Posts Tagged ‘lamb’

Growing up, Passover was one of 2.5 Jewish holidays my family would celebrate.

My uncle, while he was alive, was a strong presence leading the seder with charisma and a mischievous delight in tradition. After his death, my aunt was more thoughtful and pursued discussion and commentary. Passover was the time of year I spoke most openly about Judaism at my public school, taking in butter, matzoh, and salt, and sharing with my classmates. In college I learned even more about it during that one year I was dating someone more observant than I (and she has since gone on to become a rabbi). The first time I got drunk was at Passover, and I’ll still argue passionately in favor of the richness of the cheap, sweet, syrupy Passover wines of my youth (and have so argued on this blog).

It’s a holiday that has a strong emphasis on food. On problematic food. On being rushed and hurried and fleeing servitude so that bread could not rise. It’s a holiday of learning rules through food and exploring the Jewish way of reasoning from text to law through centuries of debate and logic. It’s about learning logical discourse and boolean algebra through food. And unlike my approach to gluten free cooking (bread? Whatever – let’s eat rice! And all sorts of things are fun without wheat!), this holiday requires that you deal with the matzoh. It’s not enough to eat leavened bread, but it is also required encouraged that you partake of the food that is problematic. And that leads to creativity and weirdness and often some rather dry and tasteless food.

But you know me, and creativity and weirdness are favorites of mine. I love this holiday, but I’ve never cooked for it before. I love this holiday, but I’ve never hosted it before. But now I have a house.

And I had a friend who pinged me and mentioned that she really, really liked matzoh and could there be acquiring of it? And I took that question and replied, “Well, I guess I could host Passover.”

So I invited some friends…

And had 21 RSVPs. Including my parents, jews and non-jews, the proudly child free and three children, people who keep kosher and people who only vaguely know that ham and cheese sandwiches are problematic, vegetarians and people who refuse to eat vegetables, and also the neighbor who has taken to asking for food from me (and her boyfriend).

From them, there were the following contributions: My mother made her signature chopped liver and brought a fruit bowl; Lulu brought coconut macaroons; Redwizz brought his secret family recipe charoset; another friend offered stuffed mushrooms and spinach kugel (but they ended up canceling); and my boss kindly dropped off her leftovers from the first night’s seder she hosted. All the rest was up to me. I did end up at the last minute get some amazing help from Geeksdoitbetter and Carrie, and the seder would not have gone nearly as well without their (especially Geeksdoitbetter’s) help.

Appetizers

mystery dip
So my boss’s husband makes a vegan mushroom/artichoke mousse mold thing to offer vegetarians instead of gefilte fish. I plan to get his recipe. But also included with their leftovers were little matzoh sticks, so I knew there had to be dip! This was my mother’s job. It was rapidly determined that either cream cheese or sour cream would be likely to overwhelm the delicate flavor of the mousse, so it was thinned with mayonnaise. Then, because it was dip, the flavor needed to be boosted a bit, so she added oregano, hot pepper, black pepper, and salt. The result was pretty tasty but not perfect.

chopped liver with little matzoh crackers

(not included were the pitted dates I split up the side and stuffed walnut quarters into. I was going to toss them in the over with honey, salt, and pepper, according to an ancient roman recipe, until just warm enough to be soft and pliable. Instead, a few were nibbled just stuffed.)

Seder

Charoset Okay, so my family’s recipe is hand cut apples with crumbled walnuts, cinnamon, and red wine. Redwizz’s family recipe is apples, dates, orange juice, almonds, and cinnamon, mixed in a food processor until it looks like mortar. Oddly, they don’t taste all that different, and his is easier to eat on matzoh (as well as being acceptable to those who do not imbibe).

First Course

I gave the diners a choice among potatoes (roasted leftovers from my boss – and surprisingly tasty), hard boiled eggs (using these directions from Coconut and Lime with great results), and gefilte fish from a can.

