March 30, 2008

Ding, Dong, The Bells Are Going to Chime!

I’m old as dirt. Well, I feel old as dirt. Our eldest daughter got engaged today. It was unofficial for quite a while and we all knew it was just a matter of Daniel figuring out some great way (and it was!) to actually “ask” her, but now it’s official and we have two kids getting married this year. Our youngest son, Evan, is marrying Kimber this June. Sarah and Daniel haven’t decided on a date yet, but it will definitely be this year.

So even though I’m old as dirt, I’m happy as hell. My future daughter-in-law and son-in-law are both wonderful and they make our kids very, very, very happy. Which is all we ever wanted – happiness for our children. I don’t feel the slightest sense of loss, like some parents do....I never understood that. I mean, you finally get them independent and out of the house, (can I hear a hallelujah???) and then they meet someone who loves them for who they are, and makes their life joyful and complete. They’re young, full of plans and dreams, and to see your kids that happy is just about the most amazing thing ever. What’s to cry about? Well, maybe the fact that I’m old as dirt. That, and I have to wear a dress. Two times. There better be good cake. And, no, I’m not doing it. Get your own baker, kids!!!

I really am digging this look for the wedding...what do you think? Especially the hat. I'd look like a mother-in-law IN CHARGE!

So, after a busy weekend, and the buzz of an engagement, I took a look in the freezer (I DO NOT shop on Sunday afternoon…that’s amateur day at the supermarket, and I get very freaked out at watching people wearing slippers load their carts with Kool-Aid and Lean Cuisine while screaming at their kids) and found a pound of shrimp. I remembered a recipe that’s been pinned up on my bulletin board for almost a year, one I found in Gourmet last summer – the June issue. Whenever I thought to prepare it, there wasn’t ever any shrimp around. With the shrimp out of the freezer and everything else on hand, I made this. It was really very delicious. The recipe calls for fresh corn, right off the husk, but we’re not in that wonderful corny season yet, and canned corn worked just as well.

Crispy Chipotle Shrimp with Corn and Scallions

1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle chiles in adobo PLUS 1 teaspoon of the sauce
¾ teaspoon salt
4 cups corn (if using canned corn, drain well)
1/3 cup water
4 scallions, sliced thin (well, dang it, I didn’t have the scallions! So I used some very thinly sliced thin asparagus, which I have lots of!)
3 small tomatoes, thinly sliced (my idea, not in the original recipe)
1 lb. peeled and deveined large shrimp (about 21-25)
1 – 1 ½ cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Cilantro leaves and sour cream for garnish

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 475 degrees.
2. Stir together the mayonnaise, chipotle chiles, chipotle sauce, and salt in a bowl.
3. Pulse 1 ½ cups of corn in a food processor with the water and 2 tablespoons of the chipotle mayonnaise until coarsely pureed. Transfer mixture to shallow 2 qt. gratin baking dish (I used a glass 9” pie dish). Stir in remaining corn and scallions. Arrange tomato slices on top.
4. Toss shrimp with remaining mayonnaise to coat.
5. Put panko into another bowl, and add shrimp in small batches, tossing to coat evenly and shaking off excess. Arrange shrimp on top of corn and tomatoes, in one layer.
6. Roast in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until shrimp are just cooked through and panko is golden brown.

Serves 4 (well, tonight it served two – that’s right, it’s just us, no kids….they’re too busy getting engaged, having fun, making plans, and doing stuff without their parents! Wait…do I feel a good cry coming on???)

March 25, 2008

Bloody Tarts!

Here we go again. Bloody berries. And NO, I’m not calling them “cheesecakes”. Criminy.

My Dad wants “something raspberry” when I go visit him tomorrow. I’m not in the mood for pie or a cake, (I had an unfortunate incident in the pantry with a full bag of flour and I’m not over it) and besides, I’m cleaning out the freezer to make room for all the delights that will be coming forth in the warm, green months. So I figured something with one of the several hundred frozen puff pastry packages clogging up the freezer. And all the bags of frozen berries that have seen me through the winter.

