in a hamburger or twelve.  With our tagine, I served a simple red leaf lettuce salad with a dressing laced with cumin and pomegranate that was a perfect complement to the North African flavors of the boulettes and there’s a story there too.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Marcella Hazan's Pasta with Abruzzi-Style Lamb Sauce

Marcella Hazan just celebrated her 89th Birthday.  As a salute to this great lady, a Facebook friend of mine who has taken the time to answer many Italian food questions for me, I wanted to celebrate too. Fortunately, March 2013’s Food and Wine Magazine saluted its own 35th Anniversary with “The Legends”, a collection of recipes from “the extraordinary, epoch-defining cooks” who’ve been their contributors for the past 35 years.  Julia Child, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jacques Pepin, Paula Wolfert and Marcella herself all came to life on their pages.  It must have been quite a task to decide what went in and what didn’t, especially since Ms. Hazan has had 27 recipes published in Food and Wine.  The Editors settled on just 3 recipes, all from “Marcella Cucina” (Alfred A. Knopf 1997).  I settled on Pasta with Abruzzi-Style Lamb Sauce.  But don’t think I won’t be back with “Fish in Crazy Water" sometime soon. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Gemelli Pasta with Lamb Ragu adapted from Michael Mina

         For all its popularity, ordinary supermarkets carry surprisingly few pasta shapes.  Granted, they do have a good representation of the types of pasta the home cook needs. But they never come close to the staggering number of varieties you’ll find at a pasta emporium like New York’s Eataly which is just across the street from Madison Square Park at 23rd and 5th Avenue.  The picture at left shows just one aisle of the store’s enormous pasta section!  How I took this picture with virtually no one in that aisle is something of a miracle.  Eataly, featured in this post (, celebrated its second anniversary just last week.  And there was a lot to celebrate. The 58,000 square foot store was on track to net $85 million in one year, which works out to $1700 a square foot!  That’s a lot of pasta!  And Eataly would be a good place look for the Strozzapreti pasta that Chef Michael Mina called for in his original recipe.  We were nowhere near Eataly when we decided to cook this meat-y pasta dish with its spicy overlay of cumin and fennel and red pepper.  So we substituted Gemelli, which are easy to find almost anywhere. They’re also an approved substitute for Strozzapreti, which translates, from Italian into English as “Priest Strangler”.  Gemelli means ‘twins’ in Italian, so much less violent than ‘priest strangler’ don’t you think?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lamb Osso Buco Ragu

         I love a good Osso Buco.  It’s a wonderful weeknight dinner party dish because you can make it one night and serve it the next and it will only improve with its overnight rest.  But I had never heard of a lamb version of this classic Veal dish.  Then on our pre-holiday Costco run, I saw Lamb Osso Buco in the meat case.  I’ve had great luck with all the Australian lamb at the store—the chops are trimmed, the racks are oven-ready.  I do understand that it’s come an awfully long way to get here but it seems none the worse for its journey. So I bought some lamb osso buco and Thanksgiving Eve, I served it to our house guests on a bed of Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.  They loved it. But I didn’t.  I was disappointed to see that only difference between the Lamb and Veal versions was the lamb.  That didn’t seem right. So I set about to invent my own lamb osso buco.

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.