Lamb with Onion, Ginger and Coriander Relish

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I’ve had to renew Tessa Kiros’ ‘Falling Cloudberries’ from the library because there are still a few recipes I want to try.

January’s The Cookbook Guru book is one I’ll have to buy I think. Problem is I have no more room left for any more books. Well, that’s something I’m going to have to deal with…

This particular dish looked too good to pass up.

It calls for a 1.3kg leg of lamb but with only my husband and myself to cook for, it was way too much so I de-boned a leg of lamb and cut off a 700g piece (the rest got cut up and put in the freezer for next time). This was enough for dinner and sandwiches the next day.

My sister is actually waiting for this post so she can make it. Better get on with it then.

To a bowl add 250g plain yoghurt, 4 cloves grated or crushed garlic, 1 tsp each allspice, sweet paprika, ground cumin and ground coriander, 1/2 tsp each ground cardamom, salt and ground black pepper. Give this a really good mix.

Put your lamb in a container where it will fit compactly and smoother it all over with the yoghurt marinade.

This amount of marinade will probably be enough for a whole leg of lamb.

Cover and leave to marinade overnight, or as long as possible, in the fridge. (I managed to leave it for 4 hours)

Take the lamb our of the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking it it let it come to room temperature.

Lift the lamb from the marinade but don’t scrape any of the yoghurt off.

The recipe says to lay the lamb on a wire rack and bake for 1 hour at 200oc but I lay the lamb on some chunks of potato that I’d coated in garlic, oil, salt and lemon juice and baked at 160oc for nearly 2 hours, turning the meat over after 1 hour.

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While the meat was absolutely delicious, I really loved the relish that’s served with it. So fresh and tangy.

Finely dice 1/2 a brown onion and gently saute in 2 Tblsp olive oil until starting to go brown on the edges. Add 3 Tblsp of water and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the water has reduced and the onions are soft. Take off the heat and add 2-3 tsp finely grated ginger and leave this to cool. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the juice of 1 lime, a big handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves and a dash or two of some chilli oil or a bit of sambal oelek. Give it a really good stir.

Leave the lamb to stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing up and serving with a spoonfull of the relish.

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The meat came out so tender and juicy. I’ll be making this again and again and again….

Enjoy…

Tessa’s Filo with Poached Pears, Rose and Pistachio Praline

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Another wonderful recipe from Tessa Kiros’  ” Falling Cloudberries” for this months The Cookbook Guru Challenge.

It was just too good to pass up. I borrowed the book from the library nearly 3 weeks ago and have had this recipe bookmarked since I read it.

Having absolutely no idea what to make for dinner it was time to send out the urgent message…

‘Hey, how’s your day going? What do you feel like for dinner cause I have absolutely no idea?’

To which my husband replied….

‘How about Monk Soup with lots of toasted Lebanese Bread?’

Perfect….

But a really healthy dinner like that deserves a really good dessert like this…

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In a saucepan bring to the boil 80g castor sugar, a couple of pieces of lemon rind, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise (optional, I like the licorice flavour it gives) and 1 cup of water. Let it boil for 5 minutes while you peel, quarter and core 2 firm pears.

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Lower the heat under the sugar syrup, add 1/2 tsp rose water (the recipe calls for untreated rose petals which I didn’t have, so rose water did the trick) and gently lower in the pears. Lay a piece of baking paper on top of the pears so that the exposed parts don’t discolour. Simmer very gently for 15 – 20 minutes or until the pears are cooked through and soft but not mushy.

Take off the heat and allow to cool.

Next you’ll need 3 sheets of filo pastry, 30g melted butter and 1 Tblsp castor sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.

Lay one sheet of filo on your bench and brush it with the melted butter then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Place another sheet of pastry on top and do the same again. Finish with a good brush of butter. Cut the pastry in half longways and then into strips about 5cm wide. Carefully place on a baking paper lined baking sheet and drizzle each piece with a little honey then bake at 180oC for 12 – 15 minutes until brown and cripsy. Leave to cool.

So now for my favourite part, pistachio praline. Lightly butter or oil a piece of baking paper and put it on a baking sheet. Put 3 Tblsp castor sugar  into a small saucepan or frypan over a medium head. Leave it to melt and turn a caramel colour. Don’t stir it just swirl the pan a little. Be sure to keep your eyes on it so it doesn’t burn.

Take it off the heat and stir in 30g unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts, then carefully pour onto the prepared baking sheet and leave to cool and set. Break up into pieces, put in a ziplock bag and bash with a mallet until it’s like coarse breadcrumbs.

To serve – spoon a couple of pieces of pear onto a plate or a bowl with some of the syrup, add a couple of strips of the filo pastry, sprinkle with the praline and scoop in some vanilla ice cream.

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I sounds like a lot of work but it was really worth it.

Please give it a go…

Enjoy…

Baked Butter Beans with Onion, Tomato and Parsley

My first choice from The Cookbook Guru book of the month, Tessa Kiros’s ‘Falling Cloudberries’ is a baked beans recipe.

I have been wanting to make my own baked beans for ages, the thing is, I have absolutely no reasons or excuses to offer as to why I haven’t yet.

That’s all about to change.

I borrowed a copy of the book from one of the local libraries though having had a look at it wouldn’t mind owning a copy.

Such a diverse collection of recipes and so well set out. I have little bits of paper poking from between the pages as bookmarks for the recipes I want try and the beans are first off the rank.

Now, I couldn’t help myself and have altered the recipe a little (maybe one day I’ll follow a recipe to the letter, maybe???)

What you’ll need is…

1 x 400g can of butter beans – drained and rinsed well

1 Tbls olive oil

1/2 onion – thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic – finely chopped

1 stalk celery – finely diced

200g canned diced tomato (diced fresh tomato will work too)

2 Tbls bread crumbs

2 – 3 Tbls finely chopped parsley

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Heat the oil in a fry pan and add the onion. Saute until soft and just starting to colour around the edges.

Take off the heat, add the garlic, celery and tomato and season well with salt and pepper.  Stir in 100ml water.

Put the drained beans in a deep ovenproof dish and pour the tomato sauce over it. Give it a gentle stir, cover it with foil and bake at 180oc for 40 minutes then remove the foil and give it a gentle stir adding  a little more water if the beans are getting too dry.

Sprinkle with a couple of dashes of worcestershire sauce (totally optional) and the bread crumbs and return to the oven, uncovered, for another 30 minutes.

The beans should be very tender and golden on top and the sauce should be thick and sticking to the beans.

Sprinkle the parsley on top and it’s ready.

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This makes a great accompaniment to roast or grilled meats or just spooned over lightly grilled sourdough bread.

I served it with grilled lamb chump chops and a mint and garlic yoghurt sauce.

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Enjoy…

Riz ib Fool – Broad Beans with Rice.

So, Happy New Year to all. Hope you had a wonderful New Years Eve and a quick recovery New Years Day.

Every year my husband and I sit on our balcony overlooking huge native fig trees with a mezza spread and a glass (or 6) of wine and beer.

This year we decided to try something different and flew to Adelaide for a few days and spent New Years Eve on a 10th floor balcony looking over Adelaide city.

We got to Adelaide, dropped off our bag and marched ourselves to Adelaide Central Markets.20140104-174036.jpg I absolutely love that place. It has everything you could possibly need from delicious local and overseas cheeses to perfectly ripe fresh fruit and veggies, amazing sour dough breads and all sorts of chocolates, cakes and pastries. It is heaven to me and a great shame you can’t find the same great variety of providores and produce under the same roof in Sydney. That’s not to say we don’t have amazing shops and produce in Sydney, it’s just that you have to visit several different shops to get the same variety. Probably dug myself in a big hole with that comment, but anyway…..ImageImageWe had a wonderful New Years Eve.

We also had dinner at Coopers Alehouse on our first night in Adelaide. What a great place. Lots of beers on tap, a good wine list and something on the menu to satisfy just about anyone.

20140104-180152.jpgAnd so now its time to ease off a little on the holiday food and give our systems a dose of light and healthy.

This dish was just what we needed.

In a small saucepan melt a little butter with a dash of olive oil. Add 100g of lean minced beef and squash with the back of a spoon while browning. Season well with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Next add 200g broad beans (frozen or fresh), stir then pour in 350ml water and stir again. Cover, bring to the boil, turn heat down and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

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Now throw in 1/2 cup of long grain rice, stir, cover and allow the rice to absorb the water (it takes about 20 minutes on a very low heat). Stir it once or twice.

Once the rice is cooked leave the saucepan covered for about 10 minutes then you’re ready to serve.

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Yes..it’s really simple but oh so delicious.

Leave out the mince and you have yourself a delicious vegetarian dish.

We serve this with a good dollop of natural yoghurt, sticks of cucumber, wedges of tomato and some marinated olives.

Enjoy…

and all the best for 2014.