Like a squirrel, I load up in fall, anticipating months of chill. Well, that, and the fact that my metabolism slides way down in the winter and I’m not about to venture out to the market in my flannel pajamas from 1984 unless someone caught double pneumonia and needs a prescription. And who needs a prescription anyway? What happened to the days of a Vick’s Vapor Rub poultice stuck on your chest and an afternoon of Jerry Springer? Gee….kids, these days! Did I complain when I walked 12 miles in snowdrifts just to volunteer in the nursing home when I was 6 years old? No way! Suck it up, Gen X, Y, and Z and quit sending people to get your antibiotics!

(See what happens when you take antibiotics???)

Warm Raspberry Mint Puff Pastry Tarts

Serves 6

1 (10 oz) package frozen puff pastry shells, thawed
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint
Milk for brushing shells
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling shells

½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cup frozen raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease or parchment a baking sheet
2. Beat the cream cheese with electric beater until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat again until fluffy. Stir in the vanilla and mint. Set aside.
3. Place the pastry shells on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
4. Bake in preheated oven for about 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove shells from oven. Use a fork to remove the top for each shell. Set tops aside.
5. While shells are baking, place 1 cup of the raspberries into a small saucepan with ½ cup granulated sugar. Heat over medium high heat until bubbling. Reduce heat slightly and cook, reducing raspberries to a syrup, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat, and strain mixture into small measuring cup or bowl, pressing with back of spoon to extract syrup. Discard seeds.
5. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese into each shell, while still on baking sheet. Top with 3-4 raspberries. Place the tops back onto baking sheet (along side of shells), top side down, and return to oven for about 5 minutes, or until filling is warm and shells and tops are completely golden brown.
6. To serve, place warm tartlet onto plate and drizzle warm raspberry syrup around, as you see fit. Top with a sprig of fresh mint.

*When I take this tomorrow, I’m just serving them cold, with the syrup drizzle over the top. I think they’ll be just as good. And anyway, my Dad’s oven makes a weird noise, and I’m afraid it’s going to blow up. And THEN where will we be, uh, Pops??? The days of pies are OVER!

March 19, 2008

Tout Sweet!

Ok, sometimes I feel light and fluffy. And syrupy sweet! Wee! It’s almost Spring! It’s not often, so enjoy my foray into sweetness and light. I’m sure I’ll be back into the complicated culinary darkness soon enough. Something with prunes, bloody meat and a tantrum.

All I can say is that I had a bottle of blackberry brandy left over from an ill-fated bundt cake experiment, a bag of frozen blackberries (there are no nice ones in the stores here yet…and I’m not buying them from South America….my man, Al Gore and I think that’s way too much petro to get some blackberries up to Arizona, for Pete’s sake!) and some leftover ricotta. And a lemon.

These are very pretty cookies. Little jewels. And did I mention light and fluffy? The syrupy glaze is wonderful and next time I’d make double the amount and save some for waffles. Or ice cream. Ok, maybe ice cream with the cookies and syrup all over both.

Oh, btw…they are messy. I’d put them on something to catch the drips when you dip them…and they’re fragile. They behave and taste better if you let them sit overnight. These aren’t cookies you’d stack in a cookie jar. Unless you want a lemon-ricotta-blackberry glop of mess.

They’d be perfect on a lovely glass plate, artfully arranged, as a light dessert, perhaps with a glass of Port, say, um…
2003 Croft. Yes, indeedy, these are dessert cookies, not lunchbox cookies. Very delicate and exquisitely colored.

Cause that’s how I roll today…all sweetness and light. Rainbows, puppies, Smurfs, and dragonflies. That’s me.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Blackberry Brandy Glaze

Makes about 32-36…I lost count, cause I ate a bunch of them

For Cookies:
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
8 oz ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoons freshly finely grated lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

For Glaze
1 cup blackberries (mine were frozen, unthawed)
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup blackberry brandy (for non-alcoholic cooks, try some blackberrry syrup, used for flavoring coffee)

2 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease/parchment baking sheet(s)
2. Cream together sugar and butter in large bowl.
3. Beat in egg. Stir in ricotta cheese and vanilla. Add lemon zest and blend well.
4. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda with a fork.
5. Add in manageable increments, the flour to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix well.
6. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. They don’t spread much, so about 2 inches between each one.
7. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes…they don’t brown – check by tapping with finger. Should just barely give.
8. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move to wire racks to cool completely.

While cookies are baking and cooling, make the glaze:
1. Mix blackberries, sugar, and brandy in medium sized saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat slightly and continue to cook until reduced to about 1/2 cup or a thick syrupy drip.
2. Remove from heat and strain into shallow bowl. Add the butter while mixture is still warm and stir to incorporate.
3. Turn cooled cookie upside down and dip into glaze. Turn right side up and place on something to catch the drips (foil, etc.). Let “set up” for several minutes. Plate and serve.

March 18, 2008

Proust in a Potato Chip

Wow. I think my genetic code is revolting against my secret ambition to be a fabulous cook. Finally, the cans of cream of mushroom soup, jars of Miracle Whip, and corn dogs are rising up in a revolution of remembrance of things past. MKF Fisher, I am sadly…not. I might as well go be a chef for Britney Spears.

While I have in my background some amazing attempts, yea, verily, some astounding successes in culinary creativity…I am, in the end, a Hostess Ding Dong.

Witness my latest descent into backwater swill! The Potato Chip Crab Cake!

Oh, mightily did I resist! Come hither, oh great book of Julia Child! Deliver me from the cultural bane of banality! I call on the benevolence of Bourdain! With frantic fingers searching Epicurious, I search for crab cake epiphany! Smote my childhood memories with the mighty silicone spatula and banish my lazy butt into Sandra Lee purgatory! But I could not resist. I am weak. I have cans of crab. Bags of potato chips.

I am hungry.

And “Everybody Loves Raymond” is on in 10 minutes. (the one where Marie makes a sculpture that looks like it needs underpants).

Purgatory Potato Chip Crab Cakes

Makes 6 absolutely delicious patties of perfect crunchy, salty, remembrance of your Mom

2 ½ cups of potato chips (before crushing) – at least get a GOOD brand, for God’s sake!
1 pound lump crabmeat, drained, picked at to remove bits of shell
½ cup tartar sauce
1 ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper to tastes
About 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 slices
Lemon wedges, for serving

1. Preheat broiler.
2. Crush the potato chips in a medium sized bowl. Add the crabmeat, tartar sauce, mustard, and black pepper. Mix well. Form into 6 hamburger type patties. Top each with a pat of butter.
3. Place on foil lined baking sheet. Broil until browned. Serve with lemon wedges.

*I did redeem myself very slightly by serving (serving…that’s funny…like this was on actual plates, using actual manners!) with homemade mayonnaise. Really, there’s just no excuse for NOT making your own…even for a hillbilly like me!

Behold the Potato Chip of Total Nature! Redemption is mine!!!!

March 17, 2008

Red Rocks and Butterscotch Bars

Spring has sprung a leak…a dusting of snow this morning. Still, the birds are dating and I love watching the puffy red-headed boys check out potential cribs and chase the dorks away from their ladies.

I had a most wonderful long weekend with my sister, who lives in the San Francisco area.

(That's Sister Moon above...I don't know where Brother Sun went...probably for a psychic reading)

They’ve had major rains this late winter, and she was completely and utterly tired of non-stop gloomy mist and dogs that couldn’t go for a walk. So we headed to Sedona, one of the best places on earth to look at the sun and watch middle-aged guys in ponytails earnestly discuss their angst and ogle the teenaged girls getting their skinny latte’s with extra whipped cream. It was beautiful – sunny, mild, perfect for hiking, and dozing in front of a huge bronze eagle in an art gallery, pretending we were part of the exhibit. We ate nachos on the patio of a Mexican restaurant, gourmet Italian in a Tuscany kinda bistro, and corn nuts in the car.

