Although we don’t eat lamb (or meat in general) very often, if I had to choose, lamb definitely would be one of my favourites. I like slow roasting the shoulder or leg of lamb, but I’ve never cooked a rack of lamb before, somehow I worry that I’ll mess the timing up and it’ll be dry and chewy. Luckily there are plenty of other ways to enjoy lamb, like these baked lamb meatballs. I’ve been experimenting with these meatballs lately, adding different spices, and so far I like this way the best. Especially the addition of cinnamon and ginger makes such a big difference. Another advantage of this dish is that it takes no time to cook, but you’ll have dish full of flavours.
BAKED LAMB MEATBALLS IN TAHINI SAUCE
500g lamb mince
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped
For the sauce:
1/2 cup tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt & pepper to taste
chopped fresh mint/ pistachios to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- In a large bowl mix together the lamb, onion, garlic, spices, olive oil and coriander, using metal spoon or just using your hands. Shape the mixture into the meatballs and arrange them in a single layer in a baking dish.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile the meatballs in the oven, combine the tahini, lemon juice, cumin and slowly add 3/4 cup of water to create a smooth sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the sauce over the partially baked meatballs and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until meatballs are thoroughly cooked. The sauce will look like a thick glaze. Garnish with chopped nuts or mint. Serve with boiled rice/spinach pilau rice or lentil.
Lately I felt a bit under the weather. Our office at work is a hive of stinky cold germs at the moment, with every other person being sick, it’s hard to stay untouched by the seasonal bug. I’m trying to fight it in my own way, hot baths, plenty of liquids (whiskey & Hot Toddy counts too) and also some nourishing soups. This was one of them, super easy to prepare, full of spices and with a kick of ginger.
I used canned green lentil this time, because I needed to eat something quickly. Alternatively you can use a dry lentil of your choice and just cook it longer.
ETHIOPIAN – INSPIRED LENTIL SOUP
(Adapted from The Kitchn)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 green chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped
2-3 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
2 cans of green/puy lentil
2 stock cubes (veggie or chicken, whatever you prefer)
about 2 litres of water
about 200g baby spinach
juice of one lemon, plus more lemon wedges for serving
- Sauté the onion in a pan until it starts to brown.
- Add all the spices, cook it for 2-3 minutes, then add chilli, ginger and garlic, stir and sauté for a further minute.
- Add the lentil, stock cubes, water, bring up to boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer for further few minutes.
- Then add the spinach and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- Add lemon juice, check for seasoning and serve with extra lemon wedges, if you like.
This is what I call summer edition Flapjacks, it’s much healthier, light, fresh and tangy, packed with summer flavours.
LEMON AND RASPBERRY FLAPJACKS
(Adapted from Olive magazine)
100g soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
250g rolled porridge oats
30g flaked almonds
2-3 lemons (depends on the size), zested and juiced
125g golden caster sugar
3 tablespoons plain flour
icing sugar for decoration (optional)
- Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C.
- Gently melt the butter, sugar and honey together, stir in the oats and almonds. Tip the mixture into a 20x20cm buttered and lined tin. Pack the oats mix in the bottom gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30 minutes until the base is set and crisp. Take it from the oven and let it cool, while you make the topping.
- Mix the lemon zest, eggs and sugar, then stir in the flour and finally the lemon juice. Beat until smooth. Pour this carefully over the flapjack base, scatter the raspberries on the top at intervals. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until the top of the mixture is set. Cool completely before dusting with the icing sugar and cutting into bars.
I remember seeing this recipe on TV ages ago, thinking ‘I must try it one day’ as it sounded unusual. ‘One day’ finally came. I had not much in a fridge but young leek and prawns. The only thing, the original recipe by Simon Hopkinson required brown shrimp, however I had to compromise and it didn’t disappoint. Such a simple and refreshing summer lunch! 🙂
LEEK, PRAWNS AND DILL SALAD
3-4 stalks (depends on size) young leek
200g cooked and peeled prawns
juice of 1 lemon
5-7 branches dill
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
salt and peper to season
1. Cut leek into small round pieces and steam it for about 10 minutes until tender, after place it on a serving plate.
2. In another bawl toss together prawns, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, chopped dill and place the mixture on top of prepared leeks.
3. Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil and serve it with garlic bread or other preferred alternative.