Friday, January 31, 2014

Garlic Bruschetta with Warm Lamb & Spinach

Garlic Bruschetta
4 long slices ciabatta, cut 2cm thick
1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground Cumin
2 tsp ground Coriander
salt & pepper to taste
1# lamb leg steak
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Black Peppercorns, freshly ground, to season
1 - 1 1/2 cups spinach leaves
4 tomatoes, sliced
8 - 12 grilled asparagus spears (optional)

To prepare the bruschetta
Brush the bread on both sides with the olive oil, then sprinkle evenly with the garlic powder.
Cook under a preheated grill until golden brown on both sides.

To prepare the lamb
Combine the spices and salt on a sheet of waxed paper, then grind over about ½ tsp  Coloured Peppercorns. Roll the lamb in the mixture.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the lamb and cook over a moderately high heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until brown and cooked to your liking.
Cover and leave for 5 minutes, then cut across the grain into 2-3cm slices.

To prepare the dressing
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic powder in a bowl. Season with black pepper and whisk until well blended.

To assemble
Cover the bruschetta slices with spinach leaves, top with the tomatoes and asparagus, then drizzle with a little of the dressing. Pile the lamb slices on top and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Serve immediately.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Rabbit Stew and Dumplings

For the dumplings:
3 cups self-rising flour
14 tablespoons butter
A bunch of fresh tarragon, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the rabbit:
1 rabbit, cut into pieces
Olive oil
A couple tablespoons of butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 slices of bacon, finely sliced
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
9 ounces mushrooms (field, shitake, or oyster), cleaned and torn
A large onions, chunked
1 1/2 pints chicken stock

Mix dough, make into 1” balls, sprinkle with nutmeg, and place on a tray in the fridge.
C oat rabbit with flour, shaking off any excess. Heat a deep oven-proof pot, about 12 inches in diameter, with a little olive oil and a couple tablespoons of butter, add the rabbit pieces and cook for about 5 minutes until golden on all sides.
Add a good pinch of salt and pepper and the bacon. Saute for a few minutes until the bacon is crispy, keeping the rabbit moving around the pan at the same time. Add the rosemary sprigs, mushrooms and onions and continue frying for another 10 minutes, by which time the meat will be nicely colored and the veggies will be softened.
Mix in a tablespoon of flour, add chicken stock, cover and simmer for half an hour. Then put your dumplings on top of the stew with about 1/2 inch between them. Drizzle them with olive oil and put the pot into 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, until crisp and brown on top.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Shepherd's Pie

2 T butter
1 medium chopped onion
 2 sliced carrots
 4 T flour
 2 c beef or chicken stock
 chopped parsley and thyme
 1lb cooked ground lamb, or shredded roast lamb
2 c mashed potatoes

 Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the chopped onion cover and let sweat for a few minutes.  Add the carrots.
Stir in the flour and cook until it is slightly browned, then add the stock and herbs.
Bring to the boil and reduce it a little by boiling for about 5 minutes.
Add the meat and bring back to the boil.
Place in a pie dish and cover with the mashed potatoes bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rabbit and Sausage Gumbo

1 medium rabbit
6 cups water
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, including leaves, chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
6 oz Kielbasa (or other smoked sausage) cut in 1/2 ” pieces
1/2 lb okra, cut in slices
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 16 oz can peeled tomatoes
2 tsp filé powder (a Sassafras powder found in fish markets)

In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, simmer rabbit, salt and pepper in water for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender. Remove rabbit from broth and let cool. Remove meat from bone in large pieces and return meat to broth in pan. In a skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion, pepper, celery and garlic for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add sausage, okra, cayenne, thyme and bay leaf. Continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes. Add vegetable mixture and tomatoes to rabbit. Simmer 30 minutes. Stir in filé the last few minutes before serving. Serve over rice with a green salad and crusty French bread.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Lamb Meatball Appetizers

2 lb. ground lamb
4 tsp fresh mint, chopped
4 tsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Grated peel of one lemon
1 T garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp coriander seed, ground
1 tsp cumin seed, ground
1 tsp black pepper, ground
1 tsp kosher salt

1 lb feta cheese in block form
15 greek olives
60 bamboo skewers
60 pieces of fresh mint

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

For the meatballs:
Mix the meat and other ingredients until just combined and everything is well distributed. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the meat and form into balls. Place the formed meatballs on a sheet pan. Place the meatballs 1 -2 inches apart, you will need two large sheet pans. These can be made ahead and held in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
Bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes, or until nicely browned on the outside and cooked through.
Slice the olives into strips. If the olives have pits, just slice the meat off the sides of the olive and then cut into strips if the olive pieces are large.
Cut the feta cheese into ½ inch cubes.
Stage the garnish for the meatballs on a sheet pan by placing a small piece of mint on a feta cube and top with a slice of olive. Leaving the feta in place on the pan, pierce a skewer through the stack. By pushing the skewer into the cube of feta sitting on the pan, it's much easier to get the skewer straight. Set aside until the meatballs are cooked.

Once the meatballs are cooked, pick up a bamboo skewer with the garnish on it and gently push it into a meatball, then transfer the finished hors d'oeuvre to a serving platter. The skewer should stand nice and straight by pushing into them while they rest on the sheet pan.

Water water

I seem to be drawn to water lately.  This is the Tuscarawas, one of 5 rivers in our county.  The others are the Walhonding, Mohican, Kokos...