Category Archives: Lamb

Summer Winter Dinner

If a pot is cooking, the friendship will stay warm.
~ Arab Proverb

Good company for dinner is one of the best pleasures in life. I had that this evening :-)

I begin to surprise myself now with the way I think I am actually getting into this Cook-through the Cookbook thing… I fear I may even be mildly – just mildly – addicted to it! Hmm. In any case, tonight’s recipes of choice from “Falling Cloudberries” were:

#11 Tava (Cypriot Baked Lamb & Potatoes with Cumin & Tomatoes) – Page 173
#12 Baked Amaretti & Vin Santo Plums with Mascarpone Cream – Page 326

And I’ll admit it, I cheated and edited the recipes.

Since we got home pretty late, I didn’t want to spend 2.75 hours cooking the lamb & potatoes! So I par-boiled the potatoes and browned the lamb, reducing the cooking time by around 1.75 hours. I was also skeptical of just using cumin, so I added in cinnamon and paprika.

This is what it looked like pre-baking:

And here it is on a plate… not a great photo I’m afraid! (No angles would make it look appetizing). It did taste far better than it looks in the picture. It was also a ‘wintry’ meal perfect for today’s grey weather. However… I did not think it was fantabulous.

Dessert, on the other hand…

You know how sometimes it feels like only chocolate cake or tiramisu or sticky date pudding count as ‘real’ desserts?

I did not need cake at all tonight. Because, these peaches, and the mascarpone cream, were delectable.

Substitutions: I used peaches instead of plums, oat biscuits because the supermarket did not have amaretti biscuits, a mixture of Spiced Gold & Kahlua because we did not have vin santo.

In which my family came to dine

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
~ Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

This post won’t be a long one, since I am very sleepy!

My family drove down today to stay for the weekend :-) Naturally, I thought a good dinner was necessary. It was also the perfect opportunity, I thought, to try 4 recipes from “Falling Cloudberries” tonight! Remind me never to be so ambitious again… I started at 4pm and was still rushing along at 7! (Luckily it was mostly fun! Plus we got to shop at MOORE WILSON’S :-)

On the menu tonight were:

#2 Tzatziki (Yoghurt, Cucumber, Garlic & Mint Dip) – Page 76
#3 Stuffed Eggplants – Page 117
#4 Spanakopita – Page 153
#5 Baklava with Nuts & Dried Apricots – Page 129

… along with 5-grain sourdough with dukkah, olive oil + balsamic vinegar, barbequed lamb, mini stuffed red peppers, and vanilla ice-cream as extras.
And: Dad’s red wine
And: Matt’s coffee with Kahlua

Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth, but you are dooooomed if you try cooking all by yourself (if you are me). I owe tonight’s successful dinner to good help. For instance, Ben shelled pistachios and Matt manned the barbeque + washed dishes along the way. The afternoon rolled along in a whirl of squeezing cucumbers, de-fleshing eggplants, breathing in the scent of tomatoes + garlic, making filo triangles, drizzling syrup over the nut & apricot baklavas…

What I love so far about Tessa Kiros’s book is the way love + family just seem to consume every page of her beautiful book… and how her recipes involve simple things like cucumber, Greek yoghurt, tomatoes – so average people like me can follow them. I also like how her recipes require time and effort, but in perfect amounts so you don’t look at them and despair before you even begin. And she sure makes good food!

So we didn’t have a big enough dining table, so my family, Matt and Tim had to sit on chairs/couches and balance plates on our laps and put glasses on the floor – but it was fun nevertheless…

And now, one warm shower later, I’m sleepy, and my hands still smell faintly of garlic and almonds (kind of eeky and gross, but cool too).

Wow, this post sure got long. Bonne nuit x