Showing posts with label Lamb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lamb. Show all posts

SousVide Supreme Party Food Made Easy - Indian Spiced Lamb Patties

Last month I made a selection of starter course dishes that were all ideal for entertaining and were made using the SousVide Supreme water oven.  For the month of November with Christmas and New Year coming up fast, I'm making party food and the main part of each recipe can be prepared in advance, ready to cook using the Sous Vide cooking method.
These Mini Indian Spiced Lamb Patties can be made now and frozen in the special vacuum pouches ready to pop into the water oven on party day.  To serve,all that's left to do is a 30 second turn in oil in a very hot pan to give the patties colour then pop each one onto mini naan breads, garnish and enjoy!


The great thing about this method of cooking is these lamb patties can sit in the water oven for hours and they will still be cooked to a perfect medium-rare (or however you choose) ready to brown and they can be ready when you are.  
 
What exactly is Sous Vide?
Sous vide (pronounced soo-veed) means “under vacuum” in French, and sous vide cooking is a gourmet culinary technique long used by chefs worldwide.
Instead of good cooking relying on perfect timing to cook, sous vide relies on precise temperature control, but once you've set the temperature on the machine you don't have to fuss about it anymore - just leave your food to cook.

Spiced Lamb Patties in Pitta Bread



These are truly delicious, tasty and juicy little morsels.  They have a lovely sticky glaze to them due to the addition of mango chutney in the mixture.  Although these patties or mini burgers are spicy, I'd class them as nowhere near hot, but of course you can add more heat simply by adding more chilli.
 

 I particularly like Sharwood's Mango Chutney with Kashmiri Chillies.

Lamb with Boulangère Potatoes - Recipe

Melt in the mouth lamb cooked in a lovely rich white wine and rosemary sauce topped with boulangère potatoes.  Potatoes cooked this way soak up the lovely sauce on the bottom and are nice and crispy on top.
Whats not to like? 
Marks and Spencer sell Lamb Boulangère in their 'Bistro' range and after seeing it the other day I thought, I could make that!
It's along the lines of Lancashire hotpot, but the wine and rosemary in the sauce makes it a little bit more fancy.

Quick Lamb Stew - by MPW for Knorr

How do you fancy a lamb stew packed full of lovely lamb and veggies ready and on the table in half an hour - prep to finish?
Marco Pierre White has come up with this mouthwatering recipe for Knorr using their NEW herb infusion stock pots.
 This Exclusive recipe by Marco wont be published on the Knorr website until September, but I have it now already!
There's a huge range of yummy recipes using Knorr products that can be found over at their website. You'll also find Marco's hints and tips and video Masterclasses.
How would you like to WIN a Knorr Seasonal Box from Forman and Field containing the ingredients for this recipe including the Lamb and Vegetables plus some fantastic Fish and Knorr products?  
Well you have to be in it to win it as they say!  
You can enter the competition in my previous post here.
For the recipe click continue reading.

Spiced Lamb Koftas with Minted Yoghurt from Cookery School Book

I've very kindly been sent the Cookery School book by Michelin-starred chef Richard Corrigan.  Richard wrote the book to accompany 'Cookery School' the Channel 4 television series in which he stars along with Gizzi Erskine and is shown every week day at 2.05pm.
Scummy yummy lamb kofta kebabs with a mint and cucumber yoghurt dip.
The book is so easy to follow and as it's title suggests.  Many of the recipes and cooking techniques have step by step instructions with pictures. 
The only thing that the book is missing is a ribbon book mark!  But that's just my suggestion and no big deal at all, as it is of course, easy to use a piece of paper as a bookmark.

The book is well laid out and as I said very easy to follow.  It covers recipes and techniques in different categories, Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and super Advanced.  I think this book is excellent, not only for absolute beginners in cookery but also for people like myself that it always wanting to learn more.

Everything is covered from how to cook clams, down to when to serve a cheeseboard and what it should include.
I say it's a seriously great book for anyone to have, excluding of course, Richard Corrigan himself!  

Click 'continue reading' for the recipe.

