Spiced Rack of Lamb With Pomegranate and Honey over Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Sounds super fanc, right?  Well.  It is, haha.  And yes, I said “fanc” on purpose.  Apparently shortening your words when you speak is really cool, so I’m totes trying it out.

Wow.  I don’t know what just happened.  Let’s move on.

On to lamb.  I LOVE lamb. I had barely had it until this past year.  I can honestly say I only remember having it in one dish: gyros.  And even then it was not often, and usually mixed half and half with beef.  But then I made it for the first time with our Rack of Lamb with Garlicy Pesto…and my life was forever changed.  We were HOOKED.  However, because of the price tag, we don’t get to enjoy it often.  Well.  I had a little extra in the grocery budget this month.  So I bought a rack of lamb.  And did a little happy dance.  And discovered this little beauty from myfoodbook.com.  And did another happy dance.  🙂

Because of my crazy schedule, I had to wait a few days to cook this, and I almost went mad with anticipation knowing this beautiful piece of meat was waiting for me in the fridge!  But I tell you what, it didn’t disappoint!  I don’t know how I have gone without lamb for these past few months!  Yummy.

So let’s get down to it!  Just a little note….the original is served with a garlic yogurt sauce.  Mr. Rodgers and I aren’t huge fans of plain Greek yogurt.  But I mixed up the sauce in an effort to be brave and try it anyways…and then decided I didn’t want to be brave anymore haha!  Then I had an idea…which I am very thankful for.  I was already planning on serving this dish with mashed cauliflower…which I usually make creamy with sour cream.  So instead of sour cream, I just used my garlic yogurt sauce and BAM!  Garlic yogurt mashed cauliflower.  EAT IT!  No, really.  Eat it.  Do it.  You won’t regret it.

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Rack of Lamb
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Coriander
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Head Cauliflower
  • 1 C Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 – 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 Pomegranate
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Roasted Almond Flakes

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Mix together all you seasonings in a small bowl and rub all over your rack of lamb.  Set in the fridge until you are ready to cook, preferably about half an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400*
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat, with the coconut oil in the bottom.  We are going for a nice char, so I would make it closer to high heat than medium.  HOWEVER, if you don’t like the crispy dark crust on meat…go for more like medium.  🙂
  4. Toss in your lamb and cook about 2 minutes per side, just till you get your desired amount of char…or “brown.”
  5. Slide the skillet into your oven and cook about 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, chop your cauliflower into florets and toss into a pot of boiling water until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Mince garlic and stir into Greek yogurt.
  8. Drain cauliflower and dump into a blender, in shifts if needed.  Add half a stick of butter or so, your yogurt mixture, salt and pepper, and blend till creamy perfection.  Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and butter.
  9. Put a pile of mashed cauliflower on each plate, top with a piece of lamb or two, then sprinkle with pomegranate, almonds, and honey!!  DIG IN!  Bam!

Peectures:

Photo (9)Gather your spices and combine in a small bowl.

Photo (10)Cover that rack of lamb with that rub!!  Set in fridge until ready to cook!

Photo (11)Preheat oven to 400*.  Melt 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

Photo (12)Toss in your lamb and cook about 2 minutes per side until you have your desired amount of char/brownness.  We like ours crispyyyy!

Photo (13)See?  Yes, it looks pretty dark, but it turned out perfect!  Slide into your oven and cook about 20 minutes.

Chop your cauliflower into florets and toss in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, until tender.  Meanwhile mince garlic and stir into yogurt.  Drain cauliflower and toss in a blender with yogurt mixture and about 1/2 cube butter, and salt and pepper.  Blend until creamy.

Photo (14)Creamyyyyy.  Picture doesn’t do it justice unfortunately.  Now plop a big spoonful on your plate…

Photo (15)Slice lamb between bones, and place one or two on top of the mashed cauliflower…

Photo (16)Sprinkle with pomegranate “seeds,” almonds, and a drizzle of honey.  Perfection!

Photo (17)I was so worried I had over cooked it, but it turned out just how we liked it!!  This was definitely a man pleaser!

Photo (18)What do you think?

Photo (19)This not only renewed my love for lamb, it also renewed my love for pomegranate.  I had given up on pomegranate because I kept trying to drink pomegranate flavored things and never liked it.  But I gave it a try for this recipe, and realized just how wonderful and not at all like the “pomegranate flavoring” it was.  I had forgotten!

Photo (20)Yums!  Enjoy!

