Sunday, January 04, 2015

New Year's Day 2015 and the Best Dinner Ever?

Since we spend out New Year's Eve with a very sick Jeremy, and barely made it to 10:30pm for celebrations, I decided to make a nice 'fancy dinner' for New Year's Day as a means for extra celebration. When you have 5 and 7 year old kids, 'fancy dinner' really means...we're setting the table, using nice plates and trying not to fart at the table or knock anything over. While we eat dinner at the table together several nights a week let's just say....we rarely ever use these perimeters.

I spent most of the whole day tearing down Christmas and organizing it with  my trusty label maker. While I was doing that our lamb roast was curing in a delicious smelling rub for many hours.

Our lamb roast with all kinds of goodies added to the dutch oven before cooking all afternoon....
....and after

While the family played Wii, I set the table including candles, napkin rings and chargers.

Jeremy said that this lamb dish was the best thing that I have EVER produced in this kitchen. Really? This kitchen that I have cooked in for almost 10 years? Like...ever ever? I'm not sure if that was the food talking or the fact that his bronchitis had kept him from eating a real meal for far too long.

Either way, I'll be making it again.
Yes we are all in pajamas and the kids have wet hair from an afternoon bath. Doesn't mean we weren't still being fancy. 

On my goal list for 2015....
...more fancy dinners.

A couple of people have asked for the recipe. It's from cookbook and I couldn't find it online. So just because I'm feeling it is typed out for you all!

Lamb, Prune and Almond Tagine

2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1tbsp paprika
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
3 pounds lamb cutlets
1/3 cup clarified butter (I just used regular)
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
3.5 cups lamb stock (I just used beef)
2 1/3 cup prunes
4 cinnamon sticks
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup almond meal
12 shallots
1 tbsp honey
salt and ground black pepper
toasted almonds and fresh parsley to garnish. 

1) Using a mortar and pestle or a blender, combine the coriander and cumin seeds, chili powder, paprika, turmeric, garlic and 1/4 cup of oil. Coat the lamb with the paste, then cover and chill for at least 5 hours.  

2) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large Dutch oven. Add the onions and carrot and cook until soft. Remove and put to one side. Cook the paste-coated lamb on both sides in the remaining butter. Add a little of the stock and bring to a boil, scraping up the sediment from the bottom of the pot. Put the onions and carrot back in the pot and add one-third of the prunes. Add the remaining stock with the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and almond meal. Season, cover and bake in the oven for 2 hours or until the meat is really tender. 

3) Meanwhile, saute the shallots in the remaining oil and the honey until they turn a deep golden brown. Add to the pot 30-40 minutes before the end of the cooking time. 

4) Take the lamb out of the sauce and put to one side. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce tot a thick consistency. Put the lamb back in the casserole, add the remaining prunes, and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Garnish with the almonds and parsley. Serve with couscous. (I chose the Trader Joe's harvest grain blend instead because we loooove it).

No comments: