Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Changing Lanes

Sometimes, no matter how much I think about, and organise, my weekly menus in advance, when the time comes to cook I just don't feel like the cooking, or the eating, or indeed both and so I change my plans. Tonight I was going to make some lamb kofte to eat with salad and pitta, using up some Mint Raita I made at the weekend to go alongside. However, it became this filling and very moreish rice dish instead, which borrows heavily from my Vaguely Middle Eastern Coucous. I have a horrible, sneaking suspicion that this went down better than the originally intended, more labour-intensive dinner. Never mind, if nothing else, it provides proof indeed that the very best meals are often little more than happy accidents brought about by my fickleness.

Lamb Pilaf with Fruit & Spices

Lamb stock is more useful than you might initially think and I make it easily with whatever bones we happen to have from chops, shanks or other joints. It's really worth having in the freezer, but if not, I should substitute vegetable stock.

1 onion, sliced
500g minced lamb
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
500g basmati rice
handful sultanas
handful dried apricots, chopped
1 litre lamb stock
plenty of chopped fresh parsley

Heat some oil or butter, or indeed both, in a large pan and fry the onions until soft and beginning to colour. Add the lamb and brown it, then tip in the spices and stir well to mix. Stir in the rice and the dried fruits, then pour the stock into the pan. Bring up to boiling point, then clamp on a lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and without removing the lid (no peeking at all, trust me), leave to stand for 5 minutes. Fork through some chopped parsley; I would have loved to put some fresh mint in too, but I didn't have any, then take it to the table and serve straight from the pan. Yum!
Cath xx


Ceramix said...

Mmmmm all this hearty food. No wonder winter is such a great season!

That lamb sounds yummy by the way.

imummy said...

how strange....while surfing amazon to buy yet another book on housekeeping I found your list...upon reading I felt like my brain had gone walkies and found itself in wales(I think thats where you are) in your head.....then went to your blog and became even more convinced theres another person out there thinking the same things as me except I'm a very strict "orthodox" (as they do love to say or even extreme which I hate) muslim. But religion aside I cant believe it your just like funny. Anyway interesting meeting you take care from one distracted housewife to another...p.s did you buy the happy hooker crochet book I found it quite useful!

Cath said...

Ultimately, people aren't so different after all, are we? However we label and pigeon-hole each other the necessities and the good things in life don't really change all that much. Lovely to hear from you xx


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