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

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Yiouvetsi me Kima Arnisio: Ground Lamb with Orzo Pasta - Yiouvetsi

In Greek: γιουβέτσι με κιμά αρνίσιο, say: yoo-VET-see meh kee-MAH ar-NEE-seeyoh

Yiouvetsi dishes are most often made with chunks of meat - beef and lamb are the most popular, but this recipe with ground lamb is a delight and easier on the budget.

Yiouvetsi is a type of pot used in Greece, but this can be made in any oven-proof baking dish or pan.

The recipe calls for the traditional kritharaki (orzo pasta), but works well with other types of pasta.

1 pound of ground lamb
2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cans of chopped or crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of water
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups of orzo pasta (or other small pasta)
4 cups of boiling chicken broth or stock
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
grated kefalograviera (or other hard salty cheese) - optional
Over medium heat, brown the lamb in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, using a fork to separate the meat out into small pieces. (Note: because ground lamb is softer than ground beef, take care not to mash it when breaking it up.)

When meat is browned just to the point where it doesn't look red, transfer to a colander and drain.

Over medium heat, sauté chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the onion turns translucent, stir in drained lamb, tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water, celery, bay leaf, 1 rounded teaspoon of sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. When it reaches a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper to your preference.

In a saucepan, bring chicken broth or stock to a boil.

Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).

Remove bay leaf, and transfer the meat mixture to a greased baking or oven-safe casserole dish. Add boiling stock or broth, and stir in the pasta.

Cook uncovered in the oven at 390°F (200°C) for about 40 minutes, until the pasta is done and almost the liquid has been absorbed. Stir once or twice during cooking.

Remove pot from the oven and cover with a cotton towel for 20 minutes (to absorb excess moisture).

Stir in the fresh parsley just before serving, and add an optional topping of grated cheese.

Yield: 4 - 6 servings of ground lamb with pasta

Alternative with Ground Beef: Leave out the celery, bay leaf, chicken broth or stock and substitute with 4-5 whole cloves, 1 stick of cinnamon, and beef broth.

Ground Meat with Pita Bread


1/2 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground meat (pork or lamb)
2 spoons lemon juice
1/2 tspn dried oregano
1/2 tspn ground cumin
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1/4 cup non-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh spearmint, chopped
2 pitas
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup diced tomato Oil for cooking

Add the onion and the garlic on a skillet, add some oil and cook until soft over low heat stirring constantly. Place in mixing bowl with lamb, lemon juice, oregano and cumin and mix thoroughly. Shape into 2 patties. Place on rack of broiler and broil 3 to 5 minutes on each side, turning once, or until desired doneness. Combine cucumber, yogurt and spearmint in small bowl and mix. Cut around edge of each pita bread and pull open to form pocket. Fill each pita with half the lettuce and tomato, 1 lamb patty and half the yogurt mixture.

Taken from, slightly varied

Onion Stuffed with Ground Meat and Pine Nuts

6 medium unpeeled Onion
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 minced Garlic
10 ounces lean ground pork or beef
1 cup chopped fresh dill
2/3 cup coarse bulgur
1/2 cup dry Red Wine
1 tlbsp. tomato paste, dissolved in 2 tlbsp. warm water
1 tsp. Aleppo pepper or pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated hard myzithra, kefalotyri or pecorino
Romano cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 cups grated ripe tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup beef stock, chicken stock or water
3 tlbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut a length-wise slit on each onion all the way to the center d add to the pot. Add 2 tablespoons salt and simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes, or until ¬soft. With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions a colander and rinse under cold running water. With a very sharp knife, trim off the top and bottom of each onion and peel off and discard the n and the second layer if it is tough. Gently h out the center of each onion, leaving about r outer layers, and chop the centers. Carefully rate the remaining onion layers and place m on paper towels to drain. (The onion layers be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated with the chopped-onion centers in a separate container for up to 2 days.) In a large skillet, heat the oil and sauce the chopped-onion centers over medium heat for 3 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more. Add the pork or beef and sauté, stirring, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in the dill, bulgur, wine, tomato-paste mixture ¬and pepper or pepper flakes and remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese, pine and salt to taste and let the filling slightly. Taste and adjust the pings, then stir in the eggs. Reheat the oven to 4oo°F. Place about 2 tablespoons filling on each onion layer and roll up to enclose the filling. (The inner layer will need less stuffing, the outer e.) Arrange the stuffed onions close together and seam side down in a 13-x-9 inch baking dish. Make the sauce In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the tomatoes with the bay leaf and oregano for 5 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from the heat, add the wine and pour the sauce over the stuffed onions. Add enough stock to come two-thirds of the way up the onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place the onions in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake, basting the onions frequently with the sauce, for 45 minutes, or until the onions are soft and the sauce is thickened. Let stand, covered, at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or until cool, to let the flavors develop. Baste the onions again with the sauce and reheat in a preheated 375°F oven for about 15 minutes, basting twice. Remove the bay leaf, sprinkle the onions with the parsley and serve.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blue Cheese Meat Loaves with Buffalo Sauce