'Recipe extracted from 'Cookery School', brought to you by Channel 4 with recipes by Richard Corrigan. Published on the 3rd March (Penguin HB, £20)'


Lancashire Hotpot - Best Recipe

Potatoes that are crispy on top and nicely cooked though, soaking up the lovely flavours as they cook mixed with lamb that melts in your mouth.
Just the thing for this freezing weather and so, so good served with my braised red cabbage.
It's one of those dinners that you can eat again, even though your full!
I did a post on this a good age ago but it's so good it deserves another mention.

Jan's Lamb and Apricot Tagine

Really tender lamb with a nice spiciness and the sweetness of apricots and golden sultanas.
Totally made up by me as I went along, I wrote everything down as I added it and I will be making this again as it really was delish!



If you have a Tagine then now is the time to use it - this one by Emile Henry is excellent as it can go on the stove top and also in the oven.



You need to use really good quality tinned tomatoes, I used a nice tin of Italian cherry tomatoes. You will also need a jar of Passata (skinned tomatoes which have been passed through a sieve removing the seeds and any lumps)



Print this Recipe


Cooking time about 2 and a half hours


You will need:

*Please note; I used 350g of lamb to make this for two people, but if you used 700g it will easliy serve 4 and there will be no need to add anymore of anything apart from probably all of the whole 300 ml of stock. I only needed 200ml.

a couple of tablespoons of olive oil

a couple of knobs of butter (say 25g in total)

350g or 700g (see above) of nice lean lamb, cut into 1inch chunks

2 large onions, chopped

2 fat cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon of
Ras el hanout (available in any good supermarket)
2 teaspoon turmeri
c
1 teaspoon of cumin

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

250ml of Passata
di pomodoro (available in any good supermarket)
1 x 400g tin of cherry tomatoes - get good quality ones

2 good sized teaspoons of Rose Harrisa (available in any good supermarket)
100g or about 10 dried soft apricots
a small handful of golden sultanas
a small handful of toasted flaked almonds

a pinch of saffron strand
s
300ml chicken stock made from a
Knorr stock cube
a good squeeze of runny honey

2 courgettes (zucchini) sliced

salt and black pepper to taste


How to do it:


Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2
You can use your Tagine if you have one that can go the stove top, if not use a large frying pan for this part. Heat about a tablespoon
of olive oil and a knob of butter and quickly brown the lamb.
Turn the heat off and stir in the Ras el hanout, turmeric, cumin and cinnamon.
Give it all a good stir to coat the lamb. Now remove the lamb and set aside.

Without washing the Tagine or frying pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil and a knob of butter. Gently cook the onions and garlic until they are nice and soft but not coloured.
When that's done, put the lamb back in the pan and add the tomatoes, apricots, sultanas, saffron, honey and just 200ml of the stock - keep the rest of the stock in case you need it later.
Add only half of the almonds as you will want some later for serving.

Bring to the boil and then put everything into the Tagine if it isn't already in one, or you can use a casserole dish with a lid.
Pop it into the oven and leave for about 1 hour after which you will need to give it a good stir and have a taste.


Add a little more honey or Rose harrisa and stock if you think it needs it.


Put it back into the oven for another 30 minutes and then you can add the sliced courgettes.

It will then need to go back into the oven for another 45 minutes by which time the meat will be really love
ly and tender.

Just before serving, add a little salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle over the rest of the almonds and serve with couscous or flat bread.



Moussaka

Moussaka has to be my number one favourite thing to eat!
I know I've blogged about it a few times before but it's never had a proper post all of it's own which I think it
deserves!



I would like to someday use Kefalotiri cheese, but haven't been able to get it - not even in Waitrose! I have no idea what the difference would be though, if any.