Then curled up in our pajamas in the hotel room and watched some messed up HBO show with Gabrielle Byrne and Dianne Wiest called “In Treatment”. A cheery new show that brutally dissects people with a whole bunch of issues. Nothing like despair and unrelenting self analysis to top off a nice weekend in the red rocks! Thanks Lori, now I’ll have nightmares for a week.

Back home, I look in mild concern at my blog, which is feeble and neglected. Dang, I need to cook/bake something at least half way interesting. But all I can muster up are these disgustingly rich dessert bars. Too much health and navel gazing in Sedona! I need me some butter and sugar and drippy ice cream sauce. And to yell at my husband about the trash still not taken out for 3 days without a big therapy session ending in tears. Ah, home sweet home.

These are adapted from something I’ve made over the years, each time doing something different. They tasted a little dusty this time, so maybe add some cream or extra butter to the oat crust and topping. These actually are pretty good keepers, and good for a nice long hike, smashed in the bottom of your backpack. Cause you all should be thinking about a nice spring hike.

Butterscotch Caramel Oatmeal Bars

1 ¾ cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, melted
12 oz package butterscotch chips
1 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
1 cup Mrs. Richardson’s butterscotch-caramel ice cream topping

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of 9” X 13” baking pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, 1 ½ cup of the flour (reserve the ¼ cup), brown sugar, baking soda. Stir in melted butter. Mix well. Reserve 1 cup of this mixture and set aside. Press remaining mixture into bottom of prepared baking pan.
3. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Mix the butterscotch chips and peanuts in a bowl. Scatter over top of oatmeal crust.
4. Mix ice cream topping with the reserved ¼ cup flour and drizzle over chips and nuts. Sprinkle with the 1 cup reserved oat mixture.
5. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until bubbly on edges and golden brown. Cool in pan on rack, then refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars.

March 10, 2008

Love Fest

I have something like 802 nieces. They are all lovely girls. Diverse, beautiful, talented and spirited - a bevy of bodacious babes. One of my very favorite nieces, Renee, just got married Saturday. Cousin Bubba TORE UP the dance floor.

When Renee and Dave were planning their wedding, I barged right in and “we” (meaning me – the big mouthed, bossy Aunt) came up with the idea of a “dessert table” – rather than one big,(expensive!) wedding cake. And because they were keeping an eye on their budget and because this family includes some great bakers, I "suggested" (insisted) they have a “potluck” table of desserts. Each family member or friend would bring their favorite or best dessert, enough to serve 12-24 (depending on dessert) people. I "offered" (took over) to coordinate this effort – which, at times, was like trying to herd cats. But everyone was enthusiastic and jumped right in, creating some very wonderful and memorable desserts. I made cards to be displayed in front of each dessert, naming the sweet treat and who contributed it. It was a great success – everyone loved the idea and the guests got to sample many different desserts. Renee and Dave also had a small, beautiful “personal” wedding cake and matching cupcakes made by one of their supremely talented friends that were the centerpiece of the table. The dessert table had such a warm, personal, and fun feeling. I’d definitely do this again.

The suggestion I made to family and friends was to try to keep their desserts easy to handle in a buffet line – no pies, messy cakes, etc. Brownies, cupcakes, cookies, bars, fudges, fruits, anything that could be easily picked up and carried away worked best.

Family and friends brought their desserts right to the reception, and we displayed them on the table, which was already decorated with the cards, candles, flowers and platters. So many people commented on how much they loved the idea and that they were going to “steal” the idea! Knock yourselves out – this isn’t rocket science or patented! Just figure out the number of guests, calculate about 2-3 pieces of dessert for each guest, and send out mass email to friends and family laying it out. Have them RSVP what they are bringing, how many it will serve, and then have fun figuring out weddingish names…”Nana’s Perfect Love Pizzelles”, etc.

