Leftover Lamb Curry

I know, some of you who still have teenagers (or who are young enough that you’re not weight-conscious) are thinking, “what is this leftover lamb of which you speak”?

But really, truly, I assure you, someday you two may have leftover delicious roast lamb in your futures. Sure, you can just eat it cold, in a tasty sandwich, with some Dijon and lettuce, and maybe some sliced pears and goat cheese. Another great way, is a tasty curry with whatever veg you have on hand.

In this case, I sauteed an onion, some bell pepper, and a bit of celery (the holy trinity), a couple of diced carrots, along with a clove or two of garlic and about a teaspoon of minced fresh ginger. When that was soft, I diced up the lamb and tossed it in.

Immediately I added a heaping tablespoon of curry paste (I used Patak’s but in a pinch you could use curry powder; I just don’t think it would be as flavourful). Then about a cup of vegetable broth, beef broth, lamb broth, or wine – really, any will give a great taste. Come to think of it, beer would work, too.

Chop up a couple of tomatoes and stir them in. Let the whole thing simmer til the carrots are nice and soft.

Delicious comfort food, the second time around.

Barbecued Lamb for a Celebration

I had thought I’d get burgers on the grill or take-out for my Mother’s Day dinner, but Steve surprised me. Walking about in the neighbourhood while I was at French class, he popped into Royal Beef, where they had some awesome lamb roasts.

He cooked this one one the barbecue with a marinade of Dijon mustard, olive oil, 5-spice powder, salt, and pepper. He served it with some new potatoes and spring asparagus.

Consider me spoiled.

On the Urban Farm

What makes the feast even more walkable is when some of the food comes from our own back yard. We’ve been starting tomatoes and peppers indoors, and last week we were able to really get things cleaned up and going in the garden. (The indoor veg will start hardening off in our mini greenhouse this week).

We’re looking forward to some peas – the shoots are finally out of the ground (just!) after a slow, cool start.

Next Day Soup

If you made our Slow-Braised Turkey Legs you probably had some delicious-looking gravy in the bottom. (More than you could eat with the mashed potatoes!)

If so, add about 4 cups of water, and simmer in the same casserole. Then cool overnight and use for Next Day Soup.

Bring the broth to a boil. Add 1 chopped onion, two chopped carrots, 3 or 4 stalks of diced celery, and a diced bell pepper (I used a yellow one). Add 5ml or a teaspoon of cumin and a dash of hot sauce or cayenne. To this, stir in 25oml or 1 cup each of green lentils (dried) and brown rice (uncooked). Let simmer for about half an hour.

Recycled food – better than it sounds!

Our Slow Braised Days are Nearly Over

In our haste to jump back into salads, and grilled foods, and things that are hot-weather-friendly, let us give thanks for those spring days when the weather turns chilly, and the skies are overcast. They give us a chance to take one final kick at slow-braised food, before the oven overheats the kitchen too much to be bearable.

This happened last Saturday (I know, I’m falling behind…) and I had just been out for the walk and discovered some amazing (and economical) turkey legs. A few veg and spices, a little time and care, and one of the most comforting dinners I could imagine was ready to go.

PS – don’t throw away the broth! It’s a great soup starter!

Simple Salmon

Sometimes there’s just too much going on in your day – you get over-stimulated and you need to take a break. That’s when some simple poached salmon, a boiled potato, and whatever veg you have on hand, can help you decompress. (A nice sauvignon blanc can round out the meal, too).

Calms the nerves, calms the tummy…and calms you, too.

The Potato BBQ Thing

Baked potatoes are nice. And all sorts of side dishes are great. But there are lots of days when you just want to put something on the grill, slice up some tomatoes (maybe dress them up “Jamie style”) and eat.

When that happens, we fall back on the “BBQ Potato Thing” as a real go-to dish. This recipe originally came from our friend Helena, but it’s been changed and adapted a bit over the years.

Start with two large pieces of foil, laid out on the counter in a cross (probably about 24″ long, each).

Onto these, slice up some red potatoes, skins on, about 1/4″ thick. (Peel them if they’re unsightly old potatoes!). I use one potato per person. Add a sliced onion (or two, as you like) and a diced bell pepper (or two, depending on the number of people. Give it a good grinding of pepper, and a little salt. Toss in chopped herbs if you have some (the other night, when we took this photo, we used tarragon). Drizzle with olive oil – not too much, maybe a couple of tablespoons at the most.

Toss this together, then wrap – fold one piece of foil and roll the ends together, then use the other piece and do the same, the opposite way, to form a strong package.

Put this on the gas grill while you’re preheating, turning once. Leave it on the grill while you prepare some chops or chicken breasts, turning occasionally. By the time the meat is done, the Potato Thing will be, as well – and when you serve it up, it will look like you worked a lot harder than you did.

Tomato Season is Really Here!

These delicious tomatoes are prepared using an adaptation of Jamie Oliver’s recipe. However we were short on basil, and despite his assertions, we like ours using way less salt and just a tiny sprinkling of oil. But the method is awesome and never fails to transform any tomato – a delicious, colourful collection, or even a few halved cherry ones, into a delicious side dish.