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basquecook

Dinner! 2013 (Part 4)

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All this talk of lamb lately gave me a craving. Hence: roast spring lamb with red-wine and mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, and asparagus.

attachicon.gifLamb.jpg

Panaderia Canadiense Going to let my ignorance hang out here. Question about "spring lamb" - I've only been able ever to get "spring" lamb in the spring, mostly mid-spring. Also, since we like domestic lamb far better than that sourced from Aussie/New Zealand, my guess has been that the lambing takes place in Feb/Mar - & maybe Apr - and I'm looking for 6-8 wk lamb, never frozen. I just ordered a rack from D'Artagnan, fresh. I'm eager to hear your input - on anyone's.

Please be kind enough to disabuse me of anything where I'm wrong.

I'll point out for starters that I live in Ecuador, and that our seasons are a bit different. It's currently spring (or rather it's a spring-esque lambing season in Salasaka, where the lamb in question came from) and hence what I ate was spring lamb. The neat thing about this country, though, is that when it's no longer "spring" in my province, it will be "spring" in neighbouring Bolívar or in another close province. This boils down to spring lambs, milk fed and between 6 and 8 weeks old, being available here almost year round.... It's a unique advantage to living this close to the equator and at such a high altitude.

I also suspect that many of the breeds found in the highlands close to my markets are year-round rather than seasonal breeders (whereas in Canada at least the seasonal breeders are more common), which means that here in Ecuador not only do I get the rather abundant and delicious spring lambs (and my butcher is very precise about what she calls the lamb she sells) but also very tender and tasty milk lambs in the non-spring seasons.

Up in the nothern hemisphere, spring lambs are born either in late winter or early spring (so February-April or so) and must be sold before July 1 to qualify. Anything else between 6 and 8 weeks but born in a different lambing season is milk lamb, which is very similar in flavour and texture, although in my experience milk lambs tend to be just a tad stronger tasting than spring ones.

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Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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C. sapidus - Delicious looking crab cake. I wish it were Steve's crab cake. You know it's going to be good when you can't see any binder.

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Ann, lovely looking prime rib. I like the addition of tomatoes with beef; the acidity really helps cut the richness.

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Baselerd - What a great looking dish. And thanks for the tip on drying the fennel. Was the apple pressed also? I tried to dry some apple slices with mixed results with a little bit to much warping and browning for a nice presentation. Do you think a little lemon juice in a simple syrup would work?

Thanks. I used Granny smith apples, and shaved them paper-thin on a mandoline. Then I coated them with simple syrup, dehydrated at 105 F overnight (pressed between two mesh sheets again). Mine did not discolor. Seems like lemon juice would work.

I also used this food preservative from time to time (I didn't with these chips though) - it is essentially just ascorbic acid/vitamin, which prevents browning of vegetables. You can usually find the stuff in supermarkets, and to use it I just dissolve it in a small amount of water and brush onto the fruits.

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I also got a lamb craving after the posts up thread. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any good lamb around here ever.

Then I went to the aforementioned laughable excuse for a farmers market and found one gem. A young sheep armed who is absolutely passionate about his lamb. He waxed eloquent about feeding, raising, proper times for slaughter and keeping the meat, cuts and everything else relevant.

I jut had to buy something from him. Unfortunately all that was left by the time I arrived was some stew meat. I tossed it in a dressing of Spanish olive oil, balsamic, chopped garlic and onion to skewer in a fe minutes, but then had to leave. It ended up sitting until the next day, but it tasted wonderful.

I was able to educate a good friend who had never eaten lamb before, and was a fantastic meal. Mrs. Meshugana whipped up some cous cous and we toasted some supermarket 'French bread' with garlic.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1375450519.924670.jpg

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1375450535.413417.jpg

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PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

My eG Food Blog (2011)

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Franci, Yum!! Rabbit livers. Local restaurant use to have rabbit livers as an appetizer. So good.

Grilled%20Pork%20Chops%20August%202nd%20

Grilled Pork Chops with julienned zucchini with tomatoes, garlic and basil and

Potato%20Gratin%20August%202nd%2C%202013

a Potato Gratin (Potatoes are cooked in chicken broth with onions, fresh thyme and a little parmesan cheese.

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Potato Gratin

best looking one ever !

did the broth evaporate? any cheese in there?


Edited by rotuts (log)

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Baselerd - Out of the park. mm84321's screen saver photo just got replaced.

