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…

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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…