Mechoui Lamb

This makes for succulent, spice-crusted lamb that falls off the bone. Makes the whole house smell delicious too.

Ingredients
1 leg of lamb
70g butter
3 cloves of garlic
2 tea spoon cumin
1 tea spoon paprika
3 tea spoon coriander
1/4 tea spoon salt
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat oven to 425F
Grind the spices and combine with the butter.
butter1

2. Crush the garlic and add to the butter. Mix until smooth and incorporated.
butter2

3. With a small sharp knife, make little incisions into the lamb all over, making little pockets.
meat1

4. Rub the butter mixture all over, making sure some goes into those pockets. Place on a grill in a roasting pan. Cover with aluminum foil.
meat2

5. Put in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Baste the meat and lower the oven to 315F. Cook for an other hour, hour and a half, basting every 30 minutes. The roast is done when the meat pulls easily from the bone (or starts to fall apart, if you have a boneless roast).
meat3

6. Slice and serve.
serve

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Chickpea and sweet potato curry

An easy, tasty and lazy weeknight meal. Warm and spicy and filling.

Ingredients
2 small onions (or 1 larger one), diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
an inch (or so) of ginger, grated
1 table spoon curry mix of your choice, ground
1 can chickpeas
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 cup water
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup diced tomatoes
basmati rice, to serve
1 table spoon peanut oil
ingredients

***

1. In a thick bottomed saucepan warm the oil. Add the diced onions and cook, stirring often, until translucent.
onions

2. Add the garlic, the ginger, and the curry spices. Cook the aromatics with the onions until fragrant.
aromates

3. Rinse the chickpeas and add to the pot. Peel the sweet potato and cut roughly into cubes. Add it to the pot as well.
veggies1

4. Add the coconut milk and the water.
Mix well and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sweet potato cubes are tender.
liquids

5. Stir in the frozen peas.
peas

6. And the tomatoes.
Once the peas and tomatoes are heated through the curry is ready.
tomatoes

7. Serve with the basmati rice.
serve

Lazy Jambalaya

Wholly inaccurate, but easy enough on a weekday. A satisfying one-pot meal with plenty of leftovers for lunches. Leftover portions freeze rather well, so that is always a bonus.

Ingredients :
3 Italian sausage (spicy)
1 onion, chopped
3 celery branches, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups rice
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 table spoon cajun spices
1 table spoon paprika
1 lb shrimp
olive oil
ingredients

1. In a large enamel faitout or dutch oven, warm about a table spoon of the oil. Remove the casing from the sausages and add to the pot.
sausage1

2. Break apart into clumps as it cooks.
sausage2

3. Once the meat is almost fully cooked, add the onion, bell pepper and celery.
veggies

4. Stir in and cook for a  minute or two then add the frozen peas.
peas

5. Give the peas a mine to start thawing then add the tomatoes and garlic.
tomatoes

6. Add the rice. Stir it in, to coat the rice.
rice

7. Add the chicken broth, paprika and cajun spices.
stock

8. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes (to get the rice started)
cook1

9. Add the shrimps, still frozen, in a single layer on top.
shrimp

10.  Cover and return to heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the shrimps are nicely pink.
shrimp2

11. Allow to stand for a few minutes (the liquid will be absorbed). Portion out and enjoy!
serve

Pana Cotta

I totally stole this super simple recipe from Ros. It’s is very simple but absolutely fantastic at the same time. The spices are the absolute star of this. Really really recommend giving this blend a try. The rose petal and warmer spices are just right for the very light fresh milk.

Ingredients:
4 cups milk (5% milk if you can get it OR a mix of 10% cream and whole milk)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tea spoon Silk Road spices.
1 1/2 table spoon gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
ingredients

***

1. In a large pot, combine the milk and sugar. Put the spices in a spice bag or tea infuser and turn the heat on medium-low. Stir to dissolve the sugar and allow the spices to infuse into the milk for a few minutes.
combine1

2. Once the milk is simmering, measure out the gelatin into a bowl.
gelatin1

3. Add the boiling water and stir to dissolve.
gelatin2

4. Remove the spices from the milk and discard. Whisk in the gelatin.
milk2

5. Ladle in to ramekins. Put in the refrigerator for a few hours or until fully cold.
split

6. Serve with the berries of your choice.
eat

Napa Cabbage and Pork Stir-Fry

Delicious and filling but since it’s mostly cabbage, almost guilt free!

