Spiced Lamb with Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Spiced Lamb with Cauliflower tabbouleh

If you have been following my blog at all, you know by now that I love lamb in almost any form, but particularly in Mediterranean and South Asian recipes. You also know that one of my favorite food blogs is Food52, so when I saw this recipe, I immediately sent it to Frances and printed it out for myself. She and I both made it this past weekend and it was a big hit in New York and Chicago. The cauliflower tabbouleh is wonderful on its own and would make a terrific side instead of a starch for any grilled or roasted meat or fish. This recipe will definitely enter my regular food rotation. I would encourage you to make your own baharat or hawaij spice, especially if you have a spice or coffee grinder, but if you don’t feel so inclined, these spice mixes are available at Middle Eastern grocery stores and online. And if you don’t eat lamb (why, why don’t you eat lamb!?) I’m confident that this would be equally delicious with ground turkey or beef. 

Spiced Lamb with Cauliflower Tabbouleh by Posie Harwood of Food 52, inspired by a Sunbasket recipe and tweaked by me.

Yield:   3-4 servings

Ingredients

3.5 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

cloves garlic, minced1 head cauliflower, cored and chopped finely (it should resemble couscous)1.5 pounds ground lamb

2-3 tablespoons baharat or hawaij spice blend (see a recipe for hawaij in my Yemenite Soup recipe) If you make your own spice mixture, it likely will be stronger so I would suggest using the smaller amount. Commercial mixes tend to be milder.

small Persian cucumbers, diced

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered

Zest and juice of 1 large lemon

1 large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, optional for garnishing

 

For the sauce
1/2 cup warm water (plus more if needed)

1/2 
cup tahini1/2 teaspoon garlic powderJuice of one lemon 

Salt, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. (Note: If you want to make your prep easier, chop the cauliflower by tossing it in the food processor and pulsing a few times.)
  3. Season with salt and pepper (I used Aleppo pepper, but you could use fresh-cracked black pepper) and add a drizzle of olive oil to the cooked cauliflower.IMG_3355
  4. Transfer the cooked cauliflower to a large bowl. Don’t wipe out the pan.
  5. To the bowl of cauliflower, add the cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper (Aleppo pepper, if you have it) and toss to combine. Set aside.
  6. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1.5 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add the ground lamb and spices. Season with salt and pepper (Aleppo), and cook over medium-high heat until the lamb browns, breaking it up with a spatula as it cooks. Don’t worry if there is any fat in the pan at the end. The dish can use it and if you allow the lamb to sit for a minute after cooking, most of the juices/fat will be re-absorbed.
  7. To make the dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. It should be pourable; if it’s too thick, add more warm water. It should be easy to drizzle but not super thin.
  8. When ready to serve, place a good helping of the cauliflower mixture into a large bowl, and divide the lamb on top. Top with a liberal drizzle of the tahini dressing. Garnish with a handful of fresh cilantro. I served some whole wheat pita and spiced yogurt on the side. You could also serve with hummus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth of July Cook-“in”

We were excited to be at home this year for July 4th after having missed it the last few years due to summer travel abroad. We also are lucky enough to have fantastic views of the East River so enjoyed watching the fireworks show!

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Typically for New York, it was extremely humid and hot outside so while we briefly considered going to our deck and having a patriotic cook-out, we decided to stay inside, and do a cook-in. How did we keep from the smoke filling our apartment? Well obviously, “someone ooooo-pen up a window!” (see around time 1:36)

As part of the Klein family tradition, we of course had a 1776 viewing and after discovering that friends of ours had been meaning to see it, we had them over and did a little Fourth of July party.

 

I knew I wanted to cook burgers on our Staub grill pan which is one of our favorite kitchen tools, so went into the grocery store looking for some good grass fed beef. After lengthy conversation with the butcher, it turned out that apparently 80/20 meat is the best for juice burgers.  Leaner cuts will sometimes end up drying up too quickly and there ends your party, so get the slightly fattier stuff!

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Served with a refreshing potato salad, and a blueberry pie dessert (complete with lopsided stars as I made them free-form), we ate a very American dinner!

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<<Menu>>

  • Burgers
  • “Spring” Potato Salad – this salad a friend brought to a bbq where we had rack of lamb and it was divine (I used shallots in lieu of spring onions)
  • Blueberry pie

<<Recipes>>

Burgers

  • 1 – 1.5 lb ground beef (80/20)
  • About 2 tsp kosher salt
  • sliced tomatoes (for filling)
  • butter or romaine lettuce
  • thinly sliced onions
  • cheddar cheese, sliced
  • pickles (optional)
  1. Break the ground beef into 4 or 6 big chunks, roughly the same size. Mix in salt and pepper.
  2. Gently shape the chunks into patties and press a finger into the middle of each to create a “dimple” (this apparently helps the patty cook evenly).
  3. Set your pan over medium heat and heat up some butter or oil (about 1 tbsp)
  4. While the pan is heating up, toast the buns in an oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or just in batches in the toaster.
  5. Going back to the burgers, increase the heat to medium-high, and when it’s hot cook the burgers for 3-5 minutes on each side.
  6. Throw on buns and have guests fill with their favorite toppings!
  7. (If you want to add cheese and have it melty and gooey, add it after flipping the burger on top of the patty.)

