4th April 2008

    Lamb and Spinach Fatta (Fattet Sabanikh)


    I’ve had a hankerin’ for lamb lately, so I made this layered dish featuring a spinach and lamb stew over broken toasted pita, covered with a mint-garlic yogurt sauce, and covered with roasted pine nuts! Not the most photogenic of dishes, but we both loved all the different flavors and textures. The recipe comes from Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen.

    Chris says:

    I’m happy about finally making a lamb dish… and this was actually pretty simple. It cooks for a while, but it’s mostly hands-off.

    Lisa says:

    This is really good… and the kitchen smells great!

    Chris says:

    I’m gonna happily get “fatta” by eating more of it.

    Lisa says:

    I like scooping up the stew with the toasted pita.

    Chris says:

    If “Middle Eastern Nachos” didn’t sound so unappetizing I’d call it that.

    Lisa says:

    I just call it delicious.

    Lamb and Spinach Fatta (Fattet Sabanikh)
    —————————————-
    2 bunches of spinach (about 2 lbs)
    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 medium onions, finely chopped
    1 lb lean boneless lamb, cut into 1″ cubes
    1/2 tsp Mixed Spices (4 parts ground cinnamon, 1 part each ground nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom)
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    1 1/2 cups water
    juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
    2 tbsp unsalted butter
    1/3 cup pine nuts
    1/2 tsp Middle Eastern red pepper
    2 6″ pita breads, toasted and broken into bite-sized pieces
    Minted Garlic Yogurt Sauce (1 1/2 cups low-fat yogurt, crushed garlic, 1 tsp crushed dried mint)

    Wash the spinach thoroughly, remove and discard the stems, roughly chop, and set aside.
    Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until softened, stirring frequently. Add the lamb and saute, turning to brown on all sides. Add the Mixed Spices, salt, pepper, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until the meat is tender and most of the water has been absorbed. If it has not, uncover and boil until the liquid is reduced. Stir in the spinach, cover, and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, and adjust the spices to taste. Turn off the heat.
    In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the pine nuts and saute until golden brown, stirring frequently. Stir in the red pepper and remove from the heat.
    To serve, spread pieces of the toasted pita in the bottom of a serving dish. Spoon the lamb and spinach stew over them. Cover with the yogurt sauce and garnish with the sauteed pine nuts. Dribble the red pepper butter remaining in the skillet over the top.

    4 Servings.

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    posted in Main Dishes, Middle Eastern, Recipes and Remembrances | 5 Comments

    5th March 2008

    Spiced Acorn Squash Stew with Couscous


    Tonight Lisa made a stew and couscous combo adapted from a recipe found on the Food Network website. Acorn squash, spinach, garbanzo beans, onions, tomatoes, and spices over a bed of couscous.

    Chris says:

    Apparently we [heart] stews!

    Lisa says:

    What’s not to [heart]? This one is especially delicious.

    Chris says:

    …and colorful. Also, I love how the couscous soaks up the sauce.

    Lisa says:

    It rules, though, you know, I think my dad and brother would hate this dish.

    Chris says:

    Why?

    Lisa says:

    They don’t like sweet things in savory dishes.

    Chris says:

    That’s my favorite part about this one, I’m seeking out those little plump bursts of sweetness! Yum! Thanks Food Network!

    Spiced Acorn Squash Stew with Couscous
    ————————————–
    For the stew:
    1 1/4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    1 medium red onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, smashed
    6 canned plum tomatoes, crushed
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    1 acorn squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    3 cups chicken broth, low-sodium canned
    1-inch strip lemon zest
    1/2 cup golden raisins
    4 cups chopped spinach (about 5 ounces)
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

    For the couscous:
    1 1/2 cups chicken broth, low-sodium canned
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup couscous

    Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and spices and cook until the cinnamon stick unfurls and the tomatoes are cooked down, about 3 minutes. Add the squash, chickpeas, broth, lemon zest, and raisins and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, until the squash is fork tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season, to taste.

    Meanwhile, make the couscous. Bring the broth to a boil with the salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Stir in the couscous, pull the saucepan off the heat, cover, and set aside until the water has been absorbed and the couscous is plump, about 5 minutes.

