It was the day before Saint Patrick’s Day and I was hunting for a good recipe to make for dinner. Something timely. Something festive. Something with beer! I’d never made lamb stew before but I wanted to try it. I came across this recipe at the Food Network site and it looked very interesting, as I love roasted vegetables. Oh and Guinness? Well, okay then!
For this recipe lamb shoulder is the best. When I went to Zupan’s, they didn’t have any of this. The meat guy said that lamb leg meat would work for a stew and, while I browsed the aisles looking at the tasty things, he cut a pound of it up into 1-inch cubes for me. I have no idea if he was actually knowledgeable about what a good substitution for the lamb shoulder would be but I believed him. So, I guess, try to find lamb shoulder and if that fails, ask the person behind the meat counter what to use instead.
I halved the recipe, so as listed below it will feed 3-4 people. Double it up for double the servings.
Lamb Stew with Guinness & Roasted Vegetables
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pound lamb shoulder, . . . → Read More: Lamb Stew with Guinness & Roasted Vegetables
This was a fun challenge hosted by Too Many Chefs, in which the aim was to create a meal in 30 minutes. A meal where you start with raw (or pretty close to being raw) ingredients and make them into something tasty — tout de suite. This was challenging! I’m used to thinking big and definitely not-speedy for IMBB and this was all about thinking in a practical and time-conscious way.
I finally decided to go with a salad because: it’s the beginning of salad-as-meal weather, it’s fast, with some chicken it can be a total meal (unless you’re a vegetarian) and I like big spinach salads!
You can really do this with any dressing that you like. My new favorite dressing is basil olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard — that would work here too. For a lighter, lemony-walnut flavor, go with the one I made for this meal, the one listed below (originally from Bon Appetite magazine).
For something a little different on those cooler nights, you could also wilt the spinach first in a pan with some walnut oil and garlic, then top with a squirt of lemon juice, the apples, walnuts and sliced . . . → Read More: IMBB24: Walnut, Apple & Spinach Salad w/ Crunchy Chicken
This meal all started with a trip to Zupan’s (fancy-pantsy grocery store). I went for some tuna, I left with tuna and this spice rub. Which, just now, when I looked it up, I realized was affiliated with Michael Chiarello. I bought it anyway because I am a sucker for pretty packaging and coffee products.
But, later it dawned on me — I should have just copied down the ingredients and made it myself! So, here you go:
grey salt ( you could also probably use kosher)
chile powder (chipotle or a blend)
Ta da — you’ve just saved $7.95. As far as measurements go, I’d use a tablespoon of everything, except the salt, maybe 1 teaspoon of that and the zest, again, maybe a teaspoon. Oh, and for this pork recipe, I also mixed some brown sugar into the spice rub I used — so, throw a tablespoon of brown sugar in there too just for fun. But, I am just kind of guessing on the measurements here, so it might take a bit of trial and error.
If you are not feeling that adventurous, the recipe that . . . → Read More: Adventures in Pork II: Espresso-Spice Rubbed Pork Loin
The weekends are all about big, tasty meals. Mondays are usually soup, the healthier the better. I try to make something extra good (read: non-fattening) for us on Monday to try and make up for things like, well, let’s see — uh, lamb and Guinness stew and espresso-spice-rubbed pork loin accompanied with goat cheese and roasted garlic tamales. Oh, don’t worry, I’ll be posting about both of those meals this week.
But, here we were at a Monday Meal. I had a bunch of Swiss Chard leftover from the other night and I needed something to do with it. After some rummaging, I found a can of white beans, leftover noodles, chicken stock and an orange. “Hmmm, that all seems pretty healthy,” I thought, eyeing my food processor. Okay, so fine, I added a little cheese at the end, sue me.
Swiss Chard and White Bean Soup:
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, coarsely chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes (okay, don’t actually pinch and then risk touching your eyes, just sprinkle)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth or stock (I had an open container of stock I needed to use and had 3 . . . → Read More: Swiss Chard and White Bean Soup — It’s Pretty & Green and Good for You Too!
These recipes for shrimp skewers and glaze, I found on Epicurious the other day and thought they looked really good. It was one of those, “Oh, I think we’re having that for dinner tomorrow” moments. It just looked all fresh and healthy and kind of light. Okay, this was in the pre-risotto phase but bear with me here.
The original recipe was for outdoor grill cooking but I used my grill pan. If you make these outside, it’s pretty much the same thing — 3 minutes per side. Oh and if you make these outside on the grill, you’ll want to soak your skewers in water for 30 minutes before assembling or use metal skewers.
Shrimp, Mango & Red Pepper Skewers
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried crushed red pepper
36 jumbo shrimp (about 2 pounds), peeled, tails left intact, deveined
2 red bell peppers, each cut into 12 pieces
2 firm but ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, cut into cubes
twelve 12-inch bamboo skewers
Garnishes: Lime wedges and fresh, chopped cilantro
Mix olive oil, ginger, pepper flakes and garlic in large bowl. Add shrimp, bell peppers and mangoes; toss to coat. Alternate bell . . . → Read More: Shrimp, Mango and Bell Pepper Skewers with Coconut Risotto