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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Lamb, the prefered meat in Europe and a fantastic animal to stew up with veggies. With Spring in the air, but still a very chilly breeze shooting through Chicago, I thought that a simple Lamb Stew would be a great dinner. Not to mention I had a nice bottle of Syrah I wanted to drink, a nice match with lamb.

I first sautéed up a small onion that I diced up to medium-sized pieces with a chopped carrot, two stalks of celery chopped, and 4 cloves of minced garlic in some olive oil over medium-high heat. After a few minutes, when the veggies were turning translucent, I added a couple of large diced Yukon Gold potatoes. I didn’t want to add the potatoes too early because they fall apart when stewed for long periods of time. For long stews it’s usually best to use a denser potato like russet. But, I had a couple of Yukons that I needed to use up so I added them late to keep them together.

Only a couple of minutes after adding the potatoes I threw in about a pound of cut-up lamb leg meat. You want about 1 inch cubes. Anything smaller and the meat will get tough. I let the meat cook a little until the outsides were cooked but not the insides. Then I added a bunch of quartered cremini mushrooms and stirred that all around.

Once everything was coated with the olive oil and lamb fat I seasoned with a little salt (not too much), turmeric, cumin, dried basil, and a bay leaf. Then I added about a quarter cup of soy sauce and 2/3 cup of beef stock. Once the liquid came to a boil I put the lid on my pot and turned the heat down to medium. I let everything stew together for about an hour.

Once the stew was about ready I threw in a handful of freshly chopped parsley and turned off the heat. I served it up with some sliced bread. Well, I had it with sliced bread, Yuki had it with white rice. Whatever your pleasure, it’s all good.

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Enough Koshar….I need some PIG!!! Last night was absolutely gorgeous out. A little windy, but otherwise Spring is here to stay. Combine the weather with two Passover Seders and I really had no choice but to grill up some sort of swine. I picked up some pork tenderloin for the occasion.

I marinated it in a mix of 5 tablespoons of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of sake, 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar, an inch of grated ginger, 4 grated garlic cloves, and 1 tablespoon of ground coriander seeds. I covered it and left it in the fridge for about 3 hours.

For vegetables I took two whole Japanese eggplants, 4 orange sweet peppers, a bunch of fat green onions, and a bunch of fresh shiitake mushrooms. I simply drizzled them all with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. You’ll see me do that a lot with the grill as I really don’t think you need to do anything when you have good fresh produce and a hot grill.

Before grilling everything I took the marinated pork out of the fridge and let it rest to room temperature for about a half hour.

I grilled it all up. After letting the pork rest for about 10 minutes I sliced it and served on top of some fresh baby spinach with the grilled veggies and some white rice.

When you have a good fresh tenderloin you shouldn’t cook it all the way through. I got this one at Whole Foods so I’m not overly concerned with getting sick or anything from it. Leave it a little pink and you’ll enjoy one of the greatest textures of flesh out there. You can’t beat a nice medium-medium rare pork tenderloin.

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While we were in Merida we spent an afternoon walking through an ancient cave in the Yucatan called Lol Tun.  In the Pre-Columbian days there were an estimated 800 people living in it. It really is an impressive site with the highlight possibly being the 15,000 year old reverse hand-print paintings on the cave walls. At any rate, we filled up on lunch prior to walking through the cave.

I’m not sure what this place is called, but it was directly across the street from Lol Tun, so we gave it a shot. While we were sitting there waiting for our food, out of nowhere, something that felt like mud hit my arm, WTF! I wipe it off and look around. I didn’t see anything at all. Then I look up and see two little geckos hanging out on the wooden ceiling beams. A few seconds later another muddy item hits my arm. Little bastards! They both shit on my arm! I ought to grill them up and eat them for that! If they had shat on my food instead of my arm I would have eaten them instead.

I ordered the Salubtes. Hand-made tortillas piled with shredded turkey, tomato, lettuce and chopped onion. They were pretty damn good. About the right size too because I wasn’t starving and I had to try some of Yuki’s dish.

She ordered the Pollo Pibil. Chicken marinated in achiote (annatto), sour orange juice, peppercorns, garlic, cumin, salt, and then wrapped in banana leaves and baked. Although, instead of wrapping it in banana leaves and baking it they grilled it with the marinade and served it with rice, french fries, and a small salad with avocado. It truly was outstanding! As soon as I can fire up the grill in Spring you can better believe I’m going to try my hand at this marinade.

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