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

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Serves 2 to 4

Secret Ingredient: Dried Mushrooms 

This recipe is courtesy of Chef Stephen Lewandowski of Tribeca Grill in New York City. To learn how to make this recipe, watch the Secret Ingredient cooking show


2 tablespoons olive oil 
2 tablespoons chopped white onions 
3 slices bacon, chopped 
3 ounces uncooked orzo 
1 1/4 cups chicken broth 
4 baby zucchini, chopped 
2 tablespoons double crème Robiola 
1 tomato, seeded and chopped 
1 pound lamb loin, trimmed 
Salt and pepper 
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
1 tablespoon dried black trumpet mushroom or wild mushroom dust (made by grinding dried mushrooms in a coffee grinder or hand-held spice grinder) 
1 teaspoon chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, mint or chervil 
Fleur de sel


Preheat the oven to 350°F. To make the "risotto," heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add onions and bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp. Stir in orzo and cook for 1 minute more. Add half of the chicken stock and simmer, stirring constantly, until liquid has evaporated. Stir in remaining stock and zucchini and simmer, continuing to stir constantly, until orzo is tender and liquid is almost evaporated. Add Robiola and tomato and stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. 

Meanwhile, season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add lamb and cooking, turning occasionally, until deep golden brown on all sides. Set skillet aside. Transfer black trumpet mushroom dust to a large plate and set aside. When lamb is just cool enough to handle, brush all over with Dijon mustard, then roll in mushroom dust to coat. Roast in oven for 5 to 6 minutes, or until done to your liking. Transfer to a cutting board, set aside to let rest for five minutes, then slice. 

To serve, spoon orzo onto the center of a serving platter. Arrange lamb around orzo and garnish with herbs and a pinch or two of fleur de sel.


Per serving (about 18oz/513g-wt.): 670 calories (360 from fat), 40g total fat, 23g saturated fat, 120mg cholesterol, 530mg sodium, 45g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 8g sugar), 32g protein


Serves 4

Quick and easy, this delicious recipe gives cause for celebration. Tender lamb chops, lightly seasoned with freshly ground pepper and rosemary, are broiled to perfection and then topped with a simple, yet divine, white wine and goat cheese reduction. Garnish with a fresh sprig of rosemary for an impressive presentation.


1 teaspoon salt 
8 lean lamb loin chops, each about 1-inch thick 
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons pepper 
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary 
3/4 cup dry white wine 
1/2 cup chicken broth 
2 sprigs of rosemary 
3 ounces goat cheese


Preheat oven to broil. 

Place an oven-proof skillet on the stove on high heat and add the salt. When you flick a little drop of water in the skillet and it sizzles it's ready for the chops. Sear the chops on the first side until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes, then flip the chops, sprinkle them with pepper and sear the other side for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle chopped rosemary all over chops. 

Transfer skillet to oven and broil for about 3 minutes per side, or longer, if desired. Remove chops from the skillet and keep warm in a covered casserole dish. Return skillet to stovetop and heat over medium high heat. (Be careful not to touch the handle of the skillet since it will still be very hot!) 

Add wine to deglaze the skillet, scraping the browned bits off of the bottom. Add broth and 1 sprig rosemary and simmer at a low boil until reduced by one third. Remove and discard rosemary sprig and swirl in goat cheese to complete the sauce. 

Place the chops on a plate and drizzle sauce over the top. Top with remaining rosemary sprig and serve immediately.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


adapted from: Marian Morash's VICTORY GARDEN COOKBOOK Yield: 1- 10" Tube pan

* 1 1/4 cups cooking oil, such as safflower or 'light' olive
* 1 1/4 cups sugar
* 2 cups flour
* 1 Tb baking powder
* 1 Tb baking soda
* 2 tsp cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 4 eggs
* 3 cups grated raw parsnips
* 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Thoroughly combine oil and sugar. Sift together dry ingredients and add to oil and sugar, alternating with eggs. Beat well after each addition. Mix in parsnips and then pecans. Pour into buttered tube pan. Bake in a preheated 325 degrees F oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing.

