Food Buzz


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Who knew I liked lamb?

After many years of saying to my mom "I really don't like lamb, I don't like it.  It's gamey, I hate the smell.  Mint jelly is gross." and mom replying "You don't know what you are missing!" I have finally figured out that mom was right, AGAIN!  Last night, among the many recipes that were cooked at class, teams one and two made lamb shish kebab with mint pesto.  Wow - it was really good!  Lamb was marinated in a mint pesto (recipes below) for about 45 minutes then was skewered with green pepper and onion and grilled.  The kebobs came out delicious and not overly gamey or minty! I was pretty proud of all the teams last night - we made some good stuff.

On the menu (as we were still working on marinades/pestos) was fennel slaw with pistachio pesto which was pretty good, mushroom duxelle stuffed tomatoes (really delicious and would have been even better with summery ripe tomatoes instead of hard-ish winter tomatoes),  pasta with sundried tomato/parmesan/cream sauce, dijonaisse chicken breast (a decadent chicken breast recipe with a dijon/mayo/parmesan topping), and finally, our team made a cheese torta (cream cheese, goat cheese and garlic, whipped in the food processor then layered with a home made sun dried tomato pesto in a springform pan and refirgerated).  We didn't get to taste the final product as it needs to refrigerate over night.  We will eat it Thursday when we have a CHEESE presentation (I am not eating all day Thursday in preparation!).  I will take pictures!

Some of these recipes had summery ingredients... do you have a favorite summer recipe or ingredient that you are getting excited for?  Spring is just around the corner! 

Here is the kebab recipe.  Enjoy and chow for now! :)

Mint Pesto
yields 9.5 oz

1/2 t salt
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 oz pine nuts
1 oz parmesan cheese, grated
2 oz mint leaves, fresh
1/2 t chile flakes
4 fl oz olive oil
TT pepper

We used a mortar and pestle.  If you want to go this route, put salt and garlic in the mortar and use the pestle to pound the garlic until it's very soft.  Add pine nuts and pound until blended.  add cheese and pound until well mixed.  Add mint leaves and chile flakes and pound some more.  Put mixture into a bowl and slowly stir in olive oil until well mixed.  Add a little pepper to taste.

If you want to use a food processor, combine all ingredients into the bowl of the processor and blend until a smooth paste.

Lamb Shish Kebab
Yields 16 skewers with 4 cubes of lamb on each

5 lb of Lamb (leg or shoulder, boneless, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes)
6 medium onions cut into 1 inch squares
6 green bell peppers cut into 1 inch squares
16 skewers, soaked in wataer for about 1/2 hour.

Procedure: Grill or broil
1. Marinate the lamb in mint pesto for one hour
2. Place cubes of lamb on each skewer, then a piece of onion and bell pepper, alternating the vegetables and lamb (4 pieces of lamb per skewer).  Grill or broil to desired doneness.

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