Call them what you will, one of the best ways to stretch your grocery bill is to incorporate leftovers or things that need using up into your lunch.
We’re off to run a couple of errands before the Super Bowl and we were smart enough not to eat the two extra lamb chops in the grocery store package (on sale last week and held in the freezer). We broiled the lot last night and sliced the leftovers for lunch. They’re served on a bed of local baby greens and cukes, both hothouse-grown.
For the dressing:
1/4 c / 60ml homemade wine vinegar
2T / 30ml olive oil
1oz / 30g crumbled feta
1T / 15ml Dijon
1T / 15ml dried oregano or basil
6 dry-cured olives, chopped
Sprinkle on top:
1T / 15ml chopped sundried tomatoes
It snowed overnight, which we suppose is Mother Nature having the last laugh after we were so excited at yesterday’s promise of spring. We’re fighting back, though, by having a lunchtime salad that combines the flavours of a winter Tagine with the crunchy green-ness of spring.
On a bed of greens, we added celery slices and chopped up last night’s leftover lamburgers. The dressing consisted of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and maple Dijon mustard from Kozlik’s. To top it off, some feta, raisins, and pine nuts gave us a salty-sweet finish with just the right spiciness.
Yesterday Mother Nature gave us a peek into springtime, with bare lawns, sunshine, and temperatures above the freezing mark. We knew the forecast was for snow, so after a long walk, we wanted to take advantage of this temperate turn of events while it lasted.
On the grill: lamb burgers – topped with feta cheese, a little corn relish, and some Dijon, with a green side salad to make sure it really felt like spring!
Today our daughter is celebrating her 30th birthday, and we are so grateful for her. She’s an amazing young woman. Last night when we returned home from gathering the ingredients for her birthday dinner, a simple dinner was in order. So we grilled the lamb chops himself had picked up at the East Lynn Farmers’ Market, and used some more of Nick’s delicious romaine to make a simple Caesar salad. The fresh Ontario garlic in the dressing was piquant!
Those of you who read our last post will realize that this meal actually preceded that one; I just couldn’t find the photo!
It’s hard to imagine why, but we decided to eat a real cold day food on one of the hottest days of the year. When we returned from golf the other day, we coated this lovely rack of Ontario lamb with Dijon and chopped rosemary from our garden. We surrounded it with halved new potatoes, rubbed with oil and decorated with a single sage leaf on each half. We roasted the lot for about 30 minutes (start at 450F then immediately drop the temp to 350F – check doneness with an instant-read thermometer; 125 for rare). On the side, steamed broccoli.
While it was cooking, we enjoyed the cool shade and watched the world go by from our front porch.
Yesterday was a slow, sultry day, the kind where salad is the best option for any meal.
We had a bit of leftover roast lamb (the roast came from the East Lynn Farmers’ Market, just down the street) and a small chunk of feta (from Better Bulk) begging to be used. So we put this salad together:
15ml/1T each of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, whisked together in a medium bowl
A good handful of fresh oregano leaves, chopped
90g/3oz of diced cooked lamb
6 black olives, pitted and chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
250ml/1c broccoli florets
Our lamb had been roasted in a coating of Dijon; otherwise add about 5ml/1t of that to the dressing as well. Toss the vegetables and lamb in the vinaigrette. Serve on a bed of:
Over the top of the salads, sprinkle:
30g/1oz feta, crumbled
We heard that the top Superbowl food was chicken wings. We also know those who flavour chili. But we decided Lamb and Chickpea Tagine was called for. We started with a recipe from www.cookinglight.com, then made some adaptations: deglazing with some beer after the browning stage, lemongrass pounded and tossed in with the garlic instead of cilantro at the end, baking slowly in the oven instead of stovetop, adding yogurt, and substituting parsley and pecans for cilantro and pistachios. (OK, we still used the lamb and the chickpeas).
Now all that’s left is the cheering and the crying.
The weather in Ontario this week hardly constitutes the kind of weather for “cold weather food”. But it’s a small sacrifice for something so delicious. We had two lovely local lamb shanks in the freezer. While those were browning in a Dutch oven on top of the stove, we chopped a carrot, a hot pepper, a leek, and a stalk of celery. When the shanks were browned we turned the oven to 350F. Then we added the veg and sautéed until they were softened a bit. After deglazing with a little beer, we added a stalk of thyme (the leaves will fall off and the stem can be fished out before serving). Other flavours included a few raisins, 3 chopped dried apricots, 6 pitted, chopped black olives, some oregano, chili powder, and ground cloves.
We poured over a pint of diced tomatoes (or half a large can), covered it, and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Then we turned the shanks, let it go for another 20 minutes. For the last 10 minutes we took the lid off, and in the meantime, made mashed potatoes. The lamb was fall-off-the-bone delicious. Happy Groundhog Day!