Second Course

Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls and/or Noodles – I make stock all the time. I make flavorful stock! And I had a bag of vegetable ends in desperate need of a round of stock making. What is more, when I was out in the Italian Market questing for chicken fat (which can not be found there!), I happened to be in line behind someone buying a quantity of chicken wings and asking for the tips to be thrown away, so I managed to acquire them for free. But I was using a larger pot than I’m used to, and even though I increased the amount of vegetables and spices accordingly, it still tasted like water after hours of cooking. Like water! So I ended up getting a (small) whole chicken just for the stock. And then it had flavor! But that was surprisingly stressful.

The matzoh balls were also a little scary. I was sure I could do it, but I kept being sure I could do it later and procrastinating it farther and farther off. Until Carrie showed up and offered to help, and I managed to talk her into making them even though she’d never seen nor tasted them before. I gave her all of the directions I’d accumulated from my grandmother (who made amazing ones) – use the recipe on the matzoh meal box and don’t handle them much) and set her to it. And they turned out a little dense, but they floated and were tasty

The noodles were storebought and standard. I’m glad I didn’t make them too far ahead because by the time the meal was over and we went to clean the pot they had turned into a gelatinous mess.

Main Course

I decided to go with both dairy and meat options (just nothing mixed) and let people choose their own adventures. I had also planned several parve/vegan dishes, but those (accidentally, I swear) ended up being the ones cut from the menu once it was clear there was plenty food.

Meat

Mark Bittman’s Braised Lamb with Horseradish and Parsley

I love that this dish incorporates food mentioned as historically relevant in the service, and I love that it’s braised – eliminating the holiday’s tendency toward dry meats. The lamb shoulder was sourced from Esposito’s, and they were willing to remove the bone and package it separately for me. They also had special seder plate lamb bone sections, but since I was already buying a lamb bone, I just went with the shoulder piece. I bought three shoulders – two in the 3 pound range and 1 in the 5 pound range. And there was a lot of painstaking trimming of fat from that cut that I’m not sure was necessary, but the end product was succulent and beautiful.

Right, so the first step was taking all of the bones, roasting them, and them adding them to a pot with some vegetables to make stock (and then cleaning them and roasting the three prettiest for the seder plate).

Then I took the huge dutch oven my mother bought me as a housewarming present (my first one of my own! At the time I wasn’t sure I’d use one that big, but I’ve already used it a lot) and browned the lamb cubes in batches, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Even with the olive oil, the lamb still stuck a bit – and I suspect it might have released if I’d waited for a proper sear, but I could not resist stirring the meat a good bit.

When I was on the last batch for browning and it was looking just about done, I added the slivered garlic and let that cook for a bit together. Then in went a glug of manischewitz concord grape (the recipe allows for white wine, but I love cooking with the manischewitz too much) and the lamb stock. And then the rest of the meat… which possibly should have gone in before the stock because I had to be very careful not to splash.

And I simmered the lamb for several hours and then didn’t add the peeled fresh horseradish (because I was scared and it was incredibly tasty without) until the last half hour of cooking, overnight, and the reheating on the day, but it didn’t end up changing the flavor much at all.

I almost forgot the parsley sauce, and few people used it – but I made it thick, with just a minimal amount of oil and vinegar (done by sight, so I have no measurements for you). It was delicious, and I’ve enjoyed using it up at leftovers – stirred into sour cream dip for chips and mixed in with egg salad)

Lemon Thyme Chicken

I feel a bit bad about this one. It has been so long since I’ve paid money for meat, that I’d planned to only spend money on ethical meat. And there I was at the farmers market staring at the $14/pound meat when this was already the most expensive meal I’d ever made and I’d been buying tables and chairs and a sink! And I walked away (after buying 4 dozen eggs) and bought cheap meat at the grocery store, where I bought enough thighs and breast meat to feed everyone for about $14. Next year I’ll do better.