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Grilled Kebabs (The Culmination of our Mediterranean Feast)

YES!  I have been wanting to post this beauty for so long!  But I was devastated by the realization that I didn’t write down the recipe OR the website I based it off of!  I didn’t want to make stuff up, but it was just so good that I just HAD to share it with you.  I was going to look through the pictures and pray it jogged my memory when I got a text message from my daddy (who, if you have been following my Mediterranean posts you will know is the genius behind these recipes!!) with a link…he found the original!!!  I’m so stoked!  Let’s not waste time and get down to it, because I know you are going to love this!!

Adapted from greek.food.com.

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 onion, grated (it would probably work minced too, but I grated it just to try because I have never heard of doing that before!)
  • 6 (at least) garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 C Parsley, Chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Herbs:
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Oregano, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp thyme, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp rosemary, minced
  • AND/OR (if you are low on fresh herbs like we were)
  • Tbsp Greek Seasoning
  • Tbsp Herbs De Provence or Za’atar
  • Bamboo Skewers

And here’s how you do it!  (It’s best if you have someone to make it with, it’s a very fun group activity ;))

  1. Soak your skewers while you prep!  You don’t want them to light on fire while on the grill! 😛
  2. Prep your herbs and veggies as mentioned above.
  3. Combine everything in a large bowl!  (Simple enough, right?!)
  4. Form into sausage-type shapes and skewer!  (See pictures, my daddy shows you how!)
  5. Place on a preheated grill and cook until you get it just how you want it…works well medium!!
  6. Serve Gyro style in warm pita with hummus, tzatziki, red onion, lettuce, feta…whatever else you can think of!  Great with a good cucumber/tomato salad as well!

PICTURES!

I was so lucky to find Grass Fed Beef at our local Aldi, it was only like $4!  That’s really good for organic grass fed, isn’t it?!  Woo hoo!  Kebabs

Anyways!!!  Put those beautiful meats into a large bowl!  I don’t know about you, but I love lamb so much!!  I can’t believe I went so long without having it in my life!

Photo (9)

Add the rest of your ingredients

Photo (6)

What did you choose for the herbs?!

Kebabs 1

Mix it all up with your hands till combined, then make into sausage-like shapes.  See my daddy’s mad skills!!  I love those hands that are so worn from how hard he has worked for me!

Kebabs 2

Skewer it!

Kebabs 3

Put 2 – 3 per skewer…

Kebabs 4

Place on a hot grill and cook until done, medium to well done 🙂  Aren’t they pretty?!  Okay, maybe more just….fantastically yummy looking?!

Kebabs 5

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmy!!!!

Kebabs 6

Serve Gyro style in a pita with hummus, tzatziki, red onion, feta, lettuce, etc…whatever you can think of!  Oh I guess tomatoes would be good too, hehe.  (My faithful followers know they aren’t my fave ;))  Isn’t that so appetizing?!

Photo (5)

This is my attempt at an artsy photo.  This is my beautiful hunk of kebab in the foreground…with my beautiful hunk of husband and my daddy in the back ground haha!!  See how they are DEVOURING?!  That’s cause this is FREAKING DELICIOUS!  Hehehe…I hope you enjoy!

Photo (8)

Chef of Honor: Duane Kirkwood with Homemade Hummus

As promised!!!  Now that I have given you the tools you need for home made tahini…let me allow my father to give you the tools you need to take it all the way to hummus!!   (And guess what, we have a step beyond that…to show you later!).  This hummus kicks store bought stuff in the pants!!  You have to try it!  And like I mentioned in my tahini post…it is a fantastic healthy snack!  The chickpeas give it protein, the seasonings give it flavor, and the texture will make you want to eat this every day!  (When I lived at home, I actually did eat it every day haha!)  Learn from the man who has experienced real Mediterranean hummus in Israel itself…you will not be disappointed!!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 C Tahini
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 C Chicken Broth
  • 1 tsp Kosher Sea Salt
  • 3 or 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper (to taste)
  • Franks Hot Sauce (to taste)
  • 1 C Dry Chickpeas
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda

And here’s how you do it!.

  1. Soak 1 Cup dried Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) in water (they will double in size so make sure the water covers the chickpeas by at least a few inches) with a tsp of baking soda over night.
  2. The next day, rinse with fresh water and boil until tender (check at 30 minutes)
  3. Drain and put in a blender.  (Preferably a quality blender)
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and begin to blend until it becomes the consistency you desire.  You may add chicken broth if you need to jump start the blender.  My dad’s tip is to get it to a consistency that is thinner than you would want your hummus, because as you let it sit it thickens.
  5. If serving as a dip, scoop it onto a plate, create a well in the middle and drizzle in a little olive oil, then sprinkle with a small amount of paprika and Za’atar, or Herbs de Provence if you don’t have any Za’atar…which not people do I am guessing 😉

Now enjoy!  As a dip, a topping, an entire meal….whatever you want!  Hehe!!  It’s sooooo good!

