"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Friday, February 5, 2010

Morning After Thanksgiving Lamb Hash

Morning After Thanksgiving Lamb Hash
# Servings: 8

1-3/4 cups uncooked bulgar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground American lamb
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or Italian parsley leaves
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (preferably French)
16 eggs, poached

Recipe from Chef Heidi Krahling, Insalata’s (San Anselmo, California)

In medium pan with cover, bring 1-3/4 cups water to a boil. Stir bulgar into water, cover. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 6 to 7 minutes until just beginning to brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Add lamb, crumble and cook until no longer pink. Drain well. Stir in onion mixture, cumin, spinach, cilantro or parsley, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Add eggs and cook, stirring until they are mixed in. Blend in feta cheese.

Place portion of hash on plate and top with two poached eggs. Serve with fresh fruit and pumpkin bread.

Lamb Empadillas

Lamb Empadillas
# Servings: 3 dozen

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 pound ground American lamb
1/2 cup chopped pimento-stuffed Spanish olives
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
5 dashes red pepper sauce
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 recipes pastry for double crust pie, rolled 1/16-inch thick

In large frying pan, heat oil. Cook onion, garlic and pine nuts for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lamb, finely crumble and cook until lamb is no longer pink. Drain well. Add olives, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and red pepper sauce; set aside.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In small bowl, make egg wash by beating together egg and water; set aside.

Using cookie cutter, cut 4-inch rounds out of pastry. Top each round with a tablespoon of filling. Fold over to make half moon; crimp edges to seal. Cut three 1-inch slits in top of pastry.

Brush with egg wash. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

To Make Goat Milk Yogurt at Home

To Make Goat Milk Yogurt at Home

Start with fresh, unpasteurized, goat milk that has been produced in a sanitary manner. Heat milk to 108 degrees Fahrenheit. As a starter culture (good bacteria), you can either use our Redwood Hill Farm plain yogurt or a freeze-dried culture purchased from a health or natural food store. In addition, use yogurt from a new cup and use a clean spoon to add it to the milk. Use l Tablespoon per quart of milk or if using a freeze-dried culture, follow package directions.

After the culture has been added, you must incubate the milk at 104-108 degrees. To do this, you can use a home yogurt maker or devise something on your own. Some people use a heating pad wrapped around a jar, put it in the oven on low, or a jar in a crock-pot. What ever you use, experiment with water and a thermometer before you actually make the yogurt to be sure you can hold the milk at the required temperature. Incubate for 6-8 hours depending on your taste. When done incubating, chill the yogurt before eating being careful not to agitate or move the yogurt much until it is well chilled.

Goat milk will not get as thick as cow milk yogurt. In addition many cow yogurts add powdered milk to thicken the yogurt. We use a small amount of tapioca (natural from the cassava root) in our Redwood Hill Farm yogurt. You can use whatever suits you to thicken the yogurt or enjoy a yogurt drink.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

100% Foolproof Pie Dough

From America's Test Kitchen's Newsletter

Our 100% foolproof pie dough relies on an 80-proof secret ingredient!

We wanted to create a foolproof recipe for tender, flavorful, consistently flaky pie dough. Pie dough is theoretically a study in simplicity: mix flour, salt, and sugar together, cut in some fat, add water, roll it out, and bake it. But it can go wrong so easily. The dough is almost always too dry and crumbly to roll out successfully. The crust is either flaky but leathery or tender but flake-free. Most frustrating of all, the results can be so randomly fickle—the same recipe can create a perfect crust one day and a tough-as-nails crust the next. We wanted to figure out why this happens, and how to guarantee a tender, flaky crust every time. We started by using a combination of butter and shortening (instead of just one or the other), for the best of both worlds: shortening's tenderness with butter's rich, savory flavor. The main trouble with creating consistently great dough depended on the amount of water used, and in particular how it was absorbed. After many dry, crumbly dough "don'ts," we were practically driven to drink, trying to discover the perfect liquid to use. There had to be an acceptable substitution that would keep the dough moist but not create too much gluten, which is produced by combining water and flour and makes for a leathery crust. And at that moment the answer became quite obvious. Vodka! Vodka adds moisture but is only 60% water—the other 40% of vodka is ethanol. The alcohol doesn't create dough-toughening gluten, so when we baked up this pie dough, we had a perfectly flaky AND tender pie crust with absolutely no vodka taste. And don't worry about serving this to kids—all the alcohol evaporates in the oven during baking.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Buttered Crepes with Caramel

Editor's note: Photosource:; continues with recipe.

In fact cajeta is not true caramel because it does not contain caramelized sugar. The goat's milk temperature never gets high enough to brown the sugar, instead the milk solids brown to form the caramel texture. Baking soda is added which neutralizes acidity and promotes the browning to be appealing to the eater.

Shortcuts include taking a can of sweetened condensed milk and submerging it in boiling water for a few hours. However, keep it covered with water as the danger of explosion is real enough that cans of Eagle Brand now carry a warning.

I've taken to making an occasional big batch and storing it in the fridge. It keeps for months and is ready to be used in the following crepe recipe, on top of fruit and in a pound cake recipe. It's also excellent on a spoon standing in front of the fridge.

