Herbed Rack of Lamb

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This is a super simple and tasty lamb dish!

Ingredients:
1 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp Thyme, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 rack of lamb, frenched

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine herbs, oil and garlic in a small bowl. Salt and pepper the rack, rub with herb mixture. Place fat side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 -40 minutes until 145 for rate.

Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes, then slide.

Serves 2.

Thinly Sliced Lamb with Pomegranate, Yogurt and Mint

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This is the perfect weeknight dish, start the marinade in the morning to infuse the meat for a flavor packed meal! Serve over rice with a salad for a complete meal. This dish is even better the next day for lunch.

Ingredients:
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1½ lb boneless leg of lamb, thinly sliced against the grain
1 tso paprika
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
4 TBSP olive oil, divided
Salt and black pepper
½ c plain Greek yogurt
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
¼ c pomegranate seeds
2 TBSP chopped pistachios
Fresh mint, chopped

Combine cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic, vinegar and 2 TBSP olive oil in a bowl or zip lock bag large enough to hold meat. Add meat and marinade at least 15 minutes to overnight.

Whisk yogurt and 1 TBSP water in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining 2 TBSP oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Cook lamb, tossing occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Add onion to skillet and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown and soften, about 3 minutes. Add ½ c water; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender and water is evaporated, about 3 minutes. Return lamb to skillet and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve lamb over rice, topped with yogurt, pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and herbs.

Serves 6.

Eggplant with Yogurt and Lamb Sauce

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Kabul Restaurant in San Carlos makes the most amazing dish, Pakawra-E-Badenjan. It’s battered and fried eggplant with yogurt and a lamb sauce, it’s one of those dishes you dream about – amazing! This is my take on it. My take is a little healthier, I choose to bake the eggplant slices instead of frying them.

Ingredients:
2 – 3 small Eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/2 rings
Olive oil
Za’taar
1/2 lb ground lamb
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
8 oz tomatoes, puréed

Yogurt Sauce
1 c Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Za’taar
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to 400.

Spray eggplant on both sides with olive oil and bake about 20 minutes, flipping over 1/2 way through until nice and brown on each side.

Sauté lamb in a large skillet over medium high heat until browned, breaking up as it cooks. Season with salt, pepper and Za’taar.

Add onion, garlic and remaining spices, cook until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato sauce, reduce heat to simmer and cook for at least 5 more minutes.

Mix yogurt with spices.

To serve place eggplant slices on the plate, top with meat sauce and yogurt.

Serves 4.

Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts

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This recipe is adapted from Food & Wine magazine, I just made a few minor changes. The cinnamon is what makes if special.

Ingredients:
4 1 lb eggplants, halved
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lb ground lamb
3 TBSP pine nuts
1/4 c golden raisins
2 tsp tomato paste
1/4 c chopped parsley
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange eggplant in a baking dish, spray with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes until browned.

In a small bowl combine cinnamon, paprika and cumin.

In a large skillet, heat the oil, add onions and 1/2 the spice mixture, cover and cook for 7 minutes until soft. Add lamb and cook until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, raisins, pine nuts and half the parsley, remove from heat.

Spoon lamb mixture into the eggplant and cinnamon stick to the pan. Mix 1 cup of water with the lemon and remaining spice mixture, pour over eggplant. Bake for 40 minutes covered with foil. Top with remaining parsley and serve.

Serves 4.

Lamb with Herb and Mustard Crust

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This recipe is adapted from Epicurious.com. It’s easy, and lets face it nothing beats rack of lamb.

1 c fine fresh bread crumbs
3 TBSP parsley, minced
1 TBSP mint, minced
2 tsp rosemary, minced
salt and pepper
1 TBSP olive oil
1 frenched racks of lamb, brought to room temperature
2 TBSP Dijon mustard

Combine bread crumbs, parsley, mint, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a food processor, drizzle oil and pulse until combined well.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 400°F.

Spread fatty sides of each rack with mustard and pat bread crumbs over mustard coating, gently pressing to adhere.

Roast lamb until thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into center (do not touch bone) registers 130°F (for medium-rare), 20 to 25 minutes, and transfer to a cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes, then cut into chops.

Serves 2.

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb with Homemade Harissa

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More inspirations from F&W! I made a few changes – added a bit more spice, double the Harissa recipe and used boneless leg of lamb instead. It was amazing. Low and slow is the secret to this tasty meal. Perfect for a Sunday night dinner with lots of leftovers for lunch.

Ingredients:
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 oz ancho chiles
2 TBSP smoked sweet paprika
2 TBSP lemon juice
6 large garlic cloves
2 TBSP olive oil
Kosher salt
3-pound lamb
Freshly ground pepper
Lettuce leaves, greek yogurt and warm naan, for serving.