Print this Recipe


To serve 4 people you will need:
2 tablespoons of olive oil

12 Kalamata olives, finely chopped

500g minced lamb - get the best you can with a low fat content

1x400g can of good quality chopped tomatoes

100ml of red wine

2 large onions - chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 aubergine, sliced into thin rounds

3 teaspoons dried oregano

1 large handful of Romano or Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoons dried basil

1/2 a teaspoon of dried mint

2 teaspoons of gro
und cinnamon
3 tablespoons of tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds


For the Béchamel Sauce:
50g butter - melted

500ml of hot milk

4 tablespoons plain flour
2 eggs - lightly beaten

a good handfull grated Romano Cheese or Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)


How to do it:

Brush the aubergine slices with a little olive oil. Now fry the slices in a large pan a few at a time until they are nicely cooked and beginning to turn slightly golden. Remove and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the onion and garlic until soft but not coloured. Now add the lamb and cook until it is lightly browned. Stir in the tomato puree and cook it for a minute or so.
Now add the oregano, basil, mint and cinnamon, olives cook for just one minute and then add the wine.
Let the mixture cook for a little while until the wine has reduced slightly.
Pour in the can of tomatoes including the juice.
Season, with salt and pepper.

Cook on a low heat for about an hour, until the mixture becomes nice and thick.

Now put the sliced potatoes into boiling water and simmer for about 5 or 6 minutes (or when you can easily insert a knife) they are ready. Be careful not to over cook and become mushy.
Run them under cold water, drain and pat dry with kitchen pa
per and set aside.

Lightly oil a largish baking dish, mine is probably about 9 x 9 inches and about 2.5 inches deep. Arrange a layer of potatoes over the bottom.
Now put a layer of meat sauce and a layer of aubergine, sprinkle with some cheese and then do another layer of meat sauce followed by a layer of aubergine. You need to end up with aubergine as the top layer.

To make the Bechamel Sauce:
In saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook the mixture for a couple of minutes and add the salt.
Now at this point, take it off the heat and add the hot milk whilst using a balloon whisk to mix it but you need to keep that whisk going!
Now let it cool a bit and then, add the eggs and grated cheese and keep whisking until it turns into this lovely smooth sauce.
Mix in the ground nutmeg.

Taste a smidgen of it if you dare (remembering there are raw eggs in it) just to see if it needs any more salt.

Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little more cheese.
Top with a little sprinkling of nutmeg.


Bake in a Pre-heated oven at 175C/350F Gas4
for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and it is hot pipin
g hot in the middle. Let it stand for a few minutes before cutting into slices to serve.


Serve with a nice Greek salad.

Lamb Shanks in a Red Wine, Redcurrant and Balsamic Gravy

This is a totally make it up as I went along 'Jan' recipe!
I must say I was very pleased with the result. A deliciously rich red wine, redcurrant and balsamic gravy with meat that was falling off the bone.
Although I did put a couple of carrots in the dish whilst it was cooking, I also served the lamb shanks with roasted carrots and parsnips and roast potatoes too.



Print this Recipe


You will need:

about 50g butter in total (a 'knob' being a thir
d of this amount)
a glug or two of olive oil

2 lamb shanks

3 red onions - sliced
3 fa
t cloves of garlic - finely chopped
2 carrots - peeled and quartered
2 sticks of celery - each cut into four pieces

a couple of sprigs of thyme - leaves only and chopped

1 sprig of rosemary - leaves only and finely chopped

2 bay leaves

a good heaped tablespoon of tomato puree
2 or 3 tablespoons of redcurrant jelly

a tablespoon of decent Balsamic vinegar

400ml beef stock - made form a Knorr stock cub
e (Oxo cube will not be the same as it's too salty)
400ml red wine
a glug of port (a good tablespoon)
a splash of Worcestershire sauce

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season


How to do it:
Preheat your oven to 170C/325F or Gas 3

Get yourself a nice casserole dish with a lid that can go both on top of the stove and inside the oven.
Heat a small amount of olive oil and a knob of butter. Brown the shanks - when they're nicely coloured, remove and set aside.

Now in the same pan, without washing it, add another glug of oil and a k
nob of butter. Gently fry the onions until they are soft but not coloured.
Put the ca
rrots and celery in and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic. Fry for another minute or so and then add the chopped thyme and rosemary along with the tomato puree.
Cook for a minute or the paste will be bitter.
Now add the bay leaf, stock, wine, and redcurrant jelly.
Give everything a good stir and bring to the boil.
Have a taste (take no notice of the very liquid state of the gravy at this stage) as that will be sorted in the end.



Put the lamb back in and on with the lid and into your preheated oven.