Ann_T - Totally agree with rotuts on the gratin. The zucchini dish also looks great. And lets don't leave out the kudos to the proteins. Three beautiful meals with chicken, prime rib and pork chops. Definitely a carnivores dream.

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Potato Gratin

best looking one ever !

did the broth evaporate? any cheese in there?

Thanks Rotuts, yes a little Parmesan grated on top just before it went into the oven. Some of the broth is absorbed and the rest evaporates.

Baselerd - Out of the park. mm84321's screen saver photo just got replaced.

Ann_T - Totally agree with rotuts on the gratin. The zucchini dish also looks great. And lets don't leave out the kudos to the proteins. Three beautiful meals with chicken, prime rib and pork chops. Definitely a carnivores dream.

Thanks Baselerd, No one will ever confuse me with a vegetarian. :smile:

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would you fill in a bit on how you made that Gratin? the Rx? id love to borrow steal it. !

:biggrin:

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would you fill in a bit on how you made that Gratin? the Rx? id love to borrow steal it. !

:biggrin:

Rotuts, Pretty simple and a lighter alternative to the gratin that I make with cream.

Just saute some thinly sliced onions in olive oil and/or butter until golden, add fresh thyme, and some chicken broth. Add the sliced potatoes,(Russets) salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Pour into a buttered casserole dish sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese and bake until cooked.

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Ann_T

thank you for this. I have 3 very old pans similar to yours from my mother probably from the '50's

I will recondition then for Just The Rx !

:biggrin:

thanks so much!

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Steve – Thanks! That’s about the least binder I can use without the crab cakes falling apart.

Ann_T – Another pretty meal into which I would happily tuck in.

Baselerd – Looks good, and I bet it tasted good, too

Emily reminded me that we have not made slipper burgers for a while. Served with potato rolls, condiments of choice, and a big salad.

p1785336369-4.jpg

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Oh Bruce, I'm glad I inspired you -- I'm drooling just thinking about them! Its funny -- a version of this often happens to me. I make a new recipe for a friend, we both think it is delicious, and then I move on in my obsessive quest for new recipes and never make it again, while my friend goes on to make it all the time!

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We had some friends over for dinner tonight with kind of a North African\Middle Eastern theme. Started with Eggplant Croquettes with Tarragon Aioli from Ottolenghi's Plenty.

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We also had hummus from scratch (i.e. dry beans) with plenty of hot garlic, tahini, and lemon juice topped with a drizzle of olive oill and dusted with sumac(not shown).

The main course was roasted chicken thighs seasoned with harrisa, olives ,roasted peppers, artichokes,lemon verbena served with Ottolenghi's Crisp Couscous and Saffron Cakes inspired by Franci post. This shot is post dinner with some of the culls. The salad was composed of roasted red and yellow beets, orange supremes, shaved fennel, red Onion , mixed spring greens and cherry tomatoes served with a citric horseradish vinaigrette. Not the best picture but you get the idea

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And for dessert Chocolate Raspberry Pavlov from Nigella Lawson's Forever Summer. I have been making that dessert for years and it always deliveries.

P1010911(1).JPG

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liuzhou - No, I used prepared tahini from Lebanon. But your question prompted me to google tahini and it looks pretty straightforward to prepare. Any tips for homemade?

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liuzhou - No, I used prepared tahini from Lebanon. But your question prompted me to google tahini and it looks pretty straightforward to prepare. Any tips for homemade?

I only wondered as just last week I made hummus really from scratch for the first time, starting with the tahini. To my surprise, it was very easy.

I'd made hummus a thousand times before, but never made tahini. They don't have it here, but they have the seeds and the oil, so...

The only thing I have approaching a tip is to toast the sesame in a wok, rather than in the oven as many internet recipes suggest. As soon as you can smell them and they start to pop, they are ready - a few seconds later they are burned, which you really don't want.

sesame seeds toasting.jpg

I then let them cool completely.

Sesame seeds2.jpg

I blitzed mine in a mini food processor, but I was only making for myself. After some initial trials, I settles on a ratio of 175 grams of sesame to 5 tablespoons of olive oil. The first batch I made was too liquid.

Tahini.jpg

That amount of tahini was just over enough to make hummus from 110 grams of dried beans. And it turned out just fine.

hummus ingredients.jpg

hummus.jpg


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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liuzhou - Thanks for the excellent photos and tips. I would have gone the oven route and would have over roasted the seeds. Your hummus looks great - nice and creamy.

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