Monday, September 1, 2008

Welcome To September

Hello there, everyone! I'm very happy to welcome you to MY month, yes that's right, September is my month! My birthday is this month, and I am a true September baby to the bone. As well, I did some modeling in the past and got chosen to be Miss September for our promotional calendar, so right now our calendar in the kitchen is showing my bright shiny face. And one last thing, I also got married in September, so this month holds a special place in my heart. So, in order to ring in the new month in a big way, I decided to make a dish that I've never tried before (never cooked it, let alone eaten it anywhere), yet I've been wanting to make for a long time.

I've been eyeing different variations of tagines since I saw an episode of "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" back in June when he made a trip to Morocco. I had a tough decision to make: should I make it vegetarian (which is how I've been eating lately) or should I make it the traditional way with lamb? I decided to make it the traditional way, even though it almost made me pass out when I had to slice the meat off the lamb shanks last night!! It was worth the effort, though, because the result came out delicious! The lamb was tender and flavorful, thanks to marinading it in the olive oil and spices overnight, and the rest of the dish just came together so beautifully. Besides ommitting the meat, there's not a thing I would change about this recipe.
I found the recipe on Allrecipes.com (one of my favorite places I turn to for new recipes) and only had to tweak a few things here and there due to availability to products here in Kodiak. So, without further ado, here we go!
Lamb Tagine (adapted from Allrecipes.com):
Ingredients:
-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
-2 pounds lamb meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
-2 teaspoons paprika
-1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-1 pinch saffron
-3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
-2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
-1 package baby carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
-3 cloves garlic, minced (I used some already minced garlic from a jar)
-1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (I ommitted this)
-1 lemon, zested
-1 (14.5 ounce) can homemade chicken broth or low-sodium canned broth
-1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste (I instead used a small can of tomato sauce, to create a more saucier dish)
-1 tablespoon honey
-1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
-1 tablespoon water (optional)

Instructions:
Place diced lamb in a bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and set aside. In a large resealable bag, toss together the paprika, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, ginger, saffron, garlic powder, and coriander; mix well. Add the lamb to the bag, and toss around to coat well. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. This is VERY important so that the lamb becomes nice and tender and infused with the spices.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 of the lamb, and brown well. Remove to a plate, and repeat with remaining lamb. Add onions and carrots to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger; continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Return the lamb to the pot and stir in the lemon zest, chicken broth, tomato paste/sauce, and honey. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender.
If the consistency of the tagine is too thin, you may thicken it with a mixture of cornstarch and water during the last 5 minutes. (I didn't need this last step, it thickened up just fine on its own).
I served this with some herbed pine nut couscous, and it was dangerously delicious!! My husband and I actually ended up arguing over who got to bring the leftovers to work tomorrow for lunch! (He ended up winning, for the record).
It is my pleasure to welcome you to My Month-September, and hope you enjoy your stay with me this month, because there is plenty more to come, my friends!!
Cheers!
~Mehgan~

1 comment:

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Looks great! I think you have set up some great goals for Sept! Way to go!