Try this using ground lamb or ground goat...

Classic meat loaf just for two is updated with bold new flavors.

1/2 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (1 oz)
2 tablespoons Progresso® Italian style bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup Old El Paso® Thick 'n Chunky salsa
1 tablespoon purchased buffalo sauce or buffalo wing sauce

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, mix beef, cheese, bread crumbs, parsley and onion. Press mixture evenly into 4 adjoining ungreased regular-size muffin cups at least 1 1/4 inches deep.
2. Bake 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix salsa and buffalo sauce.
3. Remove muffin pan from oven; drain off fat. Spoon about 1 tablespoon salsa mixture over each loaf in pan.
4. Return to oven; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until meat thermometer inserted in center of loaf reads 160ºF. If desired, sprinkle loaves with additional parsley.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Greek Tacos

This is a surprising twist on tacos, and can be made more authentic by using ground lamb in place of the turkey.
30 Minutes to Prepare and Cook
1 pound ground extra lean turkey or Lamb
1 can (14.5oz) no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tsp Greek seasoning*
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 can (2.25oz) sliced black olives, drained
1 package (12) taco shells
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup red onion
*see instructions for Greek seasoning recipe


Makes 12 tacos (nutrition info is per taco)
In large skillet, cook turkey over medium heat until no longer pink, drain. Stir in the tomatoes (with juice, don't drain), Greek seasoning, garlic and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 8-10 minutes or until thickened. Add spinach and olives, cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
While mixture is cooking, place taco shells on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees fro 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Spoon about 1/4 cup turkey mixture into each shell, top with feta cheese and onion.
*If you can't find Greek seasoning, make one tablespoonful by combining 1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano, dried marjoram, garlic powder, lemon-pepper seasoning, ground mustard, and salt. Add all ingredients, stir well, and measure out 2 teaspoons of mixture for recipe. Store the remainder in a zip-top bag for next time!

Number of Servings: 12

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user HAPPYTIGER.
Number of Servings: 12

Wyoming Lamb Stew

From Taste of Home
PREP 30 min.
COOK 120 min.
TOTAL 150 min.

5 bacon strips, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 lamb shanks (about 6 pounds)
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
2 cans (4 ounces each) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain, reserving drippings. Set bacon aside.
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper; add lamb shanks, one at a time, and shake to coat. In bacon drippings, brown shanks on all sides; drain. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 325° for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender; skim fat. Garnish with bacon. Yield: 6 servings

Monday, February 15, 2010

Three-Onion Lamb Stew With Dumplings

Yield: 6 servings

1 pound lamb stew meat, cut into bite-size chunks
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
1 leek, white part only, sliced
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
3/4 cup dark lager or stout beer
2 tablespoons beef base or bouillon granules
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups water
Ground black pepper, to taste
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup milk

1. Prepare the stew. Use paper towels to dry the lamb. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Working in batches, add the lamb and sear on all sides. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.

2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add onion, carrots and celery and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until onion begins to soften. Add shallots and leek; sauté for another 5 to 7 minutes, until leek is tender.

3. Add 2 tablespoons flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Add potatoes, beer, bouillon, tomato paste, thyme and water. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary. Taste the stew and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Make the dumplings. In a small bowl combine 1 cup flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a second small bowl, mix egg and milk. Gently stir milk and egg into the dry ingredients, being careful to mix only until just combined.

5. Drop spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture directly into the stew, repeating until all the dumpling mixture is used. Cover the stew and let the dumplings steam for 10 minutes.

Per serving: 396 calories; 11g fat; 3g saturated fat; 99mg cholesterol; 28g protein; 43g carbohydrate; 3g fiber; 416mg sodium.

Asparagus And Apple Salad With Prosciutto And Goat Cheese

Yield: 4 servings

1 (8-ounce) log chevre (goat cheese)
8 spears asparagus, bottoms trimmed
2 green onions
4 slices prosciutto
1 medium green apple, quartered and cored
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey

1. Cut the log of goat cheese into quarters; place each on a serving plate.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 inches of water to a boil. Add asparagus and blanch until the spears are bright green and just tender when pierced with a fork, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and cover in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again, and dry the spears.
3. Lean 2 asparagus spears on each portion of goat cheese. Cut each green onion in half lengthwise. Wrap a slice of prosciutto around a quarter of apple and tie with a length of green onion. Place on top of the asparagus "skis."
4. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, mustard and honey. Drizzle over each salad.

Per serving: 367 calories; 28g fat; 11g saturated fat; 37mg cholesterol; 16g protein; 16g carbohydrate; 3g fiber; 741mg sodium.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Avocados are stars of fusion cuisine. Their mild, rich flavor and creamy texture makes them perfect partners for spicy Asian food, Mediterranean specialties, Latin American dishes, traditional American favorites and many others. This contemporary Asian-flavored recipe takes bean salad to a whole new level. It's great for a holiday event, pot luck, or an easy side for chicken from the deli rotisserie or leftover turkey. Or use the combo as a main dish. Beans make it a high protein/high fiber special. We guarantee you’ll be asked for the recipe.

1/3 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Soy Sauce, low sodium
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Hot Chile Oil
2 Chilean Hass Avocados
2 (1 pound) cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
4 Green Onions, sliced
1 Sweet Red Pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup Cilantro or Italian Parsley, chopped
In large bowl, stir together vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame and chile oil. Cut avocado in half, remove pit and peel. Cut into chunks. Add to vinegar/soy sauce mixture in bowl and gently toss to coat. Stir in beans, green onions, red pepper and cilantro. Cover and chill until serving time.

Nutritional Information per serving - calories 338, fat 9g, monounsaturated fat 4.77g, saturated fat 1.2g, protein 18g, carbohydrates 51g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 304mg, fiber 18g.

Greek Avocado Relish with Grilled Lamb Kebabs

Submitted By:
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Servings: 4
"Avocado teams with typical Greek ingredients to make a delightful sauce/relish for garlic and lemon-marinated lamb. You can also serve the relish with grilled chicken, burgers or fish. Or try spooning it over greens tossed with chopped tomatoes and cubes of feta cheese for a remarkable Greek salad."

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly
1 1/2 pounds leg of lamb, trimmed and cut
into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup English or hothouse cucumber,
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and finely
3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 large firm-ripe Chilean Hass avocado,
halved, pitted and peeled, cut into 1/4
-inch pieces
1. In sealable plastic bag, combine olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Add lamb. Seal bag and turn to coat lamb completely. Refrigerate 1 hour.
2. For relish, in small bowl stir together cucumbers, olives, onion, the remaining 3 tablespoons lemon juice and oregano. Stir to mix. Gently stir in avocado pieces. Cover tightly by placing plastic wrap directly on the surface of the relish.
3. Remove lamb cubes from marinade and thread 4 cubes onto each of 8 skewers. Grill or broil about 4 minutes per side, or until desired degree of doneness. Serve kabobs with relish.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2010 Printed from 2/14/2010

Heavenly Lamb Shanks

Prep Time:
20 MinCook Time:
3 Hrs
Ready In:
3 Hrs 20 Min
1/2 cup olive oil
4 (1 pound) lamb shanks
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 leek, halved and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 onions, cut into chunks
12 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 1/2 cups red wine
3 cups chicken stock
1 pinch Sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
Heat the olive oil in a heavy, metal roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Toss shanks with flour to coat well; then shake off excess. Sear the shanks in hot oil until well browned on all sides, then remove from pan and set aside.
Add the leek, celery, carrot, onion, and garlic to the roasting pan. Cook until softened and lightly browned, stirring constantly; about 5 minutes. Season with the bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and rosemary sprigs. Pour in the red wine and chicken stock, increase heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with sea salt, and place the lamb shanks on top of the vegetables.
Cover the roasting pan tightly with heavy aluminum foil, and place into the preheated oven. Bake gently until the meat is tender and falls off of the bone, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove the bay leaf and herb stems before serving shanks with vegetables and sauce.
Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 824 | Total Fat: 41.3g | Cholesterol: 173mg