Another quick recipe for you, a rather splendid spiced Moroccan lamb – alter the quantity of harissa depending on how much of a sadist you are.
- 300g diced lamb
- 2tsp cumin seeds
- Zest of an orange
- Zest of a lemon
- 50g finely chopped dried apricots
- 50g finely chopped dates
- Handful chopped mint
Sauté off the lamb in a pan with a little olive oil. Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small skillet over a high flame.
Once the lamb has browned, add the apricots, dates, orange and lemon zest. Add a small quantity of water (50-100ml) along with the roasted cumin seeds.
Stir in the harissa – if you’re a pussy like me, you’ll need ¼tsp only; if you have no tastebuds like my boyfriend a whole teaspoon will do.
Let simmer for 10 minutes or so, stir in the chopped mint and serve with couscous.
Pierre Marcolini have their shop (they call it a Boutique, Daaaahling) just up the road from us on Kensington High Street, so it would have been chirlish not to visit them and purchase some of their wares.
It’s really not cheap – £25 for 250gr of little chocolates, however the flavours are broadly worth it. My favourites? Violettes and Jasmine Tea infusion. I’ll be back for more!
My present expensive food fads include:
Japanese White Pearl Tea – A very light tea that comes as little jasmine flavoured balls that unfurl in hot water. Cute.
Sauternes – Stupendously lovely, honey sweet desert wine from Bordeaux. The sweetness comes from the fact the grapes are rotten when harvested. Lovely with chocoloate and rotten cheese.
I thought it might be nice to give you a recipe I did this evening, but it’s mostly an aide-memoire.
You will need:
- Best end of lamb
- Assorted herbs to your liking, e.g. mint, corriander, rosemary
- 250g of frozen peas (or fresh)
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 3 tbsp double cream
- 1 egg & 1 egg yolk
- 50g butter
- Good quality mustard
- 5 small plum tomatoes, skinned
- White wine vinegar
- Chopped corriander
- Oil/butter for frying
- 100-200g grated chedder
For the lamb:
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
Ensure you have a nice piece of french trimmed lamb, with the bones at the end cleaned so that it will be easy to slice into individual portions later. Also, remove any fat on the outside of the lamb.
Start by browning off the lamb in the roasting tin on the hob, once this is done, brush the outside with the mustard and sprinkle on the chopped herbs – mint & rosemary are a good combination.
Now put it into the hot oven – around 20 minutes will give you a medium pink middle, 30 minutes will be more well done. Ensure it rests out of the oven for 10 minutes once it’s done.
For the pea pancakes:
Whilst the lamb is cooking, take the fresh or thawed frozen peas and blend together in a liquidizer with the egg and the egg yolk, the flour and the cream. In a griddle, melt the butter until it is nut brown in colour and add that to the blender. Season to taste and blend until smooth.
Drop a small ladle’s worth of the mixture onto a hot griddle brushed with some oil or butter. This quantity will do you around 6-8 pancakes of 80mm in diameter – remember they will spead out on the griddle.
Once done, set onto a wire rack and top off with some small thumb sized floretts of cauliflower that have been quickly blanched in salted boiling water.
Add some of the grated chedder (you could use red lecicester instead) on top.
For the tomato salsa dressing:
Take the skinned and seeded plum tomatoes, and chop into small pieces. Combine with a little white wine vinegar, chopped corriander and optionally some finely chopped red onion.
Quickly flash the pancakes under a hot grill to melt the cheese.
Cut the lamb into individual portions (they’ll look like lamb chops now!).
Plate up the lamb and pancakes and dress with the tomato salsa.
Yesterday we bought some of these sweets from a Japanese store in Soho. They looked really nice, but taste absolutely awful and they look like little arses. So, all together, not a great purchase, but it’s the wording on the front that redeems them:
I admit it, I am something of occasional murder mystery watcher – Dalziel & Pascoe, Poirot even Miss Marple can all tickle my fancy occasionally. This is how I came to be watching Midsomer Murders on the ghastly Daily Mail of TV channels (ITV).
As per usual it’s set in a tiny village which has supplied an endless stream of victims to exceptionally unusual murder scenarios. But it’s not the TV show I’m upset about, oh no. It’s the fact that this is sponsored by Leerdammer – a cheese!
What on earth is going on? What can a cheese company have to gain sponsoring a TV show which readily displays blood, guts and gore? The Leerdammer company website also proudly displays their mission statement. MISSION STATEMENT FOR CHEESE?!
Ah well, I suppose at least if the objective was to get people talking about how stupid a sponsorship deal was and hence raise brand awareness, they’ve succeeded. Perhaps my friend Jay who works in the Devil’s own industry (advertising) can shed some light upon why they chose to do it. He does, after all, manage the account of a major dairy concern…