recipe

Lamb Tagine with Apricots

by Anne Maxfield on December 4, 2017

Accidental Locavore Lamb TagineThis lamb tagine came about because a recent special from Barb’s Butchery landed us with a nice package of lamb stew. Turned out to be beautiful meat–tender and flavorful and made this a terrific dish.

  • 4 pounds bone-in lamb-shoulder or neck, or 2 1/4 pounds boneless lamb stew meat, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 large Spanish onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, each 2 inches long
  • Large pinch crumbled saffron
  • 1 ¼ cups dried apricots, sliced
  • 1 cup cracked green olives, pitted and sliced if desired
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons butter
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds
  • Cooked couscous, for serving
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 325°.

Trim excess fat from lamb. Put meat in a deep Dutch oven with the garlic, salt, black pepper, paprika, ginger and cumin. Rub spices and garlic evenly all over meat.

Thinly slice onions, then mince enough of them to yield 1/2 cup. Add minced onion to pot with lamb; reserve onion slices.

Accidental Locavore Lamb for TaginePlace pot over high heat and let cook, turning meat on all sides, until spices release their scent, about 3 minutes. Meat does not need to be browned. Add 3 cups water to pot (it should come 3/4 of the way up lamb), along with cinnamon and saffron. Bring to a simmer, then cover pot and transfer to oven. Let braise for 45 minutes.

Turn meat, then top with onion slices. Cover pot and braise for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until lamb is very tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to a bowl, leaving broth and onions in pot.

Place pot on stove over high heat and add 3/4 cup apricots and the olives. Simmer broth until it reduces by a third and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return lamb to pot and keep warm until serving.

To serve, chop remaining 1/2 cup apricot slices. In a small skillet, melt butter. Add almonds and cook until well browned and toasted, about 2 minutes. Put couscous in a serving bowl and top with almonds and butter and chopped apricots. Pile tagine in center of couscous and garnish with herbs. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Lamb TagineMy verdict: Well Frank’s actually, “this is one of the best tagines you’ve ever made”. The lamb made this dish—tender and flavorful, it melted in your mouth. I swapped pine nuts for the almonds and that was fine. Next time, maybe fewer apricots and some preserved lemon, sliced into slivers.

I used Castelvetrano olives and they might have been a little too subtle for the dish. The green olives looked good, but any combo of black and green would work fine. This is probably a way of saying that the dish needed salt, or in Frank’s case, harissa.

You can make this ahead of time and just finish it while the couscous is cooking.

 

 

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Sheet Pan Chicken, Chickpeas and Fennel

by Anne Maxfield on October 30, 2017

Accidental Locavore Chicken and Chickpeas RoastedChicken sheet pan dinners always look like a great idea.

Can we all agree on a few things?

  1. Sheet pan dinners are trendy.
  2. They look good in photos.
  3. It’s a good way to get food on the table simply and easily.
  4. And you’ll spend the rest of the night trying to scrub all that baked-on stuff off the sheet pan!

I’m as easily conned as the next person and have been crazy busy lately, so this chicken recipe on the NY Times Cooking site, looked like a winner. Give yourself some time to let it marinate. Serves 4.

Chicken, chickpeas and fennel recipe

  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken parts, such as breasts, thighs and legs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½cups full-fat Greek yogurt, divided
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric, divided
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½cup mint or cilantro leaves, torn

Season chicken parts with salt and pepper.

Combine 3/4 cup yogurt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon turmeric and 2 tablespoons water in a large bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. (It should be on the salty side, as this is a marinade.) Add chicken and toss to coat evenly. Let sit at least 30 minutes at room temperature, and up to overnight in the refrigerator.

Place oven rack on the top third of the oven and heat to 425°.

Accidental Locavore Chicken and Chickpeas TossedCombine chickpeas, fennel seed, cumin, remaining teaspoon of turmeric and half the red onion slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.

Move chickpeas to the outer edges of the baking sheet. Scrape any excess marinade off the chicken, and place the chicken parts in the center. Place baking sheet in oven and bake, tossing chickpeas occasionally, until the skin of the chicken is evenly browned and the chickpeas are golden and starting to crisp, 45 to 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss remaining onion slices with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Combine remaining yogurt with remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Once chicken is ready, scatter with lemony onions and mint or cilantro. Serve with seasoned yogurt alongside as a sauce and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Chicken and Chickpeas PlatedMy verdict: Winner, winner, sheet pan dinner!