Right, so step one was to peel and thickly slice an onion or two and to lay them in the bottom of the casserole dish (this adds moisture and keeps the meat from cooking to the dish, making cleanup easier).

Then I took a jar of pre-peeled garlic and shook enough into the dish to give more even coverage for the bottom – it doesn’t have to be perfect. And I tossed in about 10 oil-cured black olives to round out the flavor.

I arranged the chicken so that the thighs (with skin and fat) were around the outside and the breasts (skinless and cut into thigh-sized pieces, so three pieces per half) were filling in the center.

On top of that came freshly cut thyme (on the stem) and roughly-cut chunks of lemon. I usually make this dish with rosemary, so I used too little thyme to affect the chicken as much as I wanted, so in future I’d recommend really piling the stems on or/and also dusting with powdered thyme.

If you have more of the breast meat, you can also add a swig of wine and start the cooking process with aluminum foil over to keep it from drying. There were enough thighs (roughly half the meat) in this batch that no additional liquid was needed and it was fine uncovered. It went into the 350F oven right before we started reading, so let’s say it cooked for an hour and a half. I have, however, accidentally overcooked this dish by as much as an hour and had no ill effects or drying of the meat.

Dairy

Kale and Feta Matzoh Pie

This recipe was inspired by Gourmet’s Spinach and Matzoh Pie, but I was already supposed to have someone bringing spinach kugel and I love the more bitter greens. Really, this recipe was begging for some kale!

I bought three spring tops of curly kale from Landisdale Farm at the farmers market. The day before, I shredded the kale and cooked it down with a pinch of salt (so that I’d have more room in my refrigerator).

The next day, I assembled the lasagnas.

I mixed up a pound of fresh farmers cheese (from mexico, featured in my local supermarket… tasted like try, crumbly sour cream with a bit more culturing), 2 cups whole milk, 3 eggs, freshly ground nutmeg, and some salt and pepper, in a bowl with a fork. It was fine, even without the blender.

And I ended up with two casserole dishes almost exactly the size of a piece of matzoh, so I used one to soak the pieces in the 2 cups of the mixture while assembling in the other… and then just laid the rest of the pieces on top to assemble the second one. There didn’t seem to be any difference between the dish that had been oiled and the one that hadn’t when it came time to serve.

Then I finely diced an onion and reheated the cooked kale, squeezing out the moisture as I went. I also minced and threw in about a quarter cup of fresh dill.

Once the moisture was mostly evaporated, I stirred the kale into the remaining egg/dairy mixture and crumbled in a good half of the pound of feta I’d bought from my local halal.

Then I assembled: matzoh, filling, matzoh, filling, matzoh – matzoh, filling, matzoh, filling, matzoh. And I had just enough filling left to put a very thin layer on the top of both – perfection. And I crumbled almost all of the rest of the feta on top (let’s say 3 ounces per dish).

This was baked ahead and served only slightly warmed. It was delicious! I love the body of the kale in this, and I can’t image spinach being nearly as good.

It even freezes and reheats well! I love this dish! Such a success.

Greens and Quinoa Pie

This was my very first time tackling quinoa. I know that’s delinquent of me, but still. The grains were smaller than I expected, and there was no way they were going to be cooperative in a strainer for rinsing and draining – so I soaked them. Only then the toasting process was unfortunate, and I had to give up on that step. Perhaps toasting them dry and then soaking them next time.

So I cooked 3/4 of a cup of quinoa (because I’d eyeballed the amount and had no use for a quarter of a cup, so I went ahead and cooked it all) and set it aside until I was ready to deal with making the dish.

In my largest skillet, I cooked the romaine and some other lettuce-y head that was pale and spiky (but not frissee) and bitter enough to be related to chicory. Then I tossed them into a strainer in the sink and squeezed them occasionally as guests started trickling in and milling about the kitchen.

The last thing I did before settling people into the dining room to start the seder was to assemble the skillet of cooked onions, green onions, dill, cooked quinoa, and squeezed cut up lettuces.