Here’s a recipe for some very awesome soft gingersnaps with a buttercream frosting that I made…so easy to make and they went fast! I didn’t even get a picture of them at the wedding…but you can imagine pretty much what gingersnaps look like, with a creamy frosting, can’t you??? There IS a picture of some Barbie cupcakes, made just for the tiny flower girls, which, naturally threw them into a tizzy as they tried to pick out their own personal favorite. Flower girl fight!!!

“Going to the Chapel of Love” Frosted Gingersnaps

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon orange juice
¼ cup dark molasses
Sugar to roll the dough balls in (about ½ cup)

1. Sift together (for me that means tossing with a fork!), the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Stir in the orange juice and molasses. Gradually stir in the flour mixture. Refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Shape dough into slightly larger than a walnut size balls. Place the “rolling” sugar on a plate and roll the dough in the sugar. Place on ungreased (I definitely would use parchment paper) baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Press down dough balls with the back of spoon, flattening slightly.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes (slightly browned and cracked). Cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely before frosting. Store in airtight container.

Buttercream Frosting
1 box confectioners’ sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup whipping cream
¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Beat all ingredients together in bowl until light and fluffy.

March 5, 2008

Vegetables and Nuts

It’s that time of year to sign up for your CSA! Don’t be a goober and forget to do it (like I did last year) until it’s too late and there are no more shares available in the farm of your choice! It’s the best way (unless you have your own prodigiously producing garden!) to get fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, etc. in a very sustainable, community oriented way.

I’m probably preaching to the choir here, because most of you already do this or are aware of it – but just wanted to remind you to sign up ASAP…these shares can sell out fast. “My” own farm is
Whipstone Farm….check out their website! I can’t wait for my first pick-up! You’ll be seeing lots of recipes using “my” garden fresh vegetables and herbs in the coming spring and summer months.

On another completely random, unrelated note, yesterday I did a short TV (local station in Phx) interview/demo with my prize winning cupcakes. My good pal, Jenny from Picky Palate warned me about people that sometimes get a bit …enthusiastic….and then try to contact you personally. And I've had people, unknown to me, write or call, to request a recipe or whatever...that's ok, and most people are polite and complimentary. Well, I got my first “hello, I’m a freak, and I’m calling to see if you’d be interested in my freakness” call this morning.
At first I thought it was my sister, who already pranked called an hour before. She tried to change her voice and said “I want to get into your muffin tins”…hahahaha…very funny – no wonder I’m the favorite.

Anyway, my land line rings and it’s a heavy breather, telling me he saw the show and he wants to know if I’m single. Again, I think it’s one of my hilarious friends, and I’m playing along (“yes, I’m single, hang on, I just have to go shoot my husband”) but as this goes on, I realize I have a certifiable nut on the line. So I hang up and ponder this turn of events. I mean, that was just a dopey 3 minute cupcake demo! Being the total hamster that I am, I enjoy the brief attention some of this cooking stuff brings, but I’m not liking this…invasion. People can reach you too easily, even if you take precautions. I’ve got to come up with some good ideas. Like a big whistle, so I can deafen the little twerp on the other end of the line. Anybody deal with this ever before?

Seriously, I need some input!

March 2, 2008

Me, Anthony, and some grout

I’ve wanted to make this recipe for quite some time. The idea of sealing the casserole with“dough like grout” really appealed to me. It seemed rustic and primitive, like something a cook in Provence would do while chasing chickens out of the kitchen. Plus I love crafty, gimmicky techniques in my kitchen. Blow torches, hammers, screwdrivers, you name it, if it really belongs in a garage or an kindergarten class, I’m interested. Making a “caulking material” sounded messy and fun.

And, of course, Mr.Bourdain is one of my super heroes, of cooking AND writing. Such amazing talent with a veneer of derelict-ness that sends me into a tizzy. He’s like the Tom Robbins of cooking. My best friend can’t abide him – says he is “offensive”. Well, so? Really, does anyone like a "defensive" guy???

