Saturday, May 1, 2010

For the love of Lamb: Belated Recipe installments, Part 1

Farfalle with cherry tomatoes, red peppers, baby spinach, and mushrooms

Despite the title of this entry, the following recipe lacks all things LAMB in its ingredients. In fact, it is modeled off of a recipe featuring pancetta inspired by one of the entries in the LCBO's winter issue.

--> Inspiration:
The crucial component of this pasta dish: Fresh baby spinach.

The complex array of colours in the pan belies the simplicity of this dish. I am a huge proponent of interpretation and instinct when cooking (one of the reasons why I love Jamie Oliver, who also encourages departing from a strict recipe).

To illustrate, I chose Farfalle (at the behest of my sister) over Orrechiette pasta and substituted chick peas with more fresh vegetable ingredients--mushrooms (my favourite!), red peppers, and I added extra carrots to enhance the sweetness of the dish. Following the preference of my family, I opted for a bit more of a 'tomatoe-y' sauce (used some diced roma's as well as cherry tomatoes), rather than an olive oil based sauce. Finally, I used chorizo sausage rather than pancetta.

Warm Zucchini Side Salad, seasoned with a lemon, olive oil, chili & fresh cilantro dressing


This warm salad served as a lovely accompaniment to a meal comprised of broiled marinated lamb chops, couscous, and Horiatiki salad.

I followed the recipe quite closely, although, as usual, I used more garlic than was called for and sprinkled the chili's quite generously. **Crucially, I also substituted mint for cilantro** Although mint definitely complements lamb, I feel that using the cilantro enhanced the Mediterranean/middle eastern theme of the meal. Plus, to be honest, I prefer cilantro over mint any day! :)

Marinated Lamb Chops


Again, this recipe lays everything out quite easily and the results are fabulous!

Horiatiki Sa

I enjoy research; for academic purposes, purely social--ie related to music, cooking, fashion, etc. You name it, I want to know the crucial who's, what's, where's, when's, why's, and how's of its existence.

Accordingly, I found out as much as I could about Horiatiki salad and how it has been reinterpreted over the years owing primarily to globalization & all that jazz. I've enjoyed this recipe for years, but now I can also understand the roots of the flavours I have come to love. And that, my friends, is pretty neat if you ask me. My meal has become a history lesson; *sigh*, ever the perpetual student of history and international relations :).

Various interpretations of Horiatiki salad, infused with a little history, too!