Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grilled lamb with spices

I am really getting excited for the warm weather! he yard is beginning to look nice, although there still is a lot of work to be done. The grill is back in business and pretty soon we should be able to enjoy the deck! Of course that also means a lot of soccer for the kids...but there still is time to enjoy dinner!

This recipe is extremely easy and very tasty.
Butterflying a led of lamb can be daunting. Most butchers will gladly do it for you!

Grilled Marinated Leg of Lamb

1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
4 garlic cloves, pureed with a garlic press
2 Tbsp Curcuma
Salt to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp Herbes de Provence

 1 leg of Lamb, deboned and butterflied

Place all the ingredients of the marinade into a bowl and mix well. Rub it on all sides of the lamb as refrigerate for at least a few hours, or overnight.

Preheat the grill until really hot and place the meat flat on it. Let sear for a couple of minutes and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Turn the meat over and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
When done, place on a board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 10 minutes.
Cut into 1/3-inch slices and serve with couscous, or a quinoa salad.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quinoa Salad

Eating healthy does not mean that you have to make anything complicated. This simple salad goes well with grilled lamb, meat or fish kebobs, any grilled meat in general. It stands well on its own too for a light lunch.

Quinoa Salad

3 cups quinoa
6 plum tomatoes, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped (basil, cilantro, chive...it's up to you!)
1 lemon, for juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp hot sauce (my favorite is the Cholula hot sauce)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa according to package instruction. Let cool completely. When cold, add the vegetables, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, hot sauce and salt and pepper. Mix well and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors blend.


One Bowl Chocolate Cake

And again I have been away from my blog for a while. April did not start too well, aside from my birthday...of course!!!
On the second, our cat, Boots disappeared. We tried and tried to find him, but the odds really are against us. Our yard abuts conservation land, and there is a lot of wild life out there. After over a week decision was made to get another feline! And Jazz, a beautiful 6-weeks-old calico found her way into our hearts.
All this being said, I have not cooked a lot. Actually, I have left the cooking to Bob and Emilie!! She is showing a real interest in making dinner and is really talented too. I can proudly say that all three children can cook!
She made a wonderful cake for my birthday. Chocolate evidently. From Martha Stewart Living magazine. The cake was really tasty, moist; the frosting just perfect.
I had been looking for such a recipe and finally found it (thank you Martha!). Here it is:

Ultimate Chocolate Birthday Cake

 Serves 10

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 2 tsp for pans
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour 
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup warm water
3 Tbsp safflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate frosting (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder.

Sift the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise the speed to medium and add the eggs, buttermilk, water, oil and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes. Remove from pans and transfer to wire rack, face up to cool completely.

Spread 2 cups of chocolate frosting on the top of one of the cakes. Place the second cake on top and spread the rest of the cocolate frosting on top and sides of the cakes.

Chocolate frosting 

2 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt 
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
12 Tbsp butter, softened
9 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
3/4 cup sour cream or creme fraiche

Sift together the sugar, cocoa powder and salt.

Beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium-high speed, until smooth.
Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the sugar-cocoa mixture. Beat until combined.
Pour in the melted chocolate in a slow and steady stream. Add the creme fraiche and beat until combined.