I love his books, his cooking, his travel shows.

His cookbook “Les Halles” is the only one I actually keep right in the kitchen. I look at it frequently, while waiting for something to boil, bake, or soak. It’s motivating. I’ve learned a lot from it, even without cooking the actual recipe I’m reading. I’ve made quite a few of his recipes, all tremendously good. But this leg of lamb…it just kept calling to me. I’ve always had a phobia of sheep. It stems from some Basque sheepherders, who were keeping their herd on my Dad’s field during the winter. They tricked me into eating some sheep’s blood soup. I was 10 years old and not quite ready for something that exotic. Plus, they told me they would cook my Shetland pony if I didn’t get moving. No wonder Spain is in such a pickle!

So, while in Costco the other day, buying the usual cart of crap I don’t really need (you know - 6 tires, a case of Starbuck’s Cappuccino, printer paper, a gallon of artichoke tapenade, and fleece socks) I looked at their lamb and there was a very nicely sized (about 4.5 pounds) leg of lamb. It was time to get over my fear of sheep.

Ok, Anthony, let’s do this thang!

I’ve adapted the recipe to the actual size of the leg of lamb I bought… Anthony’s meat is much larger. No bun intended. Oh please, someone grout my mouth!

“Gigot de Sept Heures” (Seven Hour Leg of Lamb)

1 leg of lamb, about 6 lb (mine was 4.5 lb)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (kept that the same)
20 whole garlic cloves, peeled (that too…love the garlic)
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 small onions, thinly sliced (I used 1 medium sized onion)
4 carrots, peeled (I used 4 small carrots, but didn’t peel them)
1 bouquet garni (no cheesecloth in the hizzy, so I just threw the bay leave, thyme sprigs and parsley right in there)
1 cup dry white wine (I used a cheapo Sauvignon Blanc, cause I don’t drink a lot of white wine)

1 cup flour
1 cup water (this is the fun part…supposedly…more later!)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Using a paring knife, make many small incisions around the leg and insert a sliver of garlic into each of the incisions. Rub the lamb well with the olive oil. Season lamb all over with salt and pepper. Place it a Dutch oven (I used my trusty orange Le Creuset) and add the onions, carrots, whole garlic, bouquet garni, and wine. Put the lid on the Dutch oven

2. In the medium bowl, combine the flour and water to form a rough “bread dough”, mixing it well with a wooden spoon. Use the dough like grout or caulking material to create a seal that connects the lid to the Dutch oven. Place the Dutch oven in the oven and cook for 7 hours.
3. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and break the seal. Ideally, that leg of lamb will be “so damn tender that you’ll be able to eat it with a spoon”. (in Anthony’s own words!)

Ok. Everything went swimmingly until I mixed up the flour and water. Dough? What dough? It was like a thick pancake batter. I added more flour, but just couldn’t get it to behave in a way that would be appropriate to get a good caulk. Frustrated, I sealed the casserole with a double layer of foil, then placed the lid on top. Maybe someone has tried this with better success and can let me know what happened to my Play-Doh???!!!!

Also, decreased cooking time to 5 ½ hours. Came out perfect. Delicious. I really could have eaten it with a spoon. Very successful pot of meat!

I served this with smashed red potatoes (with their jackets and a little sour cream and butter), roasted green beans (tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper, 400 degrees for about 20 minutes) and a great little jalapeno-mint sauce to spoon over the falling apart lamb.

Jalapeno-Mint Sauce

2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup rice vinegar
8-10 oz jar of jalapeno jelly
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine the sugar, water and vinegar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Take off heat and whisk in the jelly until well combined. Stir in the mint and lemon juice. Refrigerate to cool and thicken slightly. Spoon over meat and potatoes. Yum.

So, I’ve conquered my fear of lamb….this was an amazingly simple and astoundingly delicious rehabilitation. I just want to figure out how to do the damn grout!
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"The Dish" by Catherine Wilkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.