Posts tagged ‘carne’

November 16, 2010

Lamb Stuffed Peppers

baking:cooking :: watercolor:acrylic painting

you just don’t have room to fuck up when it comes to baking. when you cook over a stove, you can always blend, adjust, taste as you go. but baking? not so much. you throw it together, toss it in the oven, and hope for the best.

and seeing as you can’t find a single measuring spoon in my kitchen, baking has always been my nemesis. and what’s a masochist like me to do but to force herself into uncomfortable situations.

anyway, here goes.


  • 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs toasted pine nuts
  • 1-2 cups left over white rice
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • salt (more than you think you need.)
  • 3 large bell peppers (preferably red or yellow. green is too bitter)


  1. mix spices/seasoning in small bowl.
  2. heat oil in pan. saute onions ~2 min.
  3. mix in half the seasoning. add salt to taste. should taste over-salted. continue sauteing until onions are translucent. ~3-5 more minutes. remove from pan and put in fridge to cool.
  4. in a large stock pot, boil enough water to cover bell peppers.
  5. cut tops off peppers and scoop out seeds.
  6. blanch peppers in water ~5 min. not until soggy. make sure they stay submerged (fill the peppers with water to weight them down.)
  7. remove peppers and set aside, upside down, to drain.
  8. line a pan with aluminum foil and preheat oven to 375F
  9. in large mixing bowl, add lamb, beaten egg, rest of the seasoning, and rice. mix with hands. careful not to squeeze too much. you don’t want it too dense.
  10. add cooled onions. fold in and distribute evenly.
  11. drizzle peppers with olive oil, inside and out. (i drizzled a bit of olive oil in the pepper, then rubbed it around with a folded paper towel.)
  12. place on foil covered pan and bake ~40 min. (edges of peppers will just begin to brown)
  13. tip: if the stuffing looks a bit dry while baking, pour a few tbs of beef broth in the center.

aw. look at my little rockstars, all lined up in the spotlight.

well. so much for thinking i can’t bake. alright, to be honest, i’ve made a successful meatloaf before. (it’s the one baking dish i’ve not only been able to finish successfully, but successfully reproduce.) and this really wasn’t much different. add an egg to help binding, use rice instead of bread crumbs, use some similar seasoning as my lamb meatballs, but let’s not give away all my secrets of laziness and cheapen tonight’s success here….

next on the list? thomas keller’s mountain of a quiche. with a little help from alton brown’s pie episodes, i’m gonna learn to make me a flakey pie crust if it KILLS me.  oh, and thomas keller’s leek bread pudding (i recently recieved a TK cookbook as a gift. can you tell?)

anyway. just ’cause i’m so damn proud of myself, one more shot:

and btw, it tasted pretty darn good.

November 14, 2010

Korean Stir Fry

i had a hankering for jap chae. but seeing as i have no sweet potato noodles, a stir fry will have to do:


  • 1/2 lb sliced marbled beef*
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 stalks of green onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 broccoli head, diced
  • 5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs  go chu jang (sweet & spicy korean chili paste)
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • beef broth

*i used half a package of hotpot beef from the chinese supermarket. super thin slices.


  1. mix soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste, pepper, and sugar in a small bowl.
  2. in a medium sized bowl, pour in half of the soy sauce mixture. dissolve cornstarch in mixture. marinate beef and set aside.
  3. wash and chop your veggies.
  4. heat vegetable oil in a hot nonstick pan (sesame oil has too low of a smoking point. i use it for its flavor and not for cooking.)
  5. brown beef quickly.  remove from pan.
  6. reheat pan. add onions and saute ~3 min. add minced garlic. (i usually from a little hole in the center of the pan, add a bit more oil, and fry the garlic until fragrant. then mix.)
  7. add broccoli and mushrooms. add enough beef broth to produce a bit of steam (1/4 cup..?), cover, reduce to medium, and steam ~3-5 min.
  8. remove cover, add carrots, stir and add more soy sauce mixture over veggies to taste.
  9. form a little hole in the center of the pan again, add a dash of oil, then fry green onions until fragrant. mix.
  10. finally, mix in beef. stir and remove from heat.
  11. sprinkle on sesame seeds and serve with rice! 
October 3, 2010

De-virginizing my Le Creuset

photo 1

and what better way to do it than with an Apricot Lamb Tagine?


