Friday, February 22, 2013

Lamb Stuffed Onions

4 medium red onions
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb ground lamb
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 cup cooked long grain white rice
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. butter, cut into 4 pieces

Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cut the top off each onion and peel. Scoop out the centers of the onions with a melon baller, leaving 2-3 layers of onion and the bottoms intact. Chop the scooped out insides of the onions and set aside.
Place the hollowed out onions, inverted, in a glass baking dish and add enough water to dish to come about 1/3 of the way up the onions. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the onions are just tender.

Heat butter and oil in a pan, add the chopped onion, and sauté until starting to brown. Increase the heat and add the ground lamb. Cook until the lamb starts to brown and the juices evaporate. Add the spices, tomato paste, salt and pepper and mix well. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Combine the meat mixture with the rice, pine nuts, and chopped herbs and taste the mixture for proper seasoning. Stuff the onions with the meat mixture and place them back in the baking dish. Add water to the dish to come 1/4 way up the sides of the onions and add the butter. Place onions in oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The TRUE harbinger of spring

Forget that silly groundhog!
Dead skunk in the middle of the road, stinkin' to high heaven.
Kinda ironic that its covered with fresh snowfall.
Its skunk breeding season, so y'all be careful out there, ya hear?

Friday, February 15, 2013

White Chili with Rabbit

1 lb large white beans, soaked overnight in water, drained
6 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped (divided)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups diced rabbit
3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

Combine beans, chicken broth, garlic and half the onions in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are very soft, 3 hours or more. Add additional water (or watered-down broth), if necessary.
In a skillet, sauté rabbit and remaining onions in oil until tender. Add chilies and seasonings and mix thoroughly. Add to bean mixture and continue to simmer  1 hour.
Serve topped with grated cheese. Garnish with cilantro, chopped fresh tomato, salsa, chopped scallions, and/or guacamole. Serve with fresh warmed flour tortillas or tortilla chips.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ode to February

Yes, its February.  The snow has melted, we have snow in the forecast.  The days drag on, short on sunlight, long on clouds.  The sheep's beautiful glittering white wool is getting mud tipped; more and more hay chaff appears on their necks and backs.  How does this happen?  We try to be so careful.  Do they?

Are they pregnant?  The ram has long since stopped courting them.....they seem fatter, don't they?   Any sign of an udder?  No, its too early yet, stop obsessing.   Wait, I think that one's vulva seems a bit puffier, don't you think so?  How many days is it 'til lambs are due?  Let's see, 16 more days of February, 31 days in March.  Seems like forever.....47 days....... WAIT!  Do we have enough CD&T?  BOSE?  What about Pritchard teats?   Where is the box of old towels?  How many bales of straw are up in the mow?   Check the box of baby lamb tags, count syringes & needles.

Only a month 'til we need to see about shearing.  Better call the shearer and make sure we are still on his list of farms.  Lambing pens are set up - after twice being filled with mud, sticks and leaves from flood waters this past summer.  Still have one less hay feeder than we have pens....better do something about that this year.

Yeh, its February.  Dark and dreary.  When will it end?   No wonder they only made it 28 days, we'd never make it through a full month of this.

BTW - Happy Mardi Gras!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Olive Crusted Lamb Chops

1/4 cup brine-cured black olives such as Kalamatas or Gaetas, finely chopped
1/2  cup fine bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
5 T olive oil
6 lamb chops
Salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450° F.
Combine olives, bread crumbs, garlic, oregano, and chili flakes, 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a bowl with black pepper to taste and mix well to combine.
Heat 2 T olive oil in sauté pan, season the lamb chops with salt and pepper and add them to the pan,   and cook quickly until they are just browned on each side.
Remove the chops and let them cool on a sheet tray lined with a rack.
When the lamb has cooled, press the olive mixture evenly onto one side of each chop packing well so that the crumbs adhere to the meat.
Drizzle the remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil onto a clean sheet pan and place the chops, crumb side up, on it.
Roast the chops in the oven, without turning them over, until the crumbs have browned and the chops are cooked to your preferred doneness.
Remove the chops from the oven and serve.

Monday, February 4, 2013

French style Braised Rabbit

1 T butter
8 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 rabbit leg quarters
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 can peeled whole tomatoes
1/4 tsp dried thyme
10 ounces sliced porcini mushrooms

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the shallots and garlic until they turn tender and start to caramelize, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the shallots and garlic to a bowl and set aside.
Season the rabbit with the salt and pepper; add it to the pan and cook over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, to brown it thoroughly. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and tomatoes.
Return the caramelized shallots and garlic to the pan, along with the thyme and mushrooms. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and allow the rabbit to simmer for 40 minutes, until it is cooked through.

Oh great - some new hosta eaters have arrived

The new fawns are starting to arrive.    We have a love/hate relationship going.  The deer love to eat our flowers, and we hate it.  L...