Braised Eggs with Lamb, Tahini & Mixed Nuts

I love runny eggs, and goodness, do I love my ground lamb. Add some nuts and harissa into it, and it becomes a knock-out combination. I stumbled upon this recipe in a lovely book called ‘Jerusalem‘ by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. This recipe is on the cover of the book, and to be honest, I saw the picture, my mouth started watering, and I bought the book :).

I made a few modifications – preserved lemon is not easy to come by, and I couldn’t imagine this dish without some fresh lemon juice cooked into the meat, as well as pine-nuts! Lamb and pine nuts are such a beautiful combination because they add a subtle crunch to the lamb without overpowering the meat.

This is a gorgeous, one-pot meal with the spice of the harissa, mixed with the crunchy nuts, oozing egg, and delicious sumac and citrus shining through the dish. This makes a perfect meal when paired with a bold glass of red wine (like a cabernet sauvignon) and some great company. Enjoy!!

PS – If you want to pair it with another dish, make a fresh and light cous cous to go with it! 🙂

Love,
Priyanka

Lamb and Egg Pan Shot PK

Lamb and Egg w Wine Glass PK

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
12 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground lamb
2 teaspoons sumac, plus a little extra for garnish
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup of crushed, toasted, unsalted pistachios
1/4 cup of toasted, unsalted pine nuts (or pignolias)
2 teaspoons harissa
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup organic chicken stock
4 large, organic eggs
Kosher salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Garnish: sumac, cilantro, parsley

Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1.5 tablespoons tahini paste
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon water

Directions

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a cast-iron pan that you have a tight-fitting lid for (pan 1). Meanwhile, place a second cast-iron pan over high heat for a different use (pan 2).

Step 1: In pan 1 (over medium-high heat with olive oil), sauteé the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned. Now, turn the heat up to high and add the ground lamb, browning for an additional 5-6 minutes, stirring with your wooden spoon occasionally. Add the lemon juice, sumac, cumin, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, black pepper, and stir until well-incorporated. Remove the pan from heat and mix in the nuts, harissa. Set aside.

Step 2: While the onion and garlic are cooking, add the cherry tomatoes to pan 2 which has been pre-heated (note: it is too hot if it is smoking!). Char them for 4-6 minutes, turning them ocassionally, until slightly blackened and blistered on the outside. Remove the tomatoes from the pan and set aside.

Step 3: Prepare the yogurt sauce by adding all the sauce ingredients to a bowl, mixing with a fork until well-incorporated. It should be the consistency of thick yogurt – feel free to add a few teaspoons of water until you’ve reached the consistency you desire.

Steps 1, 2 and 3 can be pre-prepared up to one-hour in advance. When ready to serve, add the chicken stock to the pan with the meat, spices, and nuts and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to low. Make 4 wells in the mix and break an egg into each well so that it doesn’t spread and is contained in the well you have created. Cover the pan with the tight-fitting lid and cook over low heat for approximately 3-4 minutes.

Please the charred tomatoes on top of the meat mixture, avoiding the eggs (so you don’t rupture the egg yolks), and cover again, steaming for an additional 5 minutes. (You want the egg whites to be cooked, but the yellow part should be runny).

Remove from heat, dollop with the yogurt sauce as liberally as you want, sprinkle with sumac, and garnish with either freshly chopped cilantro or parsley. Serve hot and serve the extra yogurt sauce alongside since this dish can dry out and needs that moisture.

Enjoy! 🙂

Lamb and Egg Single Serving PK

Oven-Roasted Lamb Kefta (Meatballs)

I love this recipe because of it’s simplicity, ease of putting together, and bold flavor profile. The spiciness of the chili powder contrasting with the rich flavors of the cinnamon, cumin, and garlic literally create a party in your mouth. My signature on these meatballs is the addition of fresh pesto – in my opinion, adding the pesto adds a nuttiness and a little fattiness that keeps the meatballs incredibly moist and divine.

You can serve these alone with some fresh yogurt to dip into (or get fancy and serve it with some tzatziki for an authentic Greek feel!). Make it a meal by stuffing whole-wheat pitas along with some lettuce and tomatoes and there you have your lunch and/or dinner ready! Or you can even throw these delicious meatballs into some tomato sauce and simmer them until ready, and you have a gorgeous lamb meatball in tomato-sauce dish that you can serve over cous cous or rice.

