11th April 2010

    Black-Eyed Pea, Ground Turkey, and Chard Stew


    This stew is based on one made with ground lamb in Mediterranean Hot and Spicy. I don’t usually cook with black-eyed peas, and don’t think I’ve had many dishes where they were a main component — usually I’ve experienced them as a side dish. This stew was bursting with flavor and, according to Lisa, was even better the next day as delicious leftovers for lunch.


    Chris says:

    Oh, I love the spices in this. The flavors are awesome.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah I really like all the different ways we’re finding to use the chard in our CSA box.

    Chris says:

    I want to make this with lamb some time, but actually, it really works with the ground turkey.

    Lisa says:

    I think it’s great with the turkey — I just haven’t been in a lamby mood lately.

    Chris says:

    Well don’t feel baa-aa-aa-aad; this is definitely one of those recipes that’ll enter the rotation.

    Lisa says:

    I only feel “baa-aa-aa-aad” for anyone reading this who had to put up with that pun.

    Black-Eyed Pea, Ground Turkey, and Chard Stew
    1 cup dried black-eyed peas
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 cup chopped onion
    Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
    1/2 lb ground turkey
    2 tbsp red pepper paste
    1 cup canned chopped tomatoes, with juice
    pinch of hot red pepper flakes
    1 cup vegetable stock
    leaves from 1 bunch of chard, coarsely chopped

    In a medium saucepan, cover the black-eyed peas with water by 2 inches, bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, add fresh water just to cover the peas, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain once again.
    In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, salt to taste, and saute for four minutes until tender. Add the turkey and saute until firm and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the pepper paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, black-eyed peas, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the peas are very tender. Add the chard and toss to wilt. If the dish is watery, increase the heat and stir until mostly evaporated. Adjust seasonings, and serve.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mediterranean, Mediterranean Hot and Spicy, Middle Eastern | 2 Comments

    2nd November 2009

    Moussaka

    moussaka

    I’d been craving lamb, and Lisa was in a I-want-lasagna-but-we-just-had-lasagna mood, so moussaka seemed like the perfect bridge between our two wants. This recipe comes from the book Mediterranean Hot and Spicy; the moussaka was certainly hot (after being in a 400F oven for an hour…) but spicy? Not so much. Mouth-watering? Yes. Mouth-burning? No. Just a warning; this is not a recipe you can just whip up when you get home from work; it’s a multi-hour commitment!


    Lisa says:

    I can’t believe you’re just finishing up, I would have been frustrated hours ago.

    Chris says:

    Ha, I actually enjoy the occasional time-intensive recipe; besides, the last hour I haven’t been doing anything but getting hungry while I wait for it to finish baking.

    Lisa says:

    Well I’m glad it’s done now… I’m starvin’, Marvin.

    Chris says:

    This smells awesome… Mmm.. and there’s the lamb I’ve been craving.

    Lisa says:

    Oooh, I love the texture of the baked yogurt top. And the meat is good — not super-duper “lamby”.

    Chris says:

    All the veggies are great; I like the layer of green peppers.

    Lisa says:

    The potato layer is awesome. Whoa — looks like there’s a ton leftover.

    Chris says:

    There is — you could totally cut this recipe in half and just bake it in an 8″x8″ pan and you’d be set for 4 servings.

    Lisa says:

    I guess at some point we’ll be able to report back on how this freezes and reheats.

    Chris says:

    Indeed — we’ll have to whip this out midweek next week. It’ll be nice to not have to work nearly as hard for it next time. :)

    Spicy, Light Moussaka
    Sea salt
    2 large eggplants (about 1.5 lbs). sliced lengthwise, 1/4″ thick
    Olive oil
    1 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
    3 large green bell peppers, quartered and cut into 1″ pieces
    1 lb lean ground lamb
    1 1/2 cups chopped onion
    2 or more pinches of cayenne
    1/3 cup dry red wine
    1/2 cup dried currants
    2 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes with juice
    fresh ground black pepper
    2 pinches freshly ground nutmeg
    1 pinch allspice
    1 lb (4 cups) nonfat Greek yogurt
    2 egg yolks

