Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Catching Up Part Two......Dishing

This was not in the course of a week (I wouldn't be able to walk out of the house!!)- it was a collection of inspired dinners over a few week period.

I'm a fan of the Amateur Gourmet . He captures great, easy recipes and he writes about restaurants near his home in New York - which I can actually get to from time to time. One day, he was writing about Lamb Curry take away - and while he didn't provide a recipe, he mentioned the ingredients and included some pictures. I have been craving Indian for a while, so I decided to make it:

Lamb Curry -

2 lbs cubed lamb
3-4 white waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed (depends on size)
1 cup frozen peas
1 medium white onion diced
1 clove of garlic smashed
Beef broth
1 T Thai red curry paste
1 T Curry powder (try to find the good stuff - McCormick's doesn't cut it)
1/2 tsp cumin - (I always add cumin to taste - I like cumin)
1/2 tsp cayenne(again to taste)
1/3 cup Lite Coconut Milk
1/8 tsp turmeric

*Note* You need to really season with curry to taste - I've done with with just curry paste and I've done it with just ground curry and I've wratcheted it up or down, depending on who was eating it.

Brown the lamb cubes well in olive oil in a cast iron casserole (I use my Le Crueset soup pot) or heavy bottomed pan. Remove with slotted spoon, drain fat - reserve just a T or so, then add onions to hot fat and saute onion until translucent, then add garlic and saute for a just about a minute - don't let it brown. Return lamb and potatoes to pot add cumin, turmeric and cayenne and stir to coat, then add broth to cover. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are soft (but not mushy) and lamb is tender. Add peas and continue to simmer for 10 minutes until peas are just tender. Add Coconut milk, heat through and serve with jasmine rice. I had some left over saffron rice, so I just used that. Chutney is a great accompaniment.

Pork Shoulder with Roasted Harvest Vegetables - great for the slow cooker

3lb Pork Shoulder, tied
*note* I went to Whole Paycheck, ahem, Whole Foods, and bought the roast. I have to say, it was the best pork shoulder I have ever had. Not terribly expensive, but the flavor was fantastic.

1 large onion, halved and sliced
3 good sized parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/4" slices
3 ribs of celery sliced 1/4" slices
3 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4" slices (I cheated here and used presliced)
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup white wine
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar or Splenda
3 sprigs of fresh thyme

Salt and pepper the roast, brown well in olive oil in a heavy casserole if braising on stove or in oven, or in a good sized frying pan if tossing in the crock pot. When browned, de-glaze with wine and vinegar.

If you're going to cook it in a crock pot (as I did this time), place onions on bottom of crock pot, add meat to the pot and pour deglazing liquid over the roast, then add the other ingredients and cook on low for anywhere from 4 to 6 hours on low (my crock pot cooks "hot" so I'm always on the low side).

If you're going to braise it on the stove - then just add everything back in after deglazing the pan. You may want to add chicken stock or water to provide additional liquid for braising. Braise for about 2 hours until the mean easily separates with a fork - makes for great pulled pork sandwiches.

Lemon-Thyme Lamb Chops (I've been on a lamb kick lately)

Six lamb loin chops (again the Whole Paycheck route - they had a sale)

Juice of two lemons
Lemon zest
3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
3 springs of thyme - chopped
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper the chops, place in a bowl pour over the lemon juice garlic, thyme and a couple of glugs of olive oil. Mix well and let marinate on the counter for about 30 minutes (you can marinate up to overnight in the fridge). Heat olive oil to a high heat - enough to sear, and add chops. Cook for four minutes, turn, sear briefly on the other side and then pop the whole frying pan into oven to finish. Four minutes will give you medium rare chops. Remove chops to plate and deglaze pan with marinating juices, scraping to remove browned bits. Pour over the chops. I served with roasted cauliflower and peas

Can you see the grocery shopping trend over the last few weeks???

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