Once we started taking turns reading the story of Passover, I sneaked back a couple times into the kitchen (and hid the afikomen) to get it cooked, the three eggs beaten and added, and the cheese – the remaining 2 ounces of feta and the last of the stichelton from my cheese tasting. And then I popped it into the 350F oven (in the skillet, not juggling the whole transfer to a pie plate) to finish cooking evenly.

It turned out pretty tasty, froze well, and received praise from the one guest who claimed to love quinoa. While filling and sturdy, I’m not sure it was exceptional enough to make next year.

Golden Gratin – Yam & Apricot Casserole (could have been vegan)

There is no good reason why this dish isn’t parve and vegan! No good reason! But for some reason the recipe is made for it to be meat, and there’s a tendency among the commenters to make it dairy, too. Having made it, I say that it would lose nothing from being vegan.

So you peel your orange-fleshed sweet potatoes or yams and cut them into chunks.

Then you make a base syrup out of apricot nectar (I was planning up substitute orange juice, but my coop just happened to have a bottle of apricot nectar across from the check out – and I just used the one bottle, which was less than 4 cups, but whatever)… and then the recipe calls for a cup of chicken broth. Why, recipe? Why? I happened to have a quart jar of oolong tea hanging out, so that was a perfect substitution. Other substitution options would be orange juice, white grape juice, water, or vegetable stock.

The recipe then called for 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted pareve margarine. I used 3 Tablespoons of butter because I don’t believe in margarine. Honestly? I could have skipped the butter entirely, and that might have improved the dish.

Then 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots. I had bought Turkish Apricots from nuttyguys.com on a Groupon without a purpose a while back, and they went into this. Geeksdoitbetter cut them into quarters (and she peeled the yams and washed the kale and did all kinds of things to make this dinner go).

So the apricots cook with the nectar and tea with some cinnamon and black pepper and then you add the yams and cover and cook until the yams are fork tender. At this point, I put them up until the next day.

I was careful to keep the chunks of sweet potato intact in the repackaging so they’d still be individual pieces the next day, and they were delicious.

On the next round, when I served the leftovers a few days later, I mashed them into a smooth yamy puree and topped them with a crumble topping of 1/4 cup rolled oats (not kosher for passover), 1/4 cup matzoh meal, 1/8 cup matzoh flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and as much olive oil and neccessary to get it the right amount of crumbly. Baked for 40 minutes, and it was de-light-ful. Well, it was a (potentially vegan, and it would have been fine) sweet potato casserole with a crumble topping – what’s not to love?

Parve / Vegan dishes

Asparagus

The Soup Vixen helped me acquire half a flat of asparagus from the Italian Market. I was going to roast them right before serving… and that didn’t happen. So now I have a pickling and canning project. Woo!

Dandelion Greens

Come on – what says bitter greens and spring time so much as dandelions? These were (again last minute, so didn’t happen) going to be quick sauteed with olive oil and vast quantities of garlic.

Carrot Casserole

These were going to be cut into coins in the food processor and baked with a little liquid (probably vegetable stock) and some za’atar seasoning. This was the first recipe to be abandoned because I found the golden gratin, but I still bought the carrots

Savory Red Pepper and Onion Matzo Brei (not vegan)

Also would have been tasty, but was a dish that sounded best made last minute.

Dessert

Coconut Macaroons

My friend has a quest to find the perfect coconut macaroon recipe, so I made doe eyes at her for many of them for Passover. And it worked – she made 4 batches.

Only there was an error in the handing down of the familial coconut macaroon recipe, and this try called for 2 egg whites per package of coconut (instead of the 1 called for by the condensed milk people)… and that made the recipe harder for her than it should have been. Apparently the extra egg pools out into eggy feet around the base of each macaroon, and she had to tear them off individually. (also, her dishwasher broke mid macaroon making)

That said, the macaroons were soft and sinfully delicious and way better that the dusty, dry ones from the boss’s Passover leftovers. I brought the leftover macaroons to work, and there was so much praise!