Adapted from the Kitchn which also has fantastic videos to guide you through!

Spring Potato Salad

2 pounds small new or fingerling potatoes
1 pound asparagus
1/4 pound sugar snap peas, green beans or other spring pea
4 small-to-medium radishes, thinly sliced

Pickled spring onions
3 spring onions (about 6 ounces) or shallots
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Sharp mustard vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with one inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, and then drain. Set aside to cool
  2. Meanwhile, pickle your spring onions (or shallots). Whisk vinegar, water, salt and sugar together in the bottom of a small container with a lid until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  3. Slice the bulbs and paler green parts into very thin coins and submerge them in the vinegar mixture. Cover and put in fridge until you’re ready to use them.
  4. Refill the saucepan you used for the potatoes (here’s to fewer dishes!) with salted water and bring it to a boil. Prepare an ice bath, a large bowl with ice and water in it. Trim the tough ends off the asparagus. Once the water is boiling, add the asparagus.
  5. One minute later, add the sugar snap peas. Two minutes later, drain both together then dump them in the ice bath until chilled. Drain the vegetables and spread them out on towel to absorb excess water.
  6. Slice the cooked asparagus spears and sugar snaps into 1/2-inch segments and place them in a large bowl.
  7. Chop potatoes into moderate-sized chunks and add them to the bowl.
  8. Cut the radishes as thinly as possible, with a mandoline if you have one.
  9. Whisk the dressing and vegetables together when the vegetables have all cooled off. But don’t mix together more than about 2 hours before serving as the color of the greens is less vibrant afterwards (though the salad is still delicious).

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen Spring Potato Salad.

Fresh Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry Cobbler1

Even though fresh berries are now available year-round, nothing says summer quite like a fresh berry dessert. I make a great blueberry pie and so does Frances, but sometimes you want a blueberry cobbler and this one is it! I came across the recipe from the website kitchn – another favorite food site that I frequent. I don’t know if its claim as the “ultimate blueberry cobbler” is accurate, but I will say that it is darn good. And best of all, it can be thrown together in a few minutes. All you need is some really good quality vanilla ice cream for serving and summer dessert doesn’t get any better than this. One thing I love about this recipe is that it is neither gummy nor overly sweet. And the biscuits are a real treat; they are both light and moist and just perfect for soaking up the blueberry liquid. The recipe’s originator talked about the secret ingredient of the coriander. I honestly didn’t taste anything in particular that I could identify, but the overall effect was just lovely.

Fresh Blueberry Cobbler by Sheela Prakash of the kitchn and tweaked ever so slightly by me

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

2 pints or 5 cups fresh blueberries (24 ounces total), washed and dried well
1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
Juice of 1/2 large lemon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Sanding or casting sugar for garnish
Vanilla ice cream for serving

Directions   IMG_3371

  1.  Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F.
  2.  Toss together the blueberries, 1/2 cup of the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and coriander in a large bowl.  (I mixed the dry ingredients together first and then sifted them over the berries so there wouldn’t be any lumps. Then I added the lemon juice and gently tossed everything being careful to not break up the berries.) Transfer the mixture to an 8 x 8-inch baking dish or divide among 8 (6-ounce) ramekins.
  3.  Mix the flour, remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, and salt for the cobbler topping in a separate large bowl. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of the cream and stir until the dough is shaggy.
  4.  Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Knead the dough just until it all comes together, about 30 seconds.
  5.  Pat the dough into a 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Cut into 8 square pieces or pat handfuls of dough into thick palm-sized disks if using ramekins. (I used a star cookie cutter because it was the 4th of July and because it was fun.)
  6.  If baking in an 8 x 8-inch baking dish, overlap the disks on top of the blueberries to make a “cobblestone” look. If baking in individual ramekins, top each ramekin with a disk of dough. If you have any extra topping, crumble it and sprinkle it over the surface of the cobbler. Sprinkle the biscuit dough with the sanding or casting sugar.
  7.  Place the baking dish or ramekins on a baking sheet to catch drips, or place aluminum foil beneath it in the oven. Bake until the topping is turning golden-brown around the edges and the fruit filling is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes for the individual ramekins, or 45 to 55 minutes for the 8 x 8-inch baking dish.  The blueberries will bubble up quite a bit and then will settle down once it is out of the oven.IMG_3372
  8.   Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Everything needs to settle down. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with vanilla ice cream.