Crepas con Cajeta
Buttered Crepes with Caramel
Rick Bayless
>From Art Culinaire, Summer 2001
Serves 6

For the crepes:
1 small cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil as needed

For the goats' milk caramel:
2 quarts goats' milk
2 cups granulated sugar
2-inch cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

For the pecans:
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1 cup pecans, chopped
For the plantains:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 plantains, peeled and sliced

For the dish:
Diced papaya

For the garnish: Mint sprigs

For the crepes, in a spice grinder, pulse the cinnamon stick and the cloves until finely ground. Transfer to a blender, add the milk, eggs, salt, sugar, vanilla, and flour and blend until smooth, about two minutes, scraping down the sides of the blender. With the motor running, add the butter and blend until the mixture has the consistency of heavy cream, about one minute. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside for two hours.

For the goats' milk caramel, in a large saucepan, bring the milk, sugar, and cinnamon stick to a simmer, stirring frequently.

Remove from the heat, add the baking soda, and stir to combine. When the bubbles disappear, return the pan to medium heat. Bring to a brisk simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to turn golden brown, about one hour. Continue to simmer until the mixture thickens to the consistency and color of maple syrup, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine mesh sieve, and set aside keeping warm.

For the pecans, in a medium saute pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the pecans and saute until toasted and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer the pecans to a medium bowl. Reserve the butter and pecans separately.

For the plantains, in a medium saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the plantains and sauce until golden brown, about five minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside keeping warm.

To finish the crepes, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat a seven-inch skillet over medium heat and brush lightly with the oil. Pour 1/4 cup of the crepe batter into the pan, swirl to coat, pouring out any excess. Cook until the edges begin to dry, about one minute. Using a thin spatula, flip the crepe and cook for one minute. Transfer the crepe to a parchment-lined sheet pan, keeping flat. Repeat with the remaining batter and set aside keeping warm. Brush the top of each crepe with browned butter and some goats' milk caramel. Fold each in half and gently press down to spread the filling. Brush with butter and fold in half again. Arrange the crepes in an ovenproof dish. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside keeping warm.

To serve, place two crepes in the center of the plate and spoon some of the goats' milk caramel on top. Arrange some plantains, papaya, blackberries, and raspberries on top, sprinkle pecans around the dish, and garnish with mint.

September 02, 2004 in Food and Drink, Mexico, Sauces | Permalink

Lamb and Two-Cheese Quesadillas

Recipe by Julie Ridlon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 pound lean ground lamb
1 tablespoon very finely chopped oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup whole milk yogurt
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 medium seedless cucumber (about 3/4 pound), peeled and coarsely shredded
Four 10-inch flour tortillas
1/4 pound mozzarella, sliced
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
1.. Preheat the oven to 225°. In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil until nearly smoking. Add the ground lamb, oregano and 2 of the minced garlic cloves, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Spoon some of the fat out of the skillet.
2.. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the remaining minced garlic and 2 of the scallions and season with salt and pepper. Working over the sink, squeeze the shredded cucumber until it is fairly dry, then fold the cucumber into the yogurt.
3.. Preheat a large cast-iron griddle. Brush the tortillas on 1 side with olive oil. Place 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on the griddle. Top each with one-fourth of the mozzarella, feta and lamb and cook over moderate heat until the tortillas are lightly browned. Fold the tortillas in half and cook, flipping once, until browned and crisp and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Transfer the quesadillas to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you make the rest. Transfer the quesadillas to a platter, top with the cucumber-yogurt sauce and the remaining sliced scallion and serve immediately.

Greek Baked Pasta

a.. Recipe by Grace Parisi

Rate & Review
(98 people have added this recipe to their favorites.)

The moist and fragrant casserole pastitsio combines béchamel (a sauce of butter, flour and milk), pasta, ground lamb, tomato sauce, cheese, cinnamon and nutmeg. Instead of béchamel, Grace Parisi stirs a ricotta mixture into the pasta before baking it.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds lean ground lamb
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups jarred marinara sauce
1 pound ziti or penne
3 cups fresh ricotta (1 1/2 pounds)
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1.. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the lamb, onion, oregano, cinnamon, cloves and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the lamb is no longer pink and any liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.
2.. Cook the pasta until barely al dente; drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend 2 cups of the ricotta with the yolks, nutmeg and 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse in the remaining ricotta.
3.. Add the lamb ragù to the pasta and toss. Transfer the pasta to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour the ricotta mixture on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, until heated through. Turn the broiler on and broil until the top is golden brown. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Make Ahead
The baked pasta can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve hot.

Creole Leg of Lamb

A roast leg of lamb recipe, Creole style.
1/2 cup chili sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
leg of lamb, 6 to 8 pounds
Mix chili sauce, vinegar, red wine, olive oil, broth, sugar, salt, pepper, bay leaf, onion, and garlic. Place leg of lamb in a large bowl, pour chili sauce mixture over lamb. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn and baste frequently. Place lamb on a rack in roasting pan. Pour sauce over leg of lamb; roast, uncovered, at 325° for 3 to 4 hours, basting occasionally with sauce. If sauce evaporates, add a little boiling water. If desired use sauce for gravy.
Recipe for roast leg of lamb serves 8.