    Salt the eggplant slices, place them in a colander, and let them drain for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat about an inch deep of olive oil in a deep, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and fry the potato slices until browned but not cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and layer on the bottom of a 9×12″ glass ovenproof casserole dish. In the same oil, saute the peppers over medium-high heat, stirring often, until they start to color, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reserve the oil, measure out 1/4 cup, and return it to the pan. Saute the lamb in the oil, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until no longer red. Add the chopped onion and continue to saute for another 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the cayenne and red wine. When boiling, add the currants and tomatoes. Lower and simmer for about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more cayenne if wanted. Add the nutmeg and allspice and add to the heat.
    Preheat the broiler.
    Wipe the eggplant slices with paper towels and place them on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with the reserved oil and broil about 4 inches from the heat until golden brown on both sides.
    Preheat the oven to 400F.
    Arrange the eggplant over the potatoes, overlapping if necessary. Layer the peppers over the eggplant and top with the lamb/tomato mixture. In a bowl, mix the yogurt with the egg yolks, stirring well. Pour the mixture over the lamb/tomato mixture. Bake for 1 hour, until the top starts to color and the moussaka is bubbly.

    6-8 Servings.

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    posted in Greek, Main Dishes, Mediterranean Hot and Spicy, Middle Eastern | 2 Comments

    5th August 2009

    Baba Ghanoush

    baba
    This particular recipe for baba ghanoush (or baba ghannouj, moutabal, etc.) comes from a book called Little Foods of the Mediterranean: 500 Fabulous Recipes for Antipasti, Tapas, Hors d’Oeuvres, Meze, and More, but honestly, the basic recipe is pretty simple: eggplant, tahini, lemon, garlic. We served it with the gyros we made for the Almost Meatless Potluck.


    Chris says:
    Hooray, I’ve always wanted to make baba ghanoush! I love the smokiness from the grilled and blackened eggplant.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, this is good — tastes really close to how my dad makes it.

    Chris says:

    Same ingredients I’m assuming?

    Lisa says:

    Yep… though we always called it “moutabal” growing up.

    Chris says:

    I think this one came out just a little … sweet? …is that possible? It might just need a pinch more salt.

    Lisa says:

    You’ll never get an argument from me on adding salt. To anything.

    Baba Ghanoush
    2 medium-size eggplants
    4 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup tahini
    2 large garlic cloves, peeled
    1 tsp salt
    Extra-virgin olive oil
    parsley

    Score the eggplants all over with a fork. Preheat a gas grill on high and grill the eggplant whole until the skins are black and blistered, about 40 minutes. Remove the skins and spoon out the insides as soon as you can handle the eggplant. Puree the pulp in a food processor, then drain the bitter liquid from the eggplant by letting it sit in a strainer over a bowl for an hour.
    In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice and tahini. Pound the garlic and salt together in a mortar until it is a paste, then stir into the tahini. Stir into the eggplant puree. Taste and add water to thin.
    Pour onto a serving platter and drizzle with olive oil, then top with parsley.
    Scoop with pita or Arabic flatbread.

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    posted in Appetizers, Arabic, Armenian, Middle Eastern | 2 Comments

    29th July 2009

    Almost Meatless Potluck: Ful Mudammas Gyros

    lamb-ful-gyros

    A few weeks ago, we were asked by Tara Mataraza Desmond and Joy Manning to participate in a virtual potluck in celebration of their recent cookbook, Almost Meatless: Recipes That Are Better for Your Health and the Planet. I like the book’s concept — use less meat in recipes and replace it with novel ingredients to make them healthier without having to completely eliminate meat altogether. We had previously made and enjoyed the Albondigas, so this time we decided to tackle a recipe we’d never made at home before: Gyros!  Rather than solely containing lamb shaved off a vertical broiler, this version uses a few slices of grilled leg of lamb steak, filled out with ful mudammas, a garlicky, zesty Middle-Eastern bean-spread. It’s then topped with cool tzatziki and tomatoes for a great combination of texture and flavor.

    Chris says:

    Hooray for gyros! I’m glad we finally made these at home, I love them.

    Lisa says:

    …and there’s ful in it? I’ve only ever had the stew-version, this should be interesting — it’s the same ingredients?

    Chris says:

    Yep, basically the same thing, but no broth, and the beans are mashed. How is it?

    Lisa says:

    Wow, it’s awesome. The flavors are exactly right.

    Chris says:

    Sweet — it’s really nice in there with the lamb. I like the combination.

    Lisa says:

    Yum, me too. These are great. The tzatziki rules.

    Chris says:

    Well I made it with Fage, your favorite.

    Lisa says:

    No wonder!

    Chris says:

    So — overall… great success?

    Lisa says:

    Great success!