As the liquid won't be enough to cover the lamb skanks, you will have to turn them and give it a stir every whenever you can - say every hour.
They will need about 2 to 2½ hours, by which time the meat will very easily come fall off the bone.


When they're nicely done, remove the shanks and cover to keep warm.

Put the casserole on the stove top and bring the liquid to the boil. Add the port, balsamic and Worcestershire sauce and turn the heat down a just a little as you need the liquid to reduce. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning - you may want to add a little more redcurrant jelly or port.
When it's nicely reduced (shoul
dn't take long) stir in a knob of butter to make a nice glossy sauce and serve immediately.

Don't forget to remove the bay leaves before serving!



I served mine with a few roasted carrots and parsnips and also some nice roast potatoes too!

Lamb Kofta Kebabs - Easy and Delicious

Jan's 'make it up as you go along' recipe for Kofta Kebabs worked!
Not the best plated up pictures in the world but you get the idea.
There I was in work on Monday filling up the meat fridges when I spied kebabs and so felt the need to be making them!
Once again I read the back of the packet to see what they'd put in and went home with a mission to make them.
Must say, I was really pleased with the result and will make these again.
 Print Recipe

To make 6 you will need:
1 slice of bread to make breadcrumbs
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
500g minced lamb
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons of garam masala
1/2 a teaspoon of cumin **as garam masala already contains cumin I only used this much
1 and a half tablespoons of Belazu Rose Harissa
a squeeze of lemon juice
freshly chopped flat leaved parsley
a little salt and pepper
6 wooden skewers about 8 inches in length
**If you are going to cook these on a BBQ soak the skewers in water for an hour before hand. I'm not too sure if they would fall apart though on a BBQ - I did have to be careful turning mine.


How to do it:
You will need a food processor/whizzy thing. 



Tear the slice of bread in half - leave the crust on it wont matter. Whiz for a few seconds till you have breadcrumbs - remove and set aside.
Now quarter the onion and throw that in along with the garlic cloves and whiz that up till the onion is chopped nice and small.
Now put in the minced lamb but only whiz for a few seconds as you don't want it too whizzed up or it will go all horrid and paste like - we don't want paste like yuk!
In a large mixing bowl put in the onion and garlic the egg yolk, rose harissa paste, garam masala and cumin. Give it a good mix and then add the minced lamb along with 5 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs and a squeeze of lemon juice.
You need to mix it together to even out the spices and combine it all. Just be careful not to get carried away mixing or as I said before, the lamb will go like paste.
When your almost done, season with a little salt and pepper and add the parsley to the mixture.
I found that 5 tablespoons of breadcrumbs was fine but if you think your mixtures is too sloppy - if you've paid attention it shouldn't be! but if it is then you can add a little more of the breadcrumbs.
Divide the mixture into 6 and using your hands mould it around each wooden skewer keeping them all the same size and shape.
You can take a little of the mixture and fry it - give it a taste then you'll know what you want more of. I usually do this but couldn't actually be bothered so took a chance and they were perfect.
Now get them cooking.
I cooked them on my amazing electric griddle thing - perfect! But you can of course use a grill pan. Turn them a couple of times so they cook evenly. When they are nicely done and cooked through serve straight away.
I served them with pitta bread that I'd put on the griddle before the kebabs. Along with a lemon wedge, shredded white cabbage, onion, tomato, cucumber and a couple of pickled chilli peppers (shop brought in a jar). The dipping sauce was this hot pepper sauce - again shop brought.

Lancashire Hotpot with Braised Red Cabbage

Reading the BBC's Good Food magazine the other day I felt the need to make Lancashire Hotpot! So this is yet another of James Martin's recipes.
The last time I'd had Lancashire hotpot was about 1989 when I worked in Warrington in Cheshire. At the time I remember thinking it was all very strange that they served beetroot with it.
I don't know why I thought it strange as it went really well with the dish. Just that at the time, having just moved 'up north' from London, I'd never heard of such a thing before.
I served mine with braised red cabbage which was really lovely. It went very well with the hotpot. The recipe for the cabbage is below.
So, on with the recipe. This is my version of James Martin's excellent recipe.