Lamb Chili
Serves 6 to 8
Enjoy tender lamb slowly simmered along with a variety of chile peppers and spices in this not so common chili version. Interestingly, lamb meat in chili dates back to the 1880's versions cooked by some of the San Antonio Chili Queens. Try substituting dark Mexican beer for the chicken stock, adding it once you've cooked all the spices in the pepper mixture. Let it reduce for a few minutes and continue with the recipe.

2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 Poblano or Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle sauce OR 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
1 dried bay leaf
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 bunch green onions, green parts only, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

In a large bowl, season lamb all over with salt and pepper. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Working in batches, add lamb and cook about 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer lamb to a large plate as done. Discard excess fat leaving only about 1 tablespoon in the pot.

Bring back to medium heat, add green bell peppers, Poblano or Anaheim pepper (if using), red bell peppers, and onions and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, scraping bottom from time to time to get all the browned bits of meat folded in with the vegetables. Add jalapeño and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute more, then add chile powder, oregano, coriander, cumin, and salt and pepper. Let spices cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Return lamb to pot. Stir in broth, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, tomatoes, chipotle sauce, and bay leaf and raise heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, taste sauce and adjust salt and pepper. Lower heat to a slow simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Check on the consistency of the sauce and add water 1/2 cup water at a time to reach desired thickness. Add beans and continue simmering, covered, for another 10 minutes or until beans are warmed through.

Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with green onions and chopped cilantro.

Recipe Variation: To add a smoky depth of flavor, you can roast the Poblano or Anaheim pepper before adding. Using tongs, hold the pepper over a high heat gas flame, charring all over for about five minutes. You want the pepper skin to have a very dark color on all sides. When done, place in an airtight container and let stand to "sweat" for about 5 minutes. Using plastic gloves to protect your fingers, rub the skin off and discard. Open the pepper and remove veins and seeds and discard the top or stem. Chop and add to recipe along with the jalapeno pepper.

Per serving (13.5 oz/386g-wt.): 460 calories (120 from fat), 13g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 50g protein, 35g total carbohydrate (10g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 120mg cholesterol, 930mg sodium

Tags: One Pot Meals, American, Southwestern, Dairy Free, High Fiber,Wheat Free

Note: We've provided special diet and nutritional information for educational purposes. But remember - we're cooks, not doctors! You should follow the advice of your health-care provider. And since product formulations change, check product labels for the most recent ingredient information. See our Terms of Service.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spaghetti Primavera

Adapted from Le Cirque Restaurant, New York City)
Total time: 1 hour
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shelled fresh peas
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons mascarpone
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce), approximately, plus additional cheese for the table
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1 medium-size zucchini, split and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 cup broccoli flowerets
1/2 cup green beans, preferably haricots verts, trimmed and cut 1 inch long
12 very thin asparagus, cut in 1-inch segments
1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
3 sprigs basil, leaves only, chopped fine
4 fresh ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Whole basil leaves for garnish.

1. Bring 1 gallon of water with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a boil. Let simmer until ready to cook the pasta.

2. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan, bring a quart of water with 1/2 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add the fresh peas and cook for 3 minutes. Drain, cool the peas under cold running water and drain again. Set the peas aside.

3. In the same saucepan, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, butter, Parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook slowly over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. In a large skillet, place 2 tablespoons olive oil and toast the pine nuts over high heat until light brown. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, green beans, asparagus and jalapeno pepper, and cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the peas and set aside.

5. Warm the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and basil and cook slowly for 2 minutes. Do not allow the garlic to color. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Mix with the sauteed vegetables.

6. Just before serving, add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water, plunge the spaghetti into the water, stir and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until al dente. Drain and return the spaghetti to the pot. Add the reserved Parmesan cream sauce, the chives and half of the sauteed vegetable mixture. Toss well for two minutes and add a little additional Parmesan cheese if the sauce needs thickening.

7. Pour the spaghetti mixture into a warm bowl. Sprinkle the remaining vegetables over it. Decorate with basil leaves and serve grated Parmesan cheese on the side.

Lamb Soup


½ packet of brown gravy mix.
½ medium onion, chopped coarsely.
¾ lb of boneless lamb shoulder, cut into one-inch cubes.
2 cups of beef stock.
1 ½ cups of potatoes, cubed.
1 cup of beer.
1 cup of carrots, sliced thinly.
1 cup of green cabbage, shredded.
2 teaspoons of olive oil.
½ teaspoon of pepper.


Heat the olive oil in a non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat.
Sauté the chopped onion until golden (about 5 minutes).
Add the lamb cubes and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring, until browned.
Add the beer and pepper.
Reduce heat to low; then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Stir in the beef stock and gravy mix.
Add the potato cubes and sliced carrots, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes).
Stir in the shredded cabbage and cook until the cabbage turns bright green (about 3 minutes).