My friend, however, is still looking for an even more perfect recipe. The condensed milk flavor was more noticeable than she wanted and there was the egg issue, but the ease of the recipe was a big plus.

Walnut-Date Torte

Whooo! So my stand mixer is also new so me, so this was my first time whipping egg whites. It was amazing. It was a miracle that I didn’t eat the sugar/whipped egg white mixture with a spoon. I can see meringues in my future. Pavlovas with summer fruit.

Right, so the walnut stuffed date appetizers (which didn’t happen) and the dates for this cake were prepped at the same time. I just took my measuring cup and every time the date was dry or not pretty or didn’t split easily, it was cut into bits (quarters the long way, and then 4-5 slices down the length). I ended up with slightly over a cup and a half from that method, which was exactly what the recipe called for. Then I added the half a cup of boiling water and let it sit to hydrate.

For the walnuts, I just learned that the way that entry is written explicitly means you measure the 1 1/2 cups of walnuts, then toast them, and then chop them. Done!

And then I got out the food processor my sister got me (which I absolutely did not steal from KitchenMage) as a housewarming to chop the walnuts with 1/4 cup light brown sugar until finely ground. Then the recipe calls for 2/3 cup matzoh meal, but I’d misread the recipe before shopping and also bought matzoh flour for just this recipe, so I was determined to use it! So in went 1/3 cup matzoh meal and 1/3 cup matzoh flour, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, and a pinch of salt.

Instead of orange zest, I just happened to have some orange peel soaking in water in my fridge awaiting accumulating enough to candy… so I minced up an eighth of a cup of blanched, soaking (so much milder than fresh) orange peel and added it to the dates. I really liked this change.

I beat the egg whites until the looked like they were thinking about peaks, and then I started slowly adding the remaining 1/2 cup white sugar. And the volume didn’t increase as much as I was expecting, so I might have beat slightly longer than requested, but they were holding stiff, glossy peaks and looking lovely when I did stop. They made that lovely crinkly sound when you fold into them.

But first – the 4 yolks get mixed into the dates and orange peel. First the dates were added to the egg whites and folded in, and then the nuts and flour were folded in. This was seriously one of the most delicious cake batters ever! (And I’m a devoted batter eater. I find the batter is almost always significantly tastier than the end product, and this was no exception).

I had enough batter for two medium (8″?) pie plates. It baked at 350F for 40 minutes until a toothpick came out clean (I didn’t notice the springing away from the edge of the pan phenomenon), and I served it in the pan.

It was okay and definitely decent on the first day.

By the second day, however, it was nice! You should definitely make this 1-3 days ahead. You know what was also nice? Drizzling it with cointreau! It’s in the good fruitcake family, and it does well being treated that way.

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Seattle
There were also some hardcore attempts at pimping me the glories of Starbucks, but they don’t have much there I like – though the hot chocolate was tasty. The tea, however, was much better back at home base.

Vancouver
The three hour drive to Vancouver wasn’t bad, even with the border checkpoint and the sudden turns with very little advanced signage.

After rallying in [redacted]’s room, a troop of us went down to start enjoying the organizational fiasco that was this convention. We went down about half an hour after registration was due to open only to find that the huge line hadn’t started being processed and that they were having everyone who wanted to get into the convention line up together, whether they had already registered the night before, had pre-registered online, or were registering that day – all in one line. YAY!

So we made our first foray into the food court in the mall attached to the hotel – and thus began my attempt to eat *everything* in Vancouver because the food was cheap and tasty! MMmmmm!

I went to a singapore joint and had sour long beans and spicy tofu. By the time we had finished eating, the line which had been deep into the food court had vanished – sadly, we soon found that they had just found a different path around the hotel to wind the line instead of having processed everyone who had been waiting.