Ingredients
1 pork tenderloin
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2 lb Napa cabbage, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
Optional : Sambal Oelek (1-2 tea spoon, to taste)
ingredient

***

1. In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon sugar.
marinade

2. Thinly slice the pork.
slice

3. Toss with the soy sauce and cornstarch mixture. Set aside for a few minutes. In the mean time, wash and chop the cabbage.
coat-meat

4. Mix the water and the remaining 2 teaspoon cornstarch into a slurry. Set aside.
slurry

5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Add the pork into a single layer and cook for a few minutes until colored. Then flip and color the other side.
sear

6. Remove the pork from the skillet and set aside.
rest

7. In the same skillet, warm the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the grated ginger and garlic.
aromatics

8. As soon as they are fragrant add half of the cabbage.
cabbage1

9. Cook over medium-high heat until the cabbage wilts.
cabbage2

10. Add the rest of the cabbage, the remaining soy sauce and sugar. Add the sambal oelek if using. Lower heat to medium, cover and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
cabbage3

11. All the cabbage should fall and become very tender.
cabbage4

12. Add the pork back into the skillet along with any juices from the resting plate. Add the cornstarch slurry. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until the sauce thickens and the meat is fully cooked.
combine

13. Serve over rice.
serve

Tomato tart

It is unseasonably warm this past week-end, so fall food seems out of place. And yet it’s harvest season. So have a compromise : tomato tart. Light and refreshing even when eaten warm.

Ingredients:
1 stick salted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup cold water
4 ripe tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1 teaspoon herbes de provences
1/2 teaspoon vegetable spices (your choice)
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper.
olive oil

ingredients

***

1. Cut the butter into small chunks and put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
butter

2. In a food processor, combine the flour and paprika. Pulse to mix.
pulse1

3. Add the frozen butter. You want to work fairly quickly for this part and keep the dough/butter as cold as possible.
pulse2

4. Pulse a few times, just until the flours and butter reach a mealy texture. it’s fine if small pea sized chunks of butter remain.
pulse3

5. Add the water in 2 steps, pulsing a few times with each addition. You don’t want to overwork it. As soon as it keeps it’s shape when pinched, you are done. It will look kind of pebbly.
pulse4

6. Transfer to a large ziploc bag, pressing down until it forms a ball. Put in the fridge to chill for an hour or so.
ball

7. Once the dough has chilled, turn the oven on to 425F.
Roll out the dough to between 1/4″ to 1/8″ thick.
roll

8. Transfer to a tart dish. Press down at the bottom and in the ceases, make sure it’s well distributed. Any cracks or missing part can be fixed at this point.
roll2

9. Roll over the edge of the dish to trim away the excess dough.
trim

10. Using a fork, prick holes all over the bottom of the dough.
Cut a bit of parchment paper larger then the dish. Put it on the dough and fill with pie weights (or dried beans you don’t intend on cooking).
weights

11. Blind bake with the weights for 10 minutes. Then -carefully- remove the parchment paper and the weights.
blind1

12. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes until golden all over. It will shrink a bit. If you want to minimize that allow more time with the weights.
blind2

13. Allow the crust to cool fully. Turn the oven down to 350F
Once cooled slice the first two tomatoes and layers on the crust.
filling1

14. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 of the onion (so 1/4 red onion) thinly sliced. Slice the two remaining tomatoes and layer on top.
filling2

15. Add the remaining red onion, herbes the provence, spices and sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the whole thing.
*Optional : you can also add a thin stream of good olive oil over everything at this point.
filling3

16. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
baked

17. Remove from the tart dish, slice and enjoy!
serve

Peaches and Blackberries crumbe

Satisfying with a bit of a crunch from the almonds. I would probably remake this with less sugar. Will update the recipe if I do.

Ingredients :

For the filling:
6 peaches
2 pints of blackberries
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lime
Juice from 1/2 lime

For the crumble:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 almond meal
5 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 slivered almonds
pinch of nutmeg and ground cardamom
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Rinse the blackberries. Slice the peaches and combine in a bowl.
slices

2. Combine the sugar, flour and cornstarch in a mixing bowl.
dry-filling

3. Add the zest, lemon juice and vanilla to the fruits.
zest

4. Add the dry ingredients and gently mix to coat the fruits.
combine

5. Turn the fruits into a baking dish (about 11×7).
turn

6. Start on the crumble. Combine the flour, almond meal, brown sugar, oats and salt. Add the spices, to taste.
crumble1

7. Add the butter. Mix until the dry ingredients are well combined and the whole thing turns to a pebbly texture.
crumble2

8. Fold in the almonds.
crumble3

9. Add the crumble on top of the fruits.
Bake 35-40 minutes.
add-crumble

10. Take out of the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
baked

11. I never mastered the art of serving a crumble prettily. Tastes good anyways.
serve