    Fluff the couscous with a fork and mound it in 4 soup bowls. Spoon some butternut squash stew over each portion, top with almonds, and serve.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes | 0 Comments

    17th February 2008

    Roasted Poblano Beef Stew


    Tonight I made a stew featured in The Border Cookbook, though the original comes out of the Santa Fe Cooking School. This simple, hearty, green-tinged stew gets a lot of flavor from 3 cups of roasted poblano peppers. The long cooking time makes the beef extremely tender.

    Chris says:

    I heart roasted poblanos!

    Lisa says:

    This is *so* filling.

    Chris says:

    Yeah, the potatoes totally break down and thicken it up.

    Lisa says:

    …and I like the skins left on.

    Chris says:

    The beef is really tender too.

    Lisa says:

    Eight servings, huh? I can’t wait for leftovers.

    Roasted Poblano Stew
    ——————–
    1.5 lbs beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
    2 medium onions, diced
    5 garlic cloves, minced
    3 large baking potatoes, unpeeled, diced
    1 tbsp salt
    5 cups chicken broth
    3 cups chopped roasted poblano peppers (about 6 large peppers)
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
    3 tbsp minced cilantro

    In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the meat until it browns and most of its liquid has evaporated. Add the onions and garlic and cook for an additional few minutes, until the onions turn translucent. Add the potatoes, broth, and salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Add the poblanos and red bell pepper and simmer for another 1-1.5 hours, until the beef is super tender.
    Stir in the cilantro and serve.

    8 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, The Border Cookbook | 0 Comments

    2nd January 2008

    Locro Chicken


    This stew I made from Great Bowls of Fire turned out more like a pilaf dish with all the rice; the flavors were pretty good, and it was nice to have butternut squash in a dish other than soup or baked in the oven. The chicken, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, and onions made for a nice combination with the rice and squash.

    Chris says:

    You’re gonna love the portion sizes here — chalk up another one for Great Bowls of Fire!

    Lisa says:

    Wow, this is only four servings?? It’s so much food! How many “peppers” is this on the heat index?

    Chris says:

    The book claims two, but it’s not nearly that spicy…

    Lisa says:

    Nope, it’s not… I love th — I mean, I [heart] the squash.

    Chris says:

    Thanks for keeping the theme alive.

    Locro Chicken
    ————-
    1 tbsp canola oil
    1 medium yellow onion, diced
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and minced
    1 14-oz can stewed tomatoes
    3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
    1 tbsp paprika
    1 tbsp dried oregano
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    3 1/2 cups chicken broth
    2 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
    1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
    4 scallions, chopped

    In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeƱos and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the chicken, tomatoes, and all the spices, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, squash, and rice and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook about 20 minutes, still over medium heat, or until the squash and rice are tender.
    Remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the rice and serve in wide bowls.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Great Bowls of Fire, Main Dishes | 3 Comments

    25th October 2007

    Mediterranean Swordfish Cioppino

    Tonight I made a cioppino from Great Bowls of Fire. I love the combination of the swordfish and the shrimp in the tomato and fish-stock based broth. The recipe calls for a quarter cup of dry red wine — the one we used was so dark it almost gave the broth a purplish hue!

    Chris says:

    I loves me some cioppino! This is one of those GBOF recipes that you don’t really notice the heat.

    Lisa says:

    It tastes really good. Hmm, did you butterfly the shrimp?

    Chris says:

    Yeah, why?

    Lisa says:

    Makes it look like calamari or body parts or something.

    Chris says:

    Well that sounds appetizing; let’s eat!

    Mediterranean Swordfish Cioppino
    ——————————–
    1 tbsp canola oil
    1 medium yellow onion, diced
    1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
    3 cups fish stock
    1 14 oz can stewed tomatoes
    1/4 dry red wine
    2 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp dried basil
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp salt
    3/4 lb swordfish steak, cubed
    1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1/4 tomato paste
    1/4 cup parsley

    Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and serranos and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the fish stock, stewed tomatoes, wine, oregano, basil, pepper, and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
    Add the swordfish and shrimp and return to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste and parsley and cook for 5 minutes more.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Great Bowls of Fire, Main Dishes, Mediterranean | 1 Comment


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