In a spice grinder, finely grind the caraway, coriander and cumin seeds.
In a microwave-safe bowl, cover the ancho chiles with water and microwave at high power for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer the softened chiles and 4 TBSP of the soaking liquid to a blender. Add the ground spices, paprika, lemon juice, the garlic cloves, olive oil and 1 TBSP of salt. Puree the harissa until smooth.

Set the lamb in a medium roasting pan and rub 1/2 cup of the harissa all over the meat; let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325°. Add 1/2 cup of water to the roasting pan and cover the pan loosely with foil. Roast the lamb for 2 1/2 hours, adding more water if needed to the pan a few times to prevent scorching. Remove the foil and roast for about 2 1/2 hours longer, until the lamb is very brown and tender; occasionally spoon the pan juices on top. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Using forks or tongs, pull the lamb off the bone in large chunks. Using your fingers, pull the meat into smaller shreds and serve with the yogurt, lettuce leaves, naan and the remaining Harissa.

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Spiced Lamb

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The main course from our Ethiopain feast. This was amazing! And even better as left overs. Thank you Food & Wine.

Ingredients:
2 TBSP red wine
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP berbere
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 so Dijon mustard
3 1/2 lbs trimmed boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt
Pepper
2 TBSP olive oil
2 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
2 tsp finely chopped thyme
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large shallot, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, whisk the wine with the lemon juice, berbere, paprika and mustard.

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add half of the lamb to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned all over, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a medium bowl. Repeat with the remaining lamb.

Add the onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 8 minutes.

Add the lamb and any accumulated juices to the casserole along with the wine mixture, tomatoes, bell pepper and shallot. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the tomatoes and bell pepper have softened and the lamb is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Moroccan Stuffed Eggplant

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This dish was inspired by recipe I found in Food and Wine – it turned out amazing. The sweetness of the lamb with the exotics spices made this a winner! It takes a bit of time but it is mostly hands off. I made a saffron couscous to go with it – it was the perfect meal. And I hid the leftover so they are all mine.

Ingredients:
1 lb eggplant, sliced in half and scored with a X on the inside
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP cinnamon
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 onion, chopped
1/2 lb ground lamb
1/4 c pine nuts
1 TBSP tomato paste
1/4 c parsley, chopped
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP brown sugar
One cinnamon stick

Preheat oven to 425

Arrange eggplant in a baking dish, cut side up. Spray or brush with olive oil and salt and pepper Bake for 20 minutes until browned.

Combine cinnamon, cumin and paprika.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and 1/2 the spice mixture. Cook until softened. Add lamb and cook until browned, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Stir in pine nuts, tomato paste, parsley and salt an pepper. Remove from heat.

Combine 1/2 c water, lemon juice, sugar and remain spice mixture, stir util combined. Pour over eggplant. Spoon lamb mixture over eggplant as cover with foil.

Bake for 50 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and serve.

Serves 4.

Eggplant casserole

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This was loosely inspired by a recipe in Elizabeth David’s Mediterranean Cookbook. I grilled the eggplants and pepper for the stuffing and put it in a baking dish added some cheese and put into a casserole.

6 small eggplants
1 red pepper
1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground lamb
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/4 c grated cheese

Preheat BBQ to medium high. Grill eggplants and pepper turning every couple minutes until softened and nicely charred. Remove, cover with foil and let cool.

Scrape eggplant from skin and peal pepper. Add to a food processor and pulse until puréed.

Meanwhile cook onions in a little oil until softened, add garlic and lamb, cooking until meat is browned.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine purée with meat and onions. Top with bread crumbs, pine nuts and cheese spray or drizzle with olive oil.

Serves 4.

Boneless Leg of Lamb

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I love lamb! This is a great recipe for a Sunday Family meal. And best of all there are plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.

Ingredients
1 3 lb boneless leg of lamb, tied
8 garlic cloves, peeled, divided
1/2 c whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c dry white wine
4 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice

Thinly slice 4 garlic cloves. Insert garlic slices into slits in lamb. Combine remaining 4 garlic cloves, mustard, olive oil, white wine, rosemary, and lemon juice in processor. Blend until coarse puree forms. Place lamb in a roasting pan spread puree over top of lamb. Cover lamb with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

Let lamb stand at room temperature 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 450.

Cook lamb for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until it reaches 130 degrees. I start checking at the 1 hour mark and keep checking about every 10 minutes until it is done.

Let rest 15 minutes. Slice as enjoy.