  • 2 lamb shanks (or 2 lb lamb shoulder)
  • 1/4 cup flour (optional)
  • 1 med yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced in coins
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 can chickpeas (sans sodium)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbs tumeric
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 3-4 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves, whole
  • salt


  1. place spices in a blender (go magic bullet!) and blast it to oblivion.
  2. rub down shanks with as much of the spices you need. Salt generously. Typically I let the meat sit out for 30 minutes or so, to let it come to room temperature. Otherwise you’ll get uneven cooking.
  3. preheat oven to ~250F
  4. heat dutch oven on med-high heat. (optional: dredge shanks in thin coat of flour.) add oil and let it come to a shimmer. sear shanks, one at a time (if pot is too small) until brown on each side, 5 min each. thongs are your friend. Don’t crowd, as this will steam and not sear your meat. 
  5. remove shanks. add onions and carrots to pan and saute until soft – 3min, scraping off all the fatty goodness stuck to the sides of the pot. add a bit of broth to de-glaze. Salt generously.
  6. add tomatoes, enough stock to completely submerge veggies, and rest of the seasoning. bring to a boil then reduced to simmer.
  7. place shanks over veggies and spoon stock over it. top off stock to a level half way up the shanks. cover and pop it in the oven. the key to braising is long time at low heat! there shouldn’t be an audible bubbling.  sIMMER. bubbles should surface periodically, not constantly. each hour or two, flip shanks over to submerge the previously exposed side, spooning stock over before you re-cover. Do a taste test and salt again if needed.  Braise for 3+ hours. Add apricots and chickpeas and continue to braise until cooked through. (30-45 minutes or so)
  8. Remove from oven, let it cool, and stick it in the fridge over night. spoon off fat the next morning and heat over medium low heat on the stove to warm it up. It WILL taste better the next day. I promise.

yum yum yum. we ate it with chinese 抓餅, a flaky doughy flat bread –>


add apricots towards the end! those little f-ers disintegrate like none other.

i actually braised 2 hours stove top, then 3 hours oven. way too hard to control the level of heat via stove top, and the part of the shank that was exposed to air dried out. luckily this was salvageable, as 1 hour in the oven with the dried part submerged remedied this quite nicely. next time i braise ONLY in the oven at low heat. (225? 5 hours?) more even cooking, less turning required. and turning/stirring = having to remove the lid =lose moisture.

the way i broke up the time (2 hours, then refrigerate, then 3 hours, etc) is completely arbitrary. does not matter. as  long as the damn thing cooks. under cooking = tough. don’t be afraid of cooking it a little longer. sounds counter intuitive, i know.

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September 20, 2010

Pork Liver Stir Fry

I swear I’m becoming more domestic everyday.

And more absent minded as well, so it seems.

After reheating something in the microwave the other day, I set the plastic cover thing on the stove top, forgetting that I had just usED said stove top. Midway through eating my dinner the smell of burning plastic finally got my attention. Luckily enough I remembered a tip I read somewhere long ago that flash freezing melting plastic will pop it right off the hot surface. Dumped a bowl of ice cubes on it and voila! whaddya know. some sizzling, some popping, and a sheet of plastic really did just pop right off.

Go me.

now back to dinner.

my doctor says i’m anemic and need to eat more liver.  a good reason to stop putting off learning how to cook this gastronomical delight of an organ, no? (yea yea. some of you may disagree, but liver is AWESOME.)