The options are endless, and I see this healthy, oven-roasted lamb kefta as a base recipe that can serve as a one-bite appetizer at a fancy party, or as the filling of a sandwich the next day for lunch (although it is highly unlikely there will be any leftovers of this recipe) 😉

Enjoy! And be sure to share this one with your family and friends, as all good food should be!

Love,
Priyanka

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Yields: Approximately 12 appetizer-sized meatballs

Ingredients

1 pound ground lamb (can substitute ground chicken, beef or turkey and still get a great result!)
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons of homemade pesto (or any store-bought pesto works great too!)
1 medium white or yellow onion, minced
1 egg
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint (or you can use dried mint)
Garnish: fresh mint leaves

Directions

Place lamb, cumin, paprika, chili powder (optional) garlic powder, celery seed, seasoned salt, cinnamon pepper, pesto, onion, egg and mint together in a bowl.

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Mix evenly using clean hands [I prefer putting on clean, disposable gloves and then mixing. For some reason, mixing ground meat with your hands is the best way to incorporate all the ingredients! No kitchen tool can replicate what your hands can do :)]

Mix gently until evenly combined. Form mixture into 12 meat balls (I use a 1/4 cup measure for each meatball – or you can use an ice cream scoop or melon baller, size of your choice). Round off each meatball in your hands using a circular motion, and place each meatball on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Chill kefta until ready to use (up to 2 hours in refrigerator).

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Note: There are two ways to cook the kefta – you can lightly fry them on the stovetop or bake them in the oven.

Method 1: Heat extra-virgin olive oil in sauteé pan. Once the oil is hot, add meatballs (be careful not to overcrowd the pan with too many meatballs (if needed, cook in batches). Turning the meatballs occasionally for even cooking, cook for about 6-8 minutes until desired exterior crispness and interior doneness.

Method 2: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the 12 meatballs on the baking tray you prepared them onto and bake on the center rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes until browned as desired. Serve hot with yogurt, red onions, and cucumber slices! Pair with flatbread, pita bread, or fresh rice for a whole meal! 🙂

New Delhi Sloppy Joe Burger

This recipe is truly an adaptation on the ‘American’ Sloppy Joe and has a refreshing Indian twist to it! As many of you may know, it is not common to find beef in India because of the religious connotations (in Hinduism, which is widely practiced in India, cows are considered holy, and therefore it is not kosher to eat them!) 🙂

I make this recipe with both beef and lamb, but have included lamb as the primary meat source just out of respect since I am calling this an ‘Indian’ recipe. But you can even make it with ground turkey or chicken with outstanding results! I think it is lovely with beef and lamb (the red meat flavors really make you believe you are eating a true sloppy joe!), but either way is great.

Some might argue that my recipe here is a simple Indian ‘kheema’ recipe without the potatoes and peas, however I do think that this recipe tastes very different than Kheema. Try it out and let me know what you think! My husband gave it two thumbs up, and in my books, that means that it’s a keeper! 😉

PS – he loves his spice, but if you are not interested in a high spice profile, omit the red chili flakes and/or the green chilies! You can always add more later if you want (or even top your burger with some Sriracha sauce!)

Yields: 4 sloppy joes!

Ingredients

Spicy Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger (or ginger powder)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 thin green chilis, seeded and finely minced
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 (12 or 15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup water

Lamb:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup toasted cashews
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or powder)
1 teaspoon ground all-spice powder
1/2 large white onion, finely sliced
1 bell pepper (color of your choice!), seeds and membrane removed, finely diced
3 green chilis (seeds intact if you want it spicy) chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 pound ground lamb (or beef or turkey or even chicken!)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup half-and-half
Small handful chopped fresh cilantro (soft stems included)
4 hamburger buns

Garnish: thinly sliced red onion & freshly chopped cilantro

Directions

For the spicy tomato sauce:

Heat the vegetable oil in your saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic and chopped green chili. Saute slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Now add the garam masala and paprika and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Keep warm.

For the lamb filling:

Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet and add the cumin seeds (or cumin powder) and all-spice and cook for about 20-30 Now add chopped onions and bell pepper, stirring occasionally until softened and starting to brown. Add the chili pepper. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add salt, ground lamb, Worcestershire, cilantro, & black pepper. Using a wooden spoon, break up the lamb and incorporate all ingredients well. Let it cook for about 5-7 minutes until the meat is no longer pink and browned. Continue to use the wooden spoon to break up the beef into smaller pieces.

