Thursday, October 17, 2013

Creamy Tomato and Curry Lamb

Might you have wondered what I did with the left over leg of lamb from that Lamb Shawarma from the other night?  After all, though we obviously love to eat, that was a lot of lamb.  Having left overs is a common occurrence in our house given that we love to roast large pieces of meat.  I often make them into pasta dishes, sometimes use them in sandwiches, and tonight I'm taking the lamb and making a variation of my kids' favorite Indian dish, butter chicken.  Here's a nice helping of butter lamb.  

1 to 1.5 pounds cooked leg of lamb, cut into 1-2" pieces
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 large sweet onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
up to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used none because of my kids)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup finely diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a large pot, heat butter over medium heat.  Sauté the onions until light golden brown.  
Add the garlic, garam masala, ground ginger, cinnamon, cayenne (if using) and tomato paste. Stir to combine and sauté until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce and bring to a boil.  Let boil gently for a couple of minutes.
Add the lamb and bring back to a boil.  Turn heat down, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes
Add cream and bring back to a boil.  Boil uncovered until sauce is slightly thickened.
Serve with rice and good naan if you can find it.

This is a keeper.  There was no way to photograph this and make it look pretty.  But as Chris said, we should have this every time we have left over lamb.  It was really good.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lamb Shawarma

For something different tonight, we went to Yotam Ottolenghi's Jerusalem cookbook and cooked up a little lamb shawarma.  I followed the recipe, which can be found here, to the letter with the exception of the cooking.  For the last 45 minutes, I cooked the lamb uncovered basting with the pan juices often.  As suggested in the recipe, I served the lamb with home made pita bread and all the fixin's.  I opted to serve the pita on the side.  After all, having put all that work into making them by hand, I wasn't going to drown them under the lamb.

The scent of the lamb cooking filled the house with wonderful spice and a cozy feeling of fall. Even Pacino, our dog, laid patiently waiting for the four and a half hours in hopes of getting a little taste.  It was delicious and all of the accouterments were essential to completing the meal.  Excellent!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wok Fried Julienned Potato in Chili Oil

The other day, my friend Sam asked me about a dish he had at a Chinese restaurant here in Seattle.  He described it as a spicy potato dish where the potatoes were like noodles.  Coincidentally, Chris had dinner at this same restaurant last night and I asked him to make sure they had the potato noodles.  A little mishap occurred and somehow the entire plate of potatoes inexplicably slid into his lap as he simultaneous took the plate in his hand and turned his head to talk to someone.  So, I'm not sure Chris' description of the potato dish would be accurate.  I haven't made it to the restaurant to try them for myself, but that's not going to stop me from trying to make something like them from the descriptions I did receive. A quick phone call to my mom sorted out a few minor details and I'm off and running.

1 pound potatoes, choose a low starch variety, I used fingerlings
2 tablespoons oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 tablespoons light soy
1 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Peel the potatoes and cut them into thin matchstick sized long strips, equal thickness to a thick spaghetti noodle.  
Soak the potatoes in iced water for about 30 minutes to an hour.
Drain the potatoes and dry on paper towels.
Heat a large wok over medium high heat
Add the oil and the garlic.
Once the garlic is fragrant, add the potatoes and toss a couple times. 
Then add the soy, vinegar, sugar, chili oil and sesame oil cook the potatoes for a minute or two.  The potatoes will be tender but still a little bit crispy.
Add the scallions and serve.
It's a keeper.  I have no idea if it matches up to what Sam had, but I'll be making this again. 
A bonus photo is the rolled pork belly I made.  Last night I put fresh sage, salt and pepper and dried thyme onto the inner side of the pork belly and then rolled it up and tied it.  Then I sprinkled it with kosher salt and pepper and set it int he refrigerator over night, uncovered.  I roasted the pork belly at 450f for 45 minutes and then at 250f for another hour.  Let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.  Fabulous!