  • 1 pork liver
  • 1 med zucchini, sliced
  • 1 med carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 med yellow onion, sliced flat
  • ginger, julienne
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 capfuls of rice wine
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • hoisin sauce
  • black pepper (optional)


  1. cut liver into thin, even slices
  2. dissolve corn starch in rice wine, soy sauce. add liver and ginger. set aside to marinate.
  3. heat wok or a large nonstick pan, add oil, fry garlic until fragrant.
  4. add carrots, saute 1-2 min, then add onions and zucchini. squeeze in some hoisin sauce and continue cooking until almost soft. empty into a bowl and set aside.
  5. reheat wok. add liver, quick sear until no longer pink. reintroduce veggies into pan. add more soy sauce (or hoisin if you prefer a sweeter taste) if needed, mix evenly until liver cooked through. remove and serve with rice (although i find veggies are a tastier and healthier alternative.) 
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August 17, 2010

Cinnamon Cumin Lamb Meatballs topped with Lemon Mint Yogurt. Served with Raisin and Pistachio Quinoa

tonight’s dinner was another get-rid-of-crap-in-fridge night. these little projects of mine have been turning out surprisingly well. i really should do this more often. ratio of quinoa to meatballs was pretty good. i had about 4 meatballs and the boy had 6. i found this to be a good portion size. he however, asked for leftover mashed potatoes after dinner. fine by me. they’ve been sitting in the fridge for a few days now anyway. (:

note: over salted the quinoa and under salted the meatballs. ): fine when eaten together. but in the future, after salting the onions to taste, add more salt to meat mixture and no more extra salt in the quinoa (even with low sodium chicken stock.)


for meatballs –

1/2 onion
1/2 lb ground lamb
2 -3 tbs breadcrumbs
2 tbs milk (or 1/2 egg)
salt and pepper

1 cup greek yogurt
2 tbs lemon zest
fresh mint leaves

for quinoa –

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 onion
3 tbs honey
golden raisins
pistachios, unsalted.


  1. chop 1 onion and saute, adding cumin, cinnamon, parsley, salt to taste.
  2. remove to cool.
  3. with hands, mix in 1/2 of onions with ground lamb. add milk and sprinkle in breadcrumbs slowly while mixing.  salt and pepper. set meat in fridge.


  1. heat pan. toast quinoa until it pops and sizzles.
  2. pour in liquid and sautéed onions. bring to a boil.
  3. reduce to low-med heat. add more cinnamon, honey, and raisins. simmer and stir ~20 min.
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. roll lamb mixture into 10 mini meatballs.
  3. line baking pan with foil, butter. space meatballs evenly and bake on 350 for ~ 15 min.
  4. in a small bowl, combine lemon zest, mint chiffonade, and yogurt.
  1. turn off heat on quinoa. stir in pistachios.
  2. serve and top with meatballs. spoon on yogurt generously. eat!
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July 10, 2010

Pistachio Rosemary Crusted Pork Chops

(yea yea, i know. my pictures are really ugly lately. get me an iphone 4. or a real SLR.)

  • 4oz shelled pistachio meat, unsalted
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 large egg
  • brining solution
  • 2 center cut bone in pork chops, cut 3/4 inch thick


  1. make brining solution: i used some ratio of chicken stock and orange juice for the liquid, honey, kosher salt, thyme, cinnamon, and 1 rosemary sprig for seasoning.heat over stove until dissolve, then introduce ice cubes until solution is lukewarm. sink in chops and stick in fridge for 2 hours
  2. blend pistachios with finely minced rosemary leaves in mortar/pestle or blender. set aside.


  1. drain brining solution. pound chops to tenderize. sop up extra moisture with paper towel.
  2. beat egg with pepper. dredge chops in egg mixture.
  3. roll chops in pistachio dust to coat both sides. pat it in. let it sit for 10 min.
  4. heat oven to 350 (i used toaster oven)
  5. heat cast iron skillet or non stick pan on high, add olive oil. heat until oil smokes.
  6. pan fry chops 2 minutes/side to form crust.
  7. finish off in oven until internal temp ~ 160F. 15 min or so.
  8. serve with nectarine pumpkin seed salad. EAT.