Now add the honey, half-and-half, and toasted cashews, stirring throughly. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired. Take pan off of heat and set aside.

Assembling your burgers:

Toast the hamburger buns on a preheated grill pan or on a skillet. Fill with the meat mixture, top with the spicy tomato sauce and serve. My favorite way to serve this burger is to garnish with fresh red onion for a bit of crunch and fresh cilantro.

Enjoy! 🙂

Wine Pairing: A full-bodied Zinfandel or Pinot Noir is perfect with this spicy, red meat dish!…or a SWEET MANGO LASSI! 😉

Slow-Roasted Leg of Lamb

Lamb is one of those meats where you either love it or hate it because of the taste profile (it can be gamey, heavy, and has a very unique after-taste!). I, for one, LOVE it, and love making it in my kitchen, especially because there are so many things one can do with leftover lamb (gyros, salads topped with roast lamb, lamb sandwiches, you name it!). This recipe is definitely not a weeknight meal idea since it requires quite a bit of cooking time, but this is a fabulous crowd-pleaser and main attraction for a dinner party you might throw. This is sure to wow your guests!

Enjoy!

Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

1 leg of lamb, bone in (about 3.5 pounds)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
12-15 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons paprika
4 tablespoon Kosher salt
3 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

Directions

Make a paste out of the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, parsley, thyme, paprika, pepper and Kosher salt. Make tiny slits into the surface of the roast, inserting the paste into these slits. Rub the remaining paste over the rest of the roast. Cover the leg of lamb or place in plastic bag and let it marinate in the fridge for 24 hours (if you don’t have this much time, give the lamb at least an hour or two to marinate in the fridge, allowing it to absorb the flavors before roasting).

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F, and cover your roasting pan with a thick sheet of aluminum foil to collect the drippings. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast, not touching the bone if your roast is bone-in. Lay the leg of lamb on a well greased roasting rack that fits in the pan. There should be space between the roast and the pan to allow the drippings to collect.

Roast lamb in your preheated oven for approximately 4 hours (the name of this game is LOW AND SLOW!), flipping it over after 2 hours so that it cooks evenly. Now change your oven to the ‘broil’ mode (500 degrees F) and give each side of the roast 5-7 minutes on this setting to allow a nice crust to form. (Alternatively, you can move this roast to a hot grill to get a nice sear on it to finish the dish!)

Take it out of the oven carefully and cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for 20 minutes. (I like my lamb medium rare, at an internal temperature of ~130 degrees F after resting). Make sure you let the lamb rest! If you carve it too early, all the lovely juices will pour out of the meat and you will end up with tough, dry meat.

[Note: if you don’t have 4 hours, you can also follow this timeline for cooking it: Roast at 425°F for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300°F and roast an additional 45 minutes for a 3.5 pound roast, or about 10-12 minutes per pound for your specific roast. If you are cooking a roast bone-in, the bone will act as an insulator and will require a longer cooking time than a boneless roast.]

While you allow the roast to rest, scrape up the drippings from your aluminum foil and pan and serve as is to accompany the lamb or make a gravy out of it!

Display your beautiful leg of lamb roast and carve! If you feel like the lamb needs a bit more salt, don’t be afraid to sprinkle a little on top or pair with a good-quality balsamic vinegar to finish the dish! 🙂

Vegetables to consider to accompany this dish: baby potatoes, asparagus, creamed spinach, and even mashed potatoes are lovely friends of this recipe.

Wine Pairing: A full-bodied red wine like a Cabernet or Pinot Noir will be fabulous

Side View!

Fatteh: Middle-Eastern Casserole with Ground Lamb, Greek Yogurt & Chopped Nuts

Fatteh is a very traditional dish from the Middle-East that was introduced to me by a dear friend of my husband’s who is Lebanese. He graciously invited us over for dinner and showed us his special recipe! To be honest, I didn’t remember every little bit of it, but after I had his version, I basically went crazy for it and tried to re-create it at home – and this is that recreation!

Fatteh has so many different variations, and the original recipe often calls for both ground beef and ground lamb. However, my version only has ground lamb because I like the simplicity of the lamb against the other ingredients. Feel free to include some ground beef as well if you wish!

Please refer to the very bottom of this recipe in the ‘Variation’ section for some ideas on how to make this dish purely vegetarian if you wish!

The meatiness, nuttiness, crispiness, and creaminess that comes in every bite of this dish is to die for!

Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

lb ground lamb
2 cups of greek yogurt, whipped
1 cup mixed, salted nuts, chopped
a layer of pita chips (store-bought or homemade) to cover your serving dish

Directions

COOKING NOTE: Remember that if you buy your pita chips are store-bought, they are most likely salted. Also, your nuts are salted, so remember that when salting your lamb. You don’t want to end up with a super-salty dish!

Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add ground lamb and using a wooden spoon, break up the meat constantly so it becomes separated. Add garlic, paprika, cinnamon, salt, pepper and continue breaking up meat with your wooden spoon and folding the meat and separating it. Cook until the lamb is browned. (Make sure that the meat separates into little bits – it shouldn’t cook as one big chunk of meat.)

Taste lamb and make sure your salt and pepper seasonings are to your liking – adjust as needed. Once cooked, remove the lamb from pan and reserve.

In your serving dish (family style or individual serving dishes, as desired), spread a layer of the pita chips. Top with a layer of cooked lamb. Now top with a layer of whipped greek yogurt. Lastly, top with the chopped nuts and serve!

Variations: This dish can be topped with pine nuts instead of mixed nuts. You can also make fatteh vegetarian by using eggplant and/or julienned carrots instead of ground lamb and top with the yogurt. Chickpeas and lemon juice can be a nice additional topping. As you can see, this dish has many variations, and you can let your creativity flow with this!

Priyanka’s Traditional Roasted Rack of Lamb

My brother-in-law came and visited us this past weekend, and this recipe is really in honor of him!

I made him my traditional rack of lamb a few years ago when we first met, and he went crazy for it. So, like a good sister-in-law ;-), I am sure to make it for him anytime he comes and visits. Here is the recipe for my traditional rack of lamb (which will be one of many different racks of lamb that I do)!

This is such a great entertaining recipe that will impress your loved ones or friends. Trust me on this one, just give it a shot, and you’ll feel like a celebrity chef 20-25 minutes later :).

Other variations on this recipe that I will post in the near future are: Pistachio-crusted rack of lamb, coffee-crusted rack of lamb, and last but not least, Indian-style yogurt marinated rack of lamb.

Enjoy!


Ingredients

Marinade

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (I just use the store-bought jar of minced garlic to cut my prep time, but if you have the time, there is nothing like fresh produce and herbs!)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (you can use dried rosemary, but the fresh rosemary adds a lot of additional flavor!)
2-3 tablespoons of good quality balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2-3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (squeeze half of a lemon)
1 tablespoon of lemon zest (or the zest of half a lemon)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper

1 rack of lamb, trimmed
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (preferably the kind with the little mustard seeds in it, but the smooth mustard is also great!)

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Move oven rack to the center position.

In a large bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, brown sugar. Set aside.

Season the rack on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy oven proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear rack of lamb for 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. Cover an oven-safe sheet pan with aluminum foil and set aside the seared rack of lamb on it. Let it cool for a few minutes.

Brush rack of lamb with the mustard. Now spread your marinade on top of the rack making sure all of the rack gets covered with it. Don’t worry if some of it falls off onto the pan just make sure the marinade stays underneath the rack so the flavor is absorbed by the meat and not your oven! Wrap the ends of the bones that have no meat on them with a smaller piece of aluminum foil to prevent charring and burnt bones (super important!).

Before putting the rack of lamb in the pre-heated oven, make sure the rack is bone side down. Roast the lamb in preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes (I usually cook mine 12-13 minutes for medium rare), depending on the degree of doneness you want. With a meat thermometer (all meat-lovers should own one!), take a reading in the center of the meat after 10 to 12 minutes and remove the meat, or let it cook longer, to your taste. I personally prefer my lamb medium-rare to medium, which means the middle part of the rack should read anywhere between 127-140 degrees F).

Regardless of how well you like your rack of lamb, let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes, loosely covered with a new sheet of aluminum foil, before carving between the ribs.

Have a bite, and if you prefer more salt on your ribs, feel free to sprinkle on a bit of Kosher salt for added flavor! I don’t like my meat under-seasoned, especially lamb because of the game-y nature of the meat.

Note: This resting period is so crucial to eating tender and juicy meat, as it allows all the juices of the meat to remain inside instead of pouring out when you cut it too early. (If you want to get super technical about it, read this post on SeriousEats that takes the idea of ‘resting meats’ to a whole new level!)

WINE PAIRING: This lamb dish has such a richness to it, you want to pair it with a full-bodied red wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir.