A Sarcastic Appetite

Lebanese Lamb
November 30, 2009, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The greatest food holiday in the history of our country came and went and I have nothing to show you for it. I’m not entirely sure what happened. I gamely attempted to help my mother cook for 9 (ahem, the, um, cranberry relish was my doing, and also you can thank me later for baking picking up the sour cream apple walnut pie). Somehow, I suspect I became sidetracked by all the champagne and pie we had. I don’t know what happened, except I turned around and it was Monday, and I had paltry leftovers and no inclination to do anything with them.

I’m as patriotic as they come, but the last Thursday in November can be a little much sometimes, and I don’t think it’s wrong to want a little time away from Americana in the aftermath. So I consulted a cookbook I have on “street food,” and a Middle Eastern dish it was…or something like it, anyway. This recipe is supposed to top dainty little pizzas (you could make the dough yourself, or just buy some from your local pizza place), but all those mashed potatoes on Thursday had me looking sideways at overdoing it in the starch department. So I skipped the pizza part in favor of some roasted Brussels sprouts. You could also have it over a little wilted spinach. See? I’m basically a health nut.

Lebanese Lamb

Adapted from Street Food. Serves 4.

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 nice sized onions, diced

1 can of whole peeled plum tomatoes, finely chopped (but you don’t have to reserve the liquid)

1 lb. ground lamb

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. cardamom

1 heaping tbsp. tomato paste

2 heaping tbsp. pomegranate molasses

heaping 1/4 c. pine nuts

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

1/4 c. parsley, chopped

Greek-style yogurt or tahini

lemon wedges

lots of salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large saute pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onions and saute for 6-7 minutes, until softened but not too brown. Add the ground lamb, lots of salt, and cook until it’s all brown, which may take close to ten minutes. Add all the spices, more salt and pepper, and then the tomatoes, tomato paste, and pomegranate molasses. Taste, and season as appropriate. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, then add the pine nuts, the cilantro, and parsley. Stir; add more salt and pepper as necessary. Serve with a heaping dollop of yogurt over wilted spinach, or with pita if you’re not one to have an agenda against carbs four days after Thanksgiving…in which case, I’d like to get to know you.

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