Since I didn’t feel like cleaning for days, as you can see by the photos, a simple piece of parchment paper, lining the pan, made the clean-up a snap.

I tossed some fennel with the chickpeas and roasted it—it was wonderful, tender and silky.

The chickpeas were a bit of a disappointment. They were chickpeas I had soaked, cooked and frozen. Rather than get crispy like the original recipe said, they were a little tough. I don’t know if canned chickpeas would work better in this case, but it would be worth a try. What might be even better would be to cube up some potatoes and roast them instead of the chickpeas.

We also really liked the contrast the “lemony onions” gave to the dish. I used up all the Greek yogurt I had on the marinade and forgot to buy more, but a few tablespoons of labne, worked just as well and made a good sauce.

 

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Barbecued Pork Skewers Filipino Style

by Anne Maxfield on October 23, 2017

Accidental Locavore Pork Skewers on GrillWhile it’s still warm enough out to keep the grill going, you owe it to yourself to make these pork skewers. They’re easy to toss together and just require a little marinating time.

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder cut into 1” cubes

For the marinade and glaze: 

  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup lime or lemon juice
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 cup ginger ale (divided use)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper

In a large bowl, mix the garlic, soy sauce lime juice, ketchup, ½ cup ginger ale, salt and pepper.

Set aside ½ cup of the marinade and refrigerate.

Add the pork to the bowl with the marinade, toss to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight (in the refrigerator).

When you’re ready to cook, remove the pork and preheat your grill to medium-high.

Take the extra ½ cup marinade from the refrigerator add the ½ cup ginger ale and the brown sugar. Mix well and set aside to glaze the skewers.

If you’re using bamboo skewers, soak them for about 20 minutes.

Skewer the pork and grill for about 12 minutes a side or about 30 minutes total.

Baste the pork every few minutes with the reserved marinade.

Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Pork SkewersMy verdict:

My friend Jasmine gave me the recipe, telling me it was like pork candy and she was right! We served it over some rice (jasmine or basmati) and it was delicious!

Originally, I didn’t know what we were going to do with the pork, so I ended up buying a big piece of pork shoulder and we had tons of skewers (but not for long).
I used some of the More Good ginger ale syrup, mixed with some seltzer, because it’s a little healthier and we didn’t have any ginger ale on hand. You could probably substitute some grated ginger and a little sugar or simple syrup.

If you want to add heat to it, a shot of sriracha or some finely minced chiles would be good.

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Zucchini Salad With Mint and Feta

by Anne Maxfield on September 25, 2017

Accidental Locavore Zucchini and SquashZucchini never ends.

While you’ve got plenty of zucchini and while we’re still got warm weather, this salad is light and refreshing, quick to make, and you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. Serves 4-6 from NY Times Cooking.

Accidental Locavore Zucchini Salad With Pine NutsZucchini Salad With Mint and Feta

  • 1 ½pounds small zucchini or summer squash
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 3tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1tablespoon thinly sliced chives
  • 2tablespoons roughly chopped mint
  • 2tablespoons roughly chopped sorrel
  • 4ounces feta cheese, crumbled, for garnish
  • 3tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted, for garnish

Slice the ends of the zucchini. Julienne with a large knife, spiralizer, mandoline, or julienne tool.

Transfer to a large bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add lemon zest and juice and toss well. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Add yogurt and toss to coat well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add chopped herbs and mix gently. Garnish with feta and pine nuts. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Zucchini Feta SaladMy verdict: Even if you think you’ve had enough zucchini, this will change your mind! It’s a simple summer salad that comes together quickly and is a delicious change from the other thousand ways you’ve made zucchini this summer.

Don’t panic if you don’t have sorrel, it’s a lovely lemony flavored herb to have in your garden, but you could substitute some more mint, a little oregano or thyme and be perfectly happy.

Do panic if you don’t have small zucchini or summer squash or you’ll have a very watery salad. A mix of yellow and green squash will give it some nice color. You could even toss in some julienned cucumber for a differernt sort of crunch.

My guest for dinner the night I made this, quickly finished it off and they’re not the most adventurous eaters.

So, give it a try and it may actually make you wish for more zucchini. What do you think?

 

 

 

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