Print this Recipe

You will need:

100g butter - divided into three
4 lambs kidneys - cored and cut into bite sized pieces
700g lamb - I used boneless lamb steaks -
cut into large chunks
2 medium onions - chopped
4 carrots - peeled and sliced
30g plain flour
3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
400ml of
chicken stock
2 bay leaves
900g potatoes -
peeled and sliced really thinly (best to use a mandolin)

How to do it:
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F or Gas 3
Heat a third of the butter in a large shillet or frying pan and brown the lamb in batches, once done add them to the casserole dish. Now brown the kidneys and add those to the casserole.

Fry the onions and carrots in the pan in another third of the butter
until nice and golden. Sprinkle over the flour and allow to cook for a couple of minutes, shake over the Worcestershire sauce, pour in the stock, then bring to the boil.

Add all of this to the casserole along with the bay leaves.

Arrange the sliced potatoes on top of the meat and dot with a little more butter.

Now cover the casserole with it's lid or some foil, and place in the oven for about 2 hours until the potatoes are cooked through.

**If you are going to make the braised red cabbage, now is a good time to get it ready, as it will take 1 and a half hours to cook.

Melt the remaining butter and turn the heat of your oven up, remove the lid from the casserole and brush the potatoes with the melted butter.
Put the dish back into the oven, uncovered for about 1/2 an hour to brown the potatoes.

Print this Recipe


For the Braised Red Cabbage:
1 small red cabbage - cored and sliced
1 red onion - finely chopped
1 firm apple - peeled and thick sliced
50g unsalted butter - cut into small pieces
150ml chicken stock (Knorr stock cube)
1 tablespoon of
red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons clear honey
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
1 tablespoon of
pomegranate molasses
a good dollop of red currant jelly
1 x bay leaf
a sprig thyme
salt and pepper to season

How to do it:

Mix together all of the ingredients. Put the lot into a shallow roasting tray and cover with foil. Place in the oven on the bottom shlef with the hotpot on the middle shelf. Cook for about 1½ hours, stirring regularly, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add a little more chicken stock if you think it's getting too dry.
Taste for seasoning, stir in a little more sugar if required. Remove the bay leaf and sprig of thyme and serve.

The picture below shows the cabbage ready for the oven.

Greek Lamb with Fennel and Other Good Things

I watched 'Food Safari' on TV last week - I love that programme!

They show recipes from different places in the world, India, China etc but last week it was Greek food - Jan sits up in the chair pen and paper at the ready!

They made a Greek lamb dish that looked so yummy I had to make it.
My pictures do not do it justice though - I still have cream plates in my pictures where they are in fact white but hey ho, you get the gist!

The smell coming from the oven whilst it was cooking was amazing.
Imagine the lamb mixed with oregano, lemon, onions and wine.
When it was cooked the lamb was just so tender and delicious.

First of all I prepped all the ingredients.


You will need:
  • 500g lamb shoulder - boneless
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion - chopped into large chunks
  • 6 shallots - chopped into halves
  • 3 cloves garlic - sliced
  • Zest of 1 lemon - peel with a vegetable peeler as you want strips of peel
  • 1 tablespoon dried Greek oregano
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 300g Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of runny honey
  • 1 fennel bulb - finely sliced
  • 3 sprigs flat leaf parsley - leaves only

How to do it:
Preheat oven to 170C /325F or Gas 3

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Put the olive oil in a cooking pot (one that can go into the oven and has a lid) and heat it up. I used my Tagine as it is so amazing, it can go on the oven top and in the oven too!

Put the lamb in and seal the meat until it is golden brown on all sides.

Add the onion and the shallots to pot with the garlic, lemon zest, oregano and the white wine.

Remove from the heat and cover the lamb with the yogurt and drizzle with honey. Put the lid on and cook in oven for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

When it comes out of the oven the yogurt has turned to cheese and is used in the dressing for the fennel.

Once it's cooked, remove the lamb from the pot and allow to cool a little. Slice into thick-ish strips.

Place the strips of lamb on a BBQ, or grill and grill on both sides - they wont take very long at all as they are already cooked.

To Serve:

Make a dressing by straining the juices from the remaining onions in the pot and place the onions into a bowl. Add finely sliced fennel and picked parsley leaves.

Season to taste and drizzle with a little olive oil and serve with lamb and the sliced fennel.


Spicy Lamb Patties


These patties are just baby sized spicy lamb burgers that I made up as I went along.
I did wonder about the amount of Harissa paste that I put in being too much - but it turned out just fine.

Even if I do say so myself they were really yummy!
This was not the dish I was going to make last night (long story) but I couldn't get the correct olives for what I was going to make - so will leave that until I can.

Anyway, so there I am with some minced lamb, but now not knowing what to make with it.

I had some pitta bread and Greek yogurt too and so Tzatziki had to be made!

Also I had some Turkish red pepper sauce in my fridge - perfect!

For the patties you will need:

500g minced lamb

approx 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs

1 onion - chopped

1 garlic clove - finely chopped

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons of garam masala

1/2 teaspoon of cumin (as garam masala already contains cumin so only use this amount)

1 and a half tablespoons of Harissa paste (I used the one by Bart spices)

salt and pepper to taste

How to do it:

Using a mixer put the onions in to make them very finely chopped. Remove and set to one side in a large bowl.

Now add the minced lamb to the mixer and whizz for a few seconds - just so it's a little finer. Remove and add to bowl with the onions in. Season well with salt and pepper.

Using a fork add the garlic, breadcrumbs, egg yolk, chopped garlic, garam masala and cumin and Harissa paste. Now give it all a really, really good mix.

Now take a small amount of the mixture and shape with your hand into small patties. This amount of ingredients should make 12 patties. You can fry a very small amount of the mixture and taste to check for seasoning.

Fry the patties in a frying pan. There should be no need to add hardly any oil. Just wiping the pan with a teeny piece of oil, using kitchen paper towel should be enough.

Fry - turning half way through for about 5 minutes each side - or until the patties have browned nicely and are cooked through.

I served mine in warm pitta bread with some shredded white cabbage, cucumber, tomato, sliced onion and shredded lettuce.

The Turkish red pepper sauce is quite hot so only a small amount is needed. if you don't have time to make some - if can be found in some large supermarkets.......although I've never found it yet (in the UK) that is. You could, I suppose use any other pepper sauce - like Jamaican Hot pepper sauce.



I also made some Tzatziki too.

As I only needed a small amount, I used the following:

150g Greek Yogurt

1 clove garlic - chopped really finely

4 inches of cucumber - peeled, seeds removed and grated with a cheese grater.

a smidgen of white wine vinegar (say 1/4 teaspoon and no more)

1/2 a teaspoon of dill - finely chopped (I'm afraid to say I used dried dill - but it was just fine)

a glug of extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to season

How to do it:

Once the cucumber has been peeled and grated, press it between some kitchen paper towel to squeeze out the moisture and put it into a small bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the olive oil and salt and pepper.Mix it together and then season carefully with a little salt and pepper . Add the olive oil - just a teeny bit and mix once more......Job done.

My Need To Eat Greek Food

I just love Greek food! I had a fit in my head yesterday and I 'needed' to make Greek foodie things.
I think you might have noticed by now that Moussaka is one of my favourites, which I do believe, I have now perfected!

Remember my first attempt to make cheese saganaki a while back? Well, I tried and failed - for some reason I decided that it must be deep fried (wrong)! All the batter went to the top of the fryer and the cheese, well most of it sank to the bottom and the result was a huge mess.

Anyway, you live and learn! This second attempt of mine was much better.
I just dipped the feta into egg, then into seasoned flour, then egg and flour again and shallow fried it........Success!


Ever since I had the Greek dip Htipiti I loved it! I found the recipe from Peter over at 'Kalofagas' so I thank Peter for that. His recipe can be found here.

It involves char grilling one or more chili peppers - depending on how much dip you are making. I think mine were more than charred!


The result is one yummy dip.

Then onto my perfected Moussaka!
I would like to someday use Kefalotiri cheese, but haven't been able to get it - not even in Waitrose! I have no idea what the difference would be though, if any.

