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    Sunday, September 07, 2008

    Jimmy Buffet and Rick Stein - Lamb and Chocolate All Favourites

    You may wonder how this heading relates...
    Our friend Lana has just returned from a wonderful holiday in the States.
    I volunteered to be her Taxi driver. When she left - going the airport was easy mid-dayish but her return was a 5am arrival. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem but we had had a happy few hours with another friend Mary the night before, and when the alarm went off at 5am…I cursed that extra glass of wine and the consequent no dinner...quickly jumped out of bed, cleaned my teeth - threw on clothes and did the dash to the airport.
    But it paid off being a good friend…we were inundated with fabulous gifts.

    Some good spices and T-shirts from Jimmy Buffet’s Shop, we are Parrotheads you know.
    Love Jimmy Buffet have seen him about 5 times on visits to New Orleans Jazz Fest.

    Love his music and his lifestyle. I also got a new BBQ tool and the piece de resistance “A Living Fire” DVD. It’s wonderful.

    We have very good central heating and the house is always warm but I do miss an open fire. So here we go - there are 8 different fireplaces to choose from.

    Here is the Christmas fireplace – brilliant. Just turn it on. Love it.
    So we needed to hear about her vacation and she came around for dinner.

    Gave me a chance to make this wonderful Lamb dish, which is from Puglia.
    I saw it on Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Series.

    Another hero of mine - this series follows his travels around the Med and I was very taken
    with this dish
    It is a layered dish and it was very tasty. I would make it again.
    Apparently in Puglia it is made from very young spring lamb and new potatoes.
    It is just spring here but the produce is not quite ready yet.
    I bought little lamb steaks from my butcher
    Not quite the lamb the Italian lady was using, but it was pretty good.
    She also used Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses.
    My local deli had run out of Pecorino, so I only used Parmesan.
    Next time I would love to try the Pecorino as well.

    Amounts are a little difficult to write down - depends how greedy you all are.
    It’s really like making a roast dinner you know how much you can eat.
    Choose the size of the dish depending on how many people you are feeding
    The three of us polished off our casserole.

    Any way
    Lamb steaks 200 gms per person remove any fat
    2 large Potatoes peeled and sliced thinly
    1 cup of parsley
    6 cloves garlic
    Parmesan cheese, finely grated
    Cherry tomatoes 300 gms
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Olive oil

    Grease a casserole dish with olive oil
    Lightly blitz in the food processor parsley, garlic and half of the tomatoes
    Season with S & P
    Cut the lamb into 3-4 cm pieces
    Toss with 2-3 tablespoon of parley mix
    So start layering

    Smear a spoonful of paste over the bottom of the dish
    Cover with layer of potatoes
    Lightly season with S &P again

    Spread over more tomato/parsley mix
    Cover with grated cheese
    Squash (with your fingers) 8 or tomatoes and sit in the cheese
    Add lamb
    More grated cheese
    Another layer potatoes, season S & P
    More tomato mix
    Grated cheese
    Squeezed Tomatoes
    Last layer of potatoes
    Season S & P
    Finish with grated cheese
    Rest of the tomatoes
    Season again.
    Drizzle over some olive oil
    Cover dish
    Bake at 200C about an hour till knife will slide through potatoes and meat.
    I let it sit for about 30 minutes before serving
    The flavours were excellent.
    Quite a lot of juice soaked up nicely by the potatoes.
    This is a keeper.
    Actually some chopped parsley would finish it off, unfortunately, I ran out of it.

    To complete the meal.
    I have been lusting after this dessert that I found on my friend Arfi’s website
    Click here and you will find the recipe.
    Her photography is's a pretty site.

    I made one slight change.
    To get the extra orange flavour. I mixed Whittaker’s 72% Ghana Chocolate with their orange chocolate.

    Very nice.
    Arfi it’s a lovely dessert and we loved it.
    Thank you.

    Just a little addition this is a simple little appetiser to have with drinks.
    I have just discovered Marcella Hazan described as the reigning queen of Italian Cooking and this is one of her recipes
    1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-reggiano
    1 tablespoons butter softened to room temperature
    I teaspoon chopped fresh basil
    ¼ pound shelled walnut halves

    In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the walnuts
    Scoop up some the mix with your fingers and apply it to the walnuts sheathing each half only partially, leaving about 1/3 exposed

    Place coated walnuts on a dish without overlapping and refrigerate until ready to serve
    It is best to coat them only 1-2 hours ahead.

    Actually I found the flavour better as they came to room temperature.
    Sorry about the photo I didn't think to take the shot till we had nearly eaten them all.
    But it should at least give you an idea.

    1 comment:

    Arfi Binsted said...

    oh i should try that dark orange sometimes. perhaps you can splash some cointreau, it's orangey too, isn't it? well, you're welcome, Gilli. glad the recipe works!