Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas Lamb 2011

lamb recipe
I didn't make dessert for Christmas dinner. It was just Jake and I, so I wanted to keep things simple. Thus, I replaced the normal Christmas elaborations in favour of eating POUNDS AND POUNDS OF LAMB.
Dear Christ(mas) was it ever good! In between sucking the crispy marinated lamb fat off of the wee beastie's ribs, we ate that orange pile on the right which was "Pumpkin Gratin in Creamy Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce with Herbs de Province" from The Vegetarian Bistro. Christ(mas) that's a long name for a recipe. I wonder if the author is an ex-scientist used to making her titles excessively descriptive.

I'm pretty carnivorous, but I like veggies, too. Especially when they include the word 'gratin' which I think is just a code word for 'extra cream'. We had beans, which were just the happiest-looking green vegetable at the grocery store that day. My preferred method of choosing what to eat is just to select what looks happiest. Don't worry, lost orphans, you are safe from my carnivourousness.

I recommend adding toasted poison almonds to the beans, but I don't do that any more because I don't want to kill my boyfriend. 

lamb recipe
I finally have place-mats and real napkins! If I killed my boyfriend, whose father
would send us such lovely gifts?

I didn't miss dessert at all, I don't think. Though, we may have eaten chocolates or something later, in which case I literally didn't miss dessert. 

lamb recipe
Dinner was enjoyed with the best Christmas movie ever: Die Hard
The gratin uses something like this:
  • Medium pumpkin butternut squash with all the stuff you don't wanna eat removed, diced
  • The white and light-greek bits of a leek with all the dirt washed out, diced
  • Chunk of butter
  • Glug of olive oil
  • Diced red pepper
  • Half your glass of white wine
  • Four small, diced tomatoes
  • Half your glass of heavy cream
  • Three-ish cloves of minced garlic
  • Two spoons of tomato paste (I freeze tomato paste in tbsp-sized blobs and then keep them in a ziplock bag because we all just do what our mothers do, but I hear you can get tomato paste in a tube.)
  • A bunch of herbs de provence ("several pinches") (fennel, basil, thyme, savory, lavender [I have a fairly well stocked spice cabinet, but don't have those last two, so I threw in rosemary and sage instead. Possibly some marjoram.] 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • A good handful of grated Gruyere, Comte, or some similarly delicious cheese (mixed with some of the above garlic)
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs tossed with some more olive oil (Gluten free!)
And you do something like this:

Saute the pumpkin and leek over medium heat in the butter and oil until the squash is barely golden. Add pepper and tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are saucy (~15 mins). Add wine, reduce it by half. Add cream, garlic, tomato paste, herbs, salt and pepper. Don't skimp on the salt. Pour it all into a baking dish, sprinkle it with cheese (and bread crumbs if you want them), and bake for 20-25 minutes.

The lamb marinade uses something like this:

  • Clove of crushed garlic
  • tsp salt
  • half tsp pepper, ginger, marjoram, thyme and sage
  • tbsp soy sauce
  • tbsp olive oil
Then you just bake it at 425F for 20 minutes and let it sit for another 15 under foil.

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