Goat cheese risotto cakes with butternut cream sauce, roasted squash and toasted pinenuts

Goat cheese risotto cakes with butternut cream sauce, roasted squash and toasted pinenuts

2006 Best British Cheese Recipe Competition
Ingredients :
1 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for roasting squash)25g butter
75g shallots (finely chopped)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 small glass white wine
160g Arborio rice
200ml vegetable stock
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
150g (approx) hard goat cheese (diced or crumbled)
1 x 750-800g butternut squash
3 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
125ml double cream
80g pine nuts
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Make stock and keep warm on low heat throughout. Place shallots, garlic, olive oil and butter in pan until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat thoroughly. Next add the wine and boil until evaporated, stirring all the time. Add stock one ladle at a time, stirring constantly over a low-to-medium heat, while waiting until each ladle of stock has been absorbed before adding another. Once stock is completely absorbed the rice should be creamy and slightly chewy (but not chalky) in the middle after about 20-25 mins. Then leave to cool slightly. Grease 4 x 200ml (approx) dariole moulds or ramekins and put a circle of greaseproof paper in the bottom of each. Turn on the oven to 220Cº (425Fº or Gas at 7). Stir beaten egg into risotto and then the cheese. Divide between the moulds and place them on a baking tray.

To make the roasted squash:

Cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, peel and cut one half of the squash into wedges keeping the remainder of the squash for the sauce. Toss wedges in olive oil and pepper then roast in a metal pan on the top shelf of oven for 35 mins. After 15 mins, put the risotto cakes onto bottom shelf so that they cook for 20 mins. Then turn off the oven, remove the risotto cakes but leave squash on the low shelf until required.

While the risotto cakes cool slightly (so easier to turn out), toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan, watching and stirring constantly. Transfer them to a small bowl as soon as golden brown.

To make the sauce:

Slice the remainder of the squash into large diced cubes. Boil in 250ml salted water with cloves and a bay leaf, covered, until the squash is completely soft (about 15 min), then leave it to cool slightly. Remove the cloves and bay leaf, liquidise until smooth, add cream and leave to be reheated for when needed.

To serve:

Heat sauce carefully (so it does not boil) and spoon a pool of sauce into centre of four plates, using about half the sauce. Turn out the cakes, removing the greaseproof paper, and place one in the centre of each plate. Pour more sauce over the top, sprinkle with the pine nuts and arrange the roasted squash on side. Serve with simply cooked green vegetables of choice.

Inspiration for this recipe: Any excuse for using this delicious, strong, cheese, which has a chewy, halloumi-like consistency when cooked. Risotto for comfort, cakes for convenience, squash for autumn.

Cheshire Lamb and Lentil Crumble

Warming and comforting, this easy crumble is perfect for the colder months.

Serves 4
500g (1lb 2oz) lean minced lambCheshire lamb and lentil crumble
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, trimmed and sliced
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 swede or 1 turnip (about 175g / 6oz), chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
300ml (1/2 pint) lamb or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
25g (1oz) red lentils
1 tablespoon cornflour, blended with a little cold water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
25g (1oz) butter
50g (2oz) fresh breadcrumbs
25g (1oz) rolled oats
75g (3oz) Cheshire cheese, crumbled or grated
1. Heat a large saucepan and add the minced lamb a handful at a time, so that it seals and browns. Add the onion, leek, carrot, swede or turnip and parsnip and cook, stirring, for another minute or two.
2. Pour in the stock and add the dried herbs and lentils. Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Stir the blended cornflour into the mince mixture, cook for about 1 minute until thickened, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish.
4. For the topping, melt the butter and stir in the breadcrumbs and rolled oats. Mix in the cheese, then spread evenly over the mince mixture. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the topping is brown.
Cook's tip:
Serve the crumble with fresh green vegetables, such as broccoli or green beans - and if you're very hungry, make some mashed potato too.
Caerphilly or Lancashire cheese make good alternatives to Cheshire. If you like, add a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint to the crumble topping for a delicious flavour.