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.

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

29th July 2007

Moussaka with Chickpea Salad

Tonight, via Fitness Food, is this low-fat version of the Greek standard. Calories are reduced by grilling the eggplant slices instead of frying them, and when preparing the white sauce eggs are omitted, and lowfat/nonfat milk and cheese are used instead of their full-fat counterparts. The flavors were dead-on, and the portions were generous. We’ll definitely make this one again.

Moussaka with Chickpea Salad
2 lb 4 oz eggplant
oil spray
2 onions, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 lb 2 oz lean ground lamb
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
2 14-oz cans diced tomatoes
3 tbsp chopped parsley
3 1/2 oz low-fat Cheddar, shredded
3/4 oz butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2/3 cup low-fat ricotta
pinch nutmeg
15 oz can chickpeas
1/2 red onion
3 handfuls baby arugula
2 tbsp fat free greek dressing

Preheat a grill on high heat. Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices. Spray with cooking oil and grill for 4 minutes on each side or until golden.
Heat a large non-stick saucepan and spray with the oil. Cook the onions for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, allspice, and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute. Add the lamb and cook 3-4 minutes or until cooked. Add the tomato paste, wine, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the parsley and season to taste.
While the sauce is simmering, preheat the oven to 350F and prepare the white sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Return to the heat and stir constantly until the sauce boils and thickens. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the ricotta and nutmeg until smooth and season to taste.
Spoon half the meat sauce over the base of a 13″ x 9″ pan. Cover with half of the eggplant. Spoon over the remaining meat sauce and cover with the remaining eggplant. Spread the white sauce over the top layer and top with the shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
To make the chickpea salad, rinse and drain the chickpeas. Cut the onion into thin wedges. Put the arugula, onion, and chickpeas in a bowl. Add the dressing, season with salt and pepper and toss until well combined.

Serves 6.

posted in Fitness Food, Main Dishes | 0 Comments