What you need:

2 tablespoons of olive oil
About 12 Kalamata olives, chopped
500g minced lamb - get the best you can with a low fat content
1 400g can of good quality chopped tomatoes
1/2 a glass of red wine

2 large onions - chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 aubergine, sliced into thin rounds
3 teaspoons dried oregano
1 large handful of Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 a teaspoon of dried mint

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons of tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste

2 to 3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds

For the Béchamel Sauce:

50g butter - melted
500ml of hot milk
4 tablespoons plain flour

2 eggs - lightly beaten
a good handfull grated Romano Cheese (about 3/4 cup) or Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)

How to do it:
Brush the aubergine with a little olive oil. Now fry them in a large pan a few at a timeuntil they are cooked. Remove and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the onion and garlic until soft but not coloured. Now add the lamb and cook until it is lightly browned.
Stir in the tomato puree and cook it for about a minute.

Add the wine and cook until it has reduced slightly.
Now add the oregano, basil, mint and cinnamon, olives and the can of tomatoes including the juice. Season, with salt and pepper.
Cook on a low heat for about an hour, until the mixture becomes thick.


Now put the sliced potatoes into boiling water and simmer partly covered for about 6 minutes (or when you can easily insert a knife) they are ready.
Run them under cold water, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper and set aside.
Lightly oil a largish baking dish, mine is probably about 9 x 9 inches and about 2.5 inches deep.

Arrange a layer of potatoes over the bottom. Now put a layer of meat sauce and a layer of aubergine, sprinkle with some cheese and then do another layer of meat sauce followed by a layer of aubergine.




The Bechamel Sauce:
In saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook the mixture for a couple of minutes and add the salt.
Now at this point, take it off the heat and add the hot milk whilst using a balloon whisk to mix it but you need to keep that whisk going!
Now let it cool a bit and then, add the eggs and grated cheese and keep whisking until it turns into this lovely smooth sauce.
Mix in the ground nutmeg.
Taste a smidgen of it if you dare (remembering there are raw eggs in it) just to see if it needs any more salt.

Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Top with a little sprinkling of nutmeg.



Bake in a Pre-heated oven at 175C/350F Gas4 for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and it is hot piping hot in the middle.


Meanwhile I made a salad.



My finished Moussaka!

Moussaka Recipe and the Greek island of Kos

This is the main road of Tingaki on the Greek island of Kos, along this road is restaurant after restaurant. We loved walking along reading all the menus that they have outside.
The best place to eat in Tingaki, Kos is called Sagittarius Restaurant it is owned and run by Manos and his wife Donna (Donna is from the UK). They are such a lovely couple. They have now built some excellent looking apartments which they have recently opened.

This is the island of Pserimos which easily reached by boat from Kos.

Recipe for slow cooked lamb shanks

This recipe was given to me by a really good friend of mine - Jean.
Lots of people have asked in the past 'Are you two sisters'? We might as well be!
Jean is my once brother in laws wife. I say once as I don't like the word ex.
We've always stayed very good friends and I love them and their two girls to bits.
Anyway - On with the recipe!

You will need:

2 Lamb Shanks
2 or 3 Rashers of Streaky Bacon
1 Red Onion peeled and quartered
1 Clove Garlic
Small handful of Fresh mixed herbs (thyme, rosemary bay leaves)
2 or 3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 or 3 Carrots, peeled and quartered
2 or 3 Parsnips, peeled and quartered
2 sticks of celery
1 Pint of Chicken or Beef Stock
Glass of red wine (Jean says optional but I'd say must)!
Packet of Cross & Blackwell’s Madeira Wine Gravy Mix. (If you can't get Madeira wine gravy you can use Bisto powder)

Preheat oven to Gas 3 - 170C - 325F -
170

Use a meat tin or casserole that is able to go on the hob.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and brown your seasoned lamb (be careful as it spits quite a bit)!!

Remove from the pan, then add onion and garlic and bacon and fry until soft.
Now add the herbs and vegetables and pour in stock and wine if used.

Put the lamb back into the dish and cover with tight fitting lid or tin foil.
Bake in oven for 2 to 2½ hours.

When cooked, the meat should come off the bone very easily.
Take out the meat and vegetables and keep warm on a hot dish and stir your gravy mix into the pan juices adding more liquid in required.
Serve with creamed potatoes.

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