…and then taking [redacted]’s son off on a quest for food (esp. red bean buns) which ended up at a noodle place that was only mostly acceptable.

…Ummmm… and that was pretty much it for the night (until the dessert thing at 10:30), so I took the opportunity to explore the city and make sure I’d be able to find the theatre the next morning. I boarded by the SkyTrain two blocks from the hotel (metrotown station) and went toward the city to the end of the line (Waterfront station) only to discover that my fare would include a trip to North Vancouver on the SeaBus. Now it had been rainy for the first two days we were there, (record-breaking amounts of rain), but that evening the sky cleared and there was a beautiful sunset – and then I got to cross the water at night with all the city lights reflecting in the water. If you’ve ever traveled with me, you probably know that something like this is my favorite way to first see a city: at night and near water. (I think things like the London Eye are just about the best thing ever to do fresh from the plane with an edge of jet lag and nothing but peaceful beautiful city for the entire ride.)

I wandered around London Quay. I walked uphill (upmountain?) through a residential area for a while before giving up on getting far from the water and shifting east a few blocks to walk down a more commercial street. I stopped by a friendly liquor store that had very little in the way of scotch and passed a couple nice restaurants that were out of the league of the cheap, tasty food I knew I could find. I passed by one of the restaurants that I am pretty sure I read about on Joseph Mallozzi’s blog, but I can’t find it after a quick look. I’ll (maybe) post the name later because the menu I grabbed is still packed (it was just a paper one for take out, so quit thinking I’m a thief).

Asked around the bus drivers for the location of the theatre – found out it was on the central Vancouver side of the water and that I could find the right street by the Tim Hortons. But it was getting late, I hadn’t had dinner, and there was a dessert party to go to, so I just took the SkyTrain home instead of exploring for the right street.

No worries – I was up early enough the next day that I left well ahead of everyone else, so I took the opportunity to weave about the streets a bit and do some touristing on the way to the theatre.

I found that I do not like Tim Hortons, and I am wondering whether that is a moral failing on my part. I tried the old fashioned glazed (a cake donut) and the honey dipped (a yeast donut), and both were too sweet. The honey dipped was almost like a Krispy Kreme but over the line as far as sweetness goes. Even the tea tasted a bit stale and uninteresting. Just as well, because ditching the tea meant that I was free to try Blenz‘s Royal Tea Latte, which was Assam and rose petals steeped dark and then flavored with a couple squirts of vanilla syrup before being topped off with foamed milk just like a latte. MMMMmmmmm! I considered buying a canister, but then I realised that it wouldn’t be anything like the stuff they were making from ingredients at the store (and one small canister was 13 CAD).

…Ummmm… *ducks head* I skipped one of the panels to have lunch. MMmmm – buns and water dumpings from this place with handmade noodles – so good! The bubble yea place had fresh papaya, so they make me a tea with papaya and coconut milk and no tapioca. If I had known you could get bubble tea without tapioca bubbles, I’d have been drinking it long before now.

…Right, so, end of convention. And now it was time to hunt for my misplaced knitting. I started off by going back to the theater with the screening and leaving a description and my contact information there – no luck. And then the only other places I had to look were at the hotel (or in the rental car of the people I don’t know), so I set off west on Davie Street toward the area that the guidebook one of my roommates had brought said was the gay area of town. And, oh man, was it! *delighted* There was a jeans and underwear store called Priape, and many other delightful things. I stopped by an indian restaurant (not Indian Bistro, but a few blocks west) because the manager, Jerry, saw me pondering the menu and was very eager to invite me in. He seated me by the window so that I could better watch the “parade” of people going by. This lovely, candle-lit restaurant would be a perfect date restaurant (as confirmed by the sexy couple at the next table) except for the manager stopping by to tell hilarious stories that were both charming and terrifying: about how he was queen bee of the restaurant and had to fire one of the older waiters who did not respect that when he first came to manage the restaurant, how they were short staffed tonight because the other waitress had a hot date and was “itching to twitch” that night, and how back when he had first come to Vancouver in 1974 and had been smoking a joint with a lovely young fellow (both hiding under a windbreaker) he had been jumped by the cops and arrested – and wasn’t he lucky they chose one of the rare times he wasn’t there giving head – and that his case went to the supreme court (of Canada?) because he had just been smoking when he’d been harassed for his homosexuality. And the food was tasty – I had lamb vindaloo (actually spicy) and lots of fresh hot bread (with free refills on naan). And then I slid out just in time to catch the bus to go back to the SkyTrain – no waiting. :)

