For 2018, this blog's recipes are going to be more specific in theme...
Recipes that remind me of travel.
...and since this year's overall theme is #onenewthing , I want to highlight a particular ingredient each time that may be new to you (for cooking on your own or to taste).
For this first recipe, I thought about lamb.
It is on most upscale menus - especially in the fall and winter months, but I still meet many people who have turned away from it thinking it will be too "gamey" or just strongly flavoured.
As long as lamb isn't overcooked, it is a terrific option for those who like a tender piece of meat. Any "gamey-ness" can easily be masked with enough flavour added to the cooking process.
In restaurants, look for braised lamb with a lot of spices or sauce and only choose the rack of lamb or chops once you have eased into its flavours.
One of my favourites treats, is a skewer of lamb souvlaki with some tzaziki and fresh lemon. It is well-marinated and SO tender!
One of my tips for cooking novices is to focus on THREE (3) main flavours in each cultural cuisine and then use those flavours in almost any recipe to mimic its flavour profile.
My favourite flavours in Greek recipes are lemon, garlic, and oregano.
Like pasta? How about tossing it is a lemon-garlic cream sauce and some grilled chicken marinated in garlic and oregano?
Combine all three flavours for an easy marinade for just about any meat...and yes, I also mean lamb!
The following lamb recipe is a perfect example of a roast lamb that is slow cooked and NOT gamey AND it uses the 3-flavour principle for basic Grecian recipes.
2018 is the year to try something new, right?
Arni Lemonato (Lemon Lamb)
Makes 4 Servings
1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
3 lb boneless leg of lamb, "butterflied"
1 tbsp fresh oregano (divided) - chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, divided, crushed
12-16 small red potatoes
1. Preheat the oven to 300F.
2. Trim skin and all excess fat from a boned shoulder or leg of lamb.
3. Squeeze enough lemons to provide 1/3 cup of juice.
4. Open out the meat and rub both inside and outside surfaces with some of the lemon juice
and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
5. On the inside surface of the meat, sprinkle a teaspoon of dried oregano or 1/2 tablespoon of
chopped fresh oregano and half of the garlic. Roll the meat up and tie securely.
6. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch Oven and brown the meat on all sides.
7. Turn the heat down to low and add to the pot the rest of the lemon juice, the remaining
garlic, and another teaspoon of dried oregano or 1/2 tablespoon of fresh.
8. Cover the pot and bake for about 1 hour. Add the potatoes to the pot and continue to bake
for another 45-60 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
9. To serve, remove the string and slice the meat. Surround with potatoes, pour lemony
juices over all and serve with a simple mixed green salad - or even a Greek salad?!?