Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Grilled Lamb koftas with mint salad and a sumac yoghurt

On my households demand, lamb koftas it is...This recipe is from Jamie Olivers book, Jamie at Home, with a little twist of mine.

500g lamb mince
A handful of mint and parsley leaves
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp thyme leaves
1 tsp hot chili powder
4 tbsp sumac, in case you don't find it use zest of 1 lemon but nothing compares to the original flavoring of sumac
Salt and pepper
A handful of shelled pistachios
20g butter

A handful of mixed salad leaves
A handful of mint  and parsley leaves
1 lemon, juice
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Large flat breads or pita bread
Olive oil
150 ml natural greek yoghurt
...some more sumac and chili powder

1. Put your grill or oven on 200C and heat up a griddle pan to maximum heat.
2. Place the lamb in a food processor with the thyme, chili powder, cumin, sumac, a large pinch of salt and pepper and the pistachios. Mix well in the food processor until all the pistachios are crushed.
3. Get yourself some skewers, wet your hands slightly and take a handful of the mix and shape around and along the skewer. Press little indents with your fingers as this will give it a better texture when cooking.
4. In a bowl, mix the salad leaves and mint. Dress with a little bit of olive oil and lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Place the sliced onion in a separate little bowl, press some lemon juice over it and pinch of salt and squeeze with your hands. The acidity will take the edge off and pickle the onion slightly. Add the parsley to the onions.
5. Grill the kebabs in the griddle pan, turning them so they get a nice color.
6. Once nice and grilled transfer the kebabs onto a trey, put a tiny bit of butter on top of each and place in the oven for 10 min.
7. In the meantime, warm your flat bread in a pan or microwave and divide between the plates.
8. Put the yoghurt in a bowl, add a squeeze of lemon, salt and a pinch of sumac.
8. Place some of your salad on top of the bread. Once your kebabs are done, take them off the skewer and place either whole o break into bits on top of the salad and bread. Sprinkle with some of your pickled onion and parsley, put a spoon of yoghurt on top. Sprinkle with some more sumac on top and drizzle with olive oil.

Cumin spiced Rack of lamb with merguez sausages, lentils and a carrot spaghetti

Yesterday i fancied lamb so i decided to buy some merguez sausages and a lovely rack of lamb. I wasn't quite sure what i fancied to do with it but knew i didn't want to eat any heavy carbs, just something lighter and healthier. Scanned my cupboards and fridge and found some lentils, carrots, celery and herbs.. and this recipe was born. I promise you, my guests were licking their plates to get the last lentil of the plate and god forbid leave some of the jus behind. It looks fabulous and tastes heavenly, a great recipe for a dinner party. It took me 45 min to get this meal together so give it a shot! 

Rack of lamb, count cutlets per person(count 3 bones each), trimmed and cleaned(layer of fat left on)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Ground cumin
1 celery stalks, peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
10 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
250ml red wine
500 ml veal or chicken stock
1tbsp redcurrant jelly

4 merguez sausages

300ml lentils
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 red onion, peeled
2 celery stalks, cut into 1-2mm cubes
bunch of mint, finely chopped
bunch of parsley, finely chopped

6 large carrots, cut into long spaghetti strips using a mandolin
splash of olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180C
2. Put the lentils in a saucepan, washed with water and drain. Put back into the saucepan, cover with 600ml water, add 1/2 red onion, a garlic clove and pinch of salt. Bring to boil, cover with a lid and cook for 20-25 min. You want them to still have a bite to them, not lentil mush.
2. Rub the rack of lamb with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and cumin.
3. Heat up a frying pan to maximum heat.
4. Color the lamb on all sides, making sure you don't burn the bones. Set the pan aside, don't put into the wash yet.
5. Wrap the bones with kitchen foil to prevent burning in the oven.
6. Put 5 thyme sprigs on an oven trey and put the lamb on top, fat side up. This way when the fat melts slowly in the oven it will flavor the meat. Place the sausages on the trey around the lamb as well.
7. Place in the oven and grill for 25-35 min depending on how you want it cook. I suggest a slight pinkish color to it. You can check by putting a skewer through, pressing on the meat and checking what color the juices are.
9. Place the roughly chopped red onion, celery stalk, carrot and garlic cloves in the pan from the meat and color the vegetables slightly.
10. Deglaze with the red wine and reduce until there is almost none left. Add the thyme, bay leaf, red currant jelly and chicken/veal stock. Bring to boil and cook on high heat for 10 min.
11. Chop the celery stalk and left over 1/2 red onion and herbs for the lentils now if not yet done. Make your carrot spaghetti on a mandolin. Put aside.
12. If the lentils are cooked, drain them and put back into the saucepan. Leave aside.
13. Sieve the sauce into another bowl and put then back into the pan. Keep boiling it until you end up with a spoon cover consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.
14. The lamb should now be ready. Take out of the pan and wrap in kitchen foil and leave in a warm place to rest. Keep sausages warm.
15. Heat up a wok pan and add a splash of olive oil. Add the carrot spaghetti and a garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper and cook until cooked but still crunchy, this should only take a few minutes.
16. Add the chopped celery, red onion and herbs into the lentils. Stir around, season with salt and add a spoon of your reduction(the sauce) to the lentils as dressing.
17. Cut up the rack of lamb into equal cutlets.
18. Serve up in a large bowl or plate. Place a large spoon of the lentils first, add a nest of the carrot spaghetti on top, cut merguez into half and put on the side. Finally arrange 3 cutlets on top. Drizzle with the sauce and serve. Bon appetite.