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3
Jan

food list

   Posted by: Livia    in Food, lists

what I have
produce
3 red bell peppers
several wee indian eggplants
2 zucchini
carrots
red oak leaf lettuce
1 lb baby chinese greens
2 oranges
habanero peppers
2 apples
1 lime
scallions

meat
lamb roast leftovers
lamb bones to make stock
pork stock
turkey breast, thawed, marinated in orange juice/soy sauce/rice vinegar

dairy
a little bit of sour cream
a good bit of homemade raita
enough gorgonzola cheese for 1 1/2 salads
mild cheddar cheese
cream cheese

miscellany
a little bit of homemade apple/habanero chutney
yellow split peas, sorted but not yet soaked

food I might make
So I thought that I’d cook beans in the pork stock (because I have still not been brave enough to try pork stock in a dish where you’d actually be able to taste it), but the legumes I most want to cook are the split peas… I am not sure these two should go together. I might try it anyway. Reassure me.

So I’d start the peas tonight while making…
the marinated turkey. I think I want that to be a light dish… I could just cook it plain and eat it, but I have these vegetables. I could make something thai with it… Hmmmm…

Lamb leftovers: I have vindaloo seasoning from Penzey’s. And then a not-spicy eggplant curry on the side? Mmmmmm!

Red peppers and zucchini not used in the turkey dish will be broiled in oil! And then I’ll think of something to do with them from there.

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11
Jun

Open invitation

   Posted by: Livia    in Food, invitation

Okay – anyone reading this:

Feel free to come over for dinner tonight

No, really.

I am making more food than I can eat, and I’m going to have leftovers running out my ears without a little help.

Menu

Spinach salad with gorgonzola and toasted nuts

Roasted lamb
Potato salad
sauteed snow peas

probably no dessert

Since the lamb roast is a cut portion of the whole, I don’t know its weight and I have no idea when it will be done – anytime from 5pm to 8pm (that’s why there is salad) – but I have movies and media stuff.

Just absolutely let me know if you are coming by commenting here.

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11
May

Food Planning

   Posted by: Livia    in non-vegetarian, Recipe, salad

food I have
Meat
lamb roast leftovers
beef leftovers (just a small amount)
beef roast leftovers (sliced thin)
rabbit puppy

Vegetables
salad greens (new ones)
asparagus
celery
potatoes

Fruits
3 bananas
2 apples

possible meals
Salad
– with steak (with the small beef leftovers) and grilled onions (and peppers?) and cheese (buy blue cheese?)

Pasta and Asparagus as suggested in comments on a previous entry
– buy blue cheese!
– spinach? maybe
– with fried pieces of puppy rabbit?

Lamb curry
– maybe a couple potatoes

Hash
– sliced beef leftovers
– black pepper stir fry sauce I picked up
– potatoes cut like for au gratin
– onions, peppers, fresh herbs

Lamb and Zucchini over pasta

Other possible recipes for puppy

Now to schedule those.

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So my mother and I both bought small lamb roasts, and I stole her leftovers. After I made my roast, I cut the leftover meat off both of them to use for curry… but I was fairly careless as I am only one person and there was still plenty meat.

So I had fairly meaty bone pieces, yay.