    Ful Mudammas Gyros
    (Reprinted with permission from Ten Speed Press and the authors)
    Tzatziki:
    1/2 cucumber, cut into 1/4″ dice (about 1/2 cup)
    1/2 cup Greek yogurt
    1 clove garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
    Salt

    Lamb:
    1 12-oz leg of lamb steak
    Zest of 1/2 lemon
    1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 tsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

    Ful Mudammas:
    1 15-oz can fava beans, drained and rinsed
    1 clove garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    Zest of 1/2 lemon
    Juice of 1/2 lemon (2 tbsp)
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    4 pitas or flatbreads
    Tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)

    Make the tzatziki: Combine the cucumber, yogurt, garlic, and mint in a small bowl and stir until combined. Taste, adding salt if needed. Cover and refrigerate.
    Marinate the lamb: Whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, garlic, and pepper in a large glass bowl. Add the lamb and flip the meat several times to coat in the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    Make the ful mudammas: While the lamb marinates, combine the beans, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Smash the beans with a pestle to form a textured paste. Season with more salt if desired.
    Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the lamb on the hot grill and discard the remaining marinade. Grill for about 4 minutes per side, until the meat reaches medium-rare (about 130F). Take the lamb off the grill and let it rest for about 5 minutes before slicing very thinly across the grain.
    To assemble, spread about 1/4 cup of the fava bean mixture on each pita or flatbread. Add 3 or 4 slices of lamb, a dollop of tzatziki, and some of the chopped tomato to each. Wrap the pita around the filling, serve, and enjoy.

    4 Gyros

    Thanks again to Tara and Joy for asking us to participate in the virtual pot luck!

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    posted in Almost Meatless, Blogging Event, Greek, Main Dishes, Middle Eastern | 9 Comments

    12th June 2008

    Kefta Kebabs and Cauliflower with Taratur Sauce

    Turkey Kefta
    Two new dishes for us tonight: baked cauliflower with a delicious tahini sauce, and ground turkey meatballs with a pomegranate syrup. We had originally planned to make this cauliflower dish (from Lebanese Cuisine) as part of the Lebanese feast last weekend, but there was already way too much food, and so we made an excuse to try again this week. The kebabs are listed as a variation on a turkey burger recipe in the How to Eat Supper cookbook; it isn’t exactly “authentic”, but the kefta was delicious all the same. To round things out, Lisa made baby bok choy sauteed with plenty of onions and garlic.

    Lisa says:

    This turkey kefta is way different than the versions I had growing up… but you’re right, it’s really good.

    Chris says:

    Yeah — no pine nuts or bulgur in this one… Yum, I really like the way the cauliflower is cooked — I don’t think I’ve ever had it any other way than raw or steamed. I strayed from the recipe and used Jenn’s baking method instead of the one in the book.

    Lisa says:

    …that taratur sauce on it rules.

    Chris says:

    Oooh — the sauce is actually also good on the kefta.

    Lisa says:

    I like how there’s not really a ton of tahini in it, but the sesame flavor really comes out.

    Chris says:

    I like how there’s not really a ton of kefta left, because most of it is already in my belly. The flavor really went in.

    Turkey Kefta Kebabs
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 large onion, finely diced
    1 large tomato, diced
    2 large garlic cloves, minced
    salt and pepper
    1/2 tsp coriander
    1/2 tsp cumin
    2 tbsp chopped cilantro
    1 lb ground turkey
    1/4 dry white wine
    pomegranate molasses

    Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a nonstick skillet, and cook the onions and tomatoes, sprinkled with salt and pepper, over high heat until the onions start to wilt and brown, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
    In a large bowl, add the ground turkey, onion-tomato mix, salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, cilantro, and wine. Mix together well and form into small balls. The mix will feel *really* delicate and sticky.
    In the skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, and rotate every 30 seconds or so until all sides are seared. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 150. Serve on a plate and drizzle the pomegranate molasses over the top.

    Makes ~14

    Cauliflower with Taratur
    1 head cauliflower
    olive oil
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    1 tsp salt
    3 tbsp tahini
    2 tbsp water
    1/3 cup lemon juice
    powdered red pepper

    Heat the oven to 450F. Break the cauliflower into florets and place into a small bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil over the cauliflower and add a pinch of red pepper. Toss until all the cauliflower is coated, then place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned and tender.
    In a bowl, mix the crushed garlic and the salt. Add the tahini and blend well, then add the water and mix thoroughly. Add the lemon juice and blend until the sauce is whitish and smooth. Add red pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and serve.

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    posted in How to Eat Supper, Main Dishes, Middle Eastern, Sides | 9 Comments


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