First into the pot —
*one yellow onion and one purple onion, slightly trimmed and quartered… but with skins intact
*about 10 or so cloves of garlic. I have them pre-peeled and just tipped the jar, but if I were going from a pod, I would not peel the cloves and just cut them in half to expose the goody.
*bunch o black peppercorns (maybe 10-15… maybe more) again, I just tipped the container
*two stalks of celery

Then I put in to bones. YAY!

Then —
*three parsnips cleaned and trimmed, but not peeled
*6-8 baby carrots
*handful of parsley
*handful of thyme (finished off what was left in my herb pot because it froze that night)
*one bay leaf
*some shreds of ginger peel

And enough water to fill the pot.

Boil.

The next day, the meat on the bones had softened enough that it just fell into the water… I boiled the bare bones for just a bit longer before pulling them out and replacing them with two turkey necks.

More boiling.

Maybe by the end of today, or maybe tomorrow, I will strain it — but — damn — it smells lovely.

As of now, I think the addition of turkey was a good idea…

because The Joy of Cooking suggests making beef stock with some chicken parts to make it richer. When I have made beef stock in the past (w/o adding chicken), it was indeed a bit thin. Right now I have lamb stock going from bones pulled out of finished roasts of meat… it should be thin… but it smells amazing already. Do I:

And then when it was originally posted there was a poll here –
Leave it alone. It’s supposed to be lamb. Why would you but chicken in lamb stock?
4 (40.0%)

Add the chicken… It can only make things tastier. Purity is for silly people.
6 (60.0%)

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4
Nov

Lamb roast

   Posted by: Livia    in dinner/lunch, dubious, non-vegetarian, Recipe

I have lamb. A wee little roast that is perfect for one person.

So tonight I shall:

  • Run home from work and put the lamb on a broiler pan.
  • Cut into meat and insert garlic cloves.
  • Lay rosemary on top.
  • Lay fatback on top crossing the rosemary (because the roast has had the natural fat trimmed off).
  • Roast it in the oven at 300 degrees for 40 minutes per lb or so.

Then tomorrow, I shall:

  • Cut off all the good meat leftovers from the roast (and the lamb leftovers I stole from my parents) and turn it into curry.
  • Then the rest (bones, etc.) gets turned into lamb stock.

ETA: So here is the lamb follow up

I’ve been having a stale kind of smell in my house the past couple days and had been unable to place it… well, it was the lamb. But I had plans for that lamb! So I trimmed off the most questionable bits and covered the meat with salt. About 15 minutes later, when the salt was a bit damp around the edges, I rinsed off the salt and patted the lamb dry… still smelled a little questionable, but much better… so I trimmed a couple more small bits… and prepared as planned. Only… with a slightly longer cooking time, and I did not take it out of the oven until it’s juices ran completely clear. As of now, I am not poisoned at all… and it was very tasty. Leftovers are in the fridge for curry.

ETAA: Here’s an explanation of why I have started posting about food

I grew up in a 50s kind of household — meat and potatoes. Our definition of vegetable was the box from green giant that you pop in the microwave for five minutes and stir halfway through… in fact, these days my father will only eat the sugar snap peas from there because the other vegetables are too… healthy.

So I have moved out on my own. I can now eat anything I want. Some things I can figure out with books, but my cookbook budget it limited. I also use allrecipes.com fairly frequently — they have an advanced search feature where you can search by ingredients. I have found the answers to some questions that have been bothering me for a while: for instance, the difference between a parsnip and a parsley root and what both their relationships are to parsley. But some answers I have not found yet: like what exactly is that vegetable, at my produce truck, that looks like a long seedless cucumber (only with a slightly lighter-colored skin) but has this fuzzy mass inside instead. So this is me exploring.

What don’t I know? I know basic ways to make vegetables, but I am looking for more exciting ones. I don’t know authentic approaches to ethnic cuisines. I don’t know (and am intimidated about learning) how to cook fish, bake, or even make most desserts. I’ll figure it out.

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