 

Hummus 1

 

Soak your garbanzo beans over night!  The next day, boil until tender…can be done in about 30 minutes.

Hummus 2

 

Drain your chickpeas in a blender along with the rest of your ingredients, and…

Hummus 3

 

Blend!!!  Add some chicken broth if you need to jump start the process.  Don’t be afraid to make it a tiny on the runny side, Dad’s tip is that it will thicken as it sits 🙂

Hummus 4

 

Now serve!!  You can make it pretty by creating a well of sorts, drizzling on some olive oil, then sprinkling with a bit of paprika and Za’atar or Herbs De Provence if you can’t find Za’atar.

ENJOY!!!

Make Your Own Tahini! (The Genius of Duane Kirkwood!)

WHO HERE LOVES HUMMUS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

If you could see me right now, you would see my hand shooting up and waving enthusiastically.  I LOVE HUMMUS!  So delicious.  So guilt free.  So surprising!  Ugh!  Just so wonderful!

My dad just happens to be the hummus master.  He has been to Israel probably 5 times or more, experienced the cuisine, and never been the same.  For years he has been trying to perfect the art…and I do believe he has mastered it!  Me, on the other hand, have always wanted to follow in his footsteps…but my attempts have always been foiled.  Why?  Well…whenever I think to make it, we tend to be at the end of the month with little funds, so when I go to grab Tahini, one of the main ingredients…I would cringe and put it back because of the price.  Hummus would have to wait until “next month.”

NO MORE I SAY!

Cause my dad is a genius.  And makes his own Tahini.  To make his own hummus.  To eat on gyros.  That he made.  On his own.  MAN!

Wanna know how?!  So you can make your own Tahini.  To make your own hummus.  To eat on gyros.  Or with pita.  or bread. Or veggies.  Or crackers…..?!?!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Cup Roasted Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil +
  • Kosher salt to taste

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Put sesame seeds in a blender, make sure they reach the blades.
  2. Start by adding 1/4 C Olive Oil and blending until smooth.  If needed, drizzle in more olive oil until it reaches a deliciously creamy texture.
  3. Salt to taste.

IT’S THAT EASY!!!  Now you have your base for hummus….  Don’t know how to make hummus?!  Watch my blog closely, and I will soon let you know!  Because my dad visited me.  And made hummus 😀

See?  You just put it in the blender and blend with enough olive oil to make it creamy!

Tahini 1

 

Adjust as needed with olive oil, just like the pops here!!  Isn’t he amazing?!  🙂Tahini

Isn’t it pretty?!Tahini 2

Roasted Asparagus with a Hint of the Mediterranean

I love asparagus. Really I do. It makes me so happy…in fact I want some right now!!! But instead of getting off the couch and going grocery shopping….I’m tired…I will just tell you how to make it so one of us can enjoy it. 😉

That being said…this is actually a very simple, easy recipe! Sometimes there is beauty in simplicity, right? But what I think is even more beautiful is when a veggie recipe shines with flavor and creativity…when it seems fancy simply because no one thinks to do that with a veggie…but it is still very simple. And easy. That is the essence of this recipe! 😉 Tasty, creative, healthy, light and refreshing, and oh so easy!!! Read on my friends!

Adapted from http://www.onceuponachef.com

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 C Feta

 

Are you excited about these flavors yet?  I was.  Heck.  I still am.

 

Here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash and trim your asparagus by bending the stalk until it pops off…or you can just trim the bottom inch or so, but if you let it pop off where it breaks naturally you have more of a guarantee of being free from tough bites.
  3. Toss your asparagus with about a Tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Dump the asparagus on a foil lined baking sheet and put in your oven to roast, until starting to get tender.  This is going to depend on how thick the asparagus spears are, but I would start with about 8 minutes.
  5. Take the asparagus out and let it cool until you can handle it.
  6. Stir together the lemon juice, lemon zest, and remaining Tablespoon of olive oil.
  7. Cut asparagus into bite sized pieces.  Place in a bowl and top with feta cheese, and drizzle with the “dressing.”  You can give it a toss if you want.  🙂
  8. Admire it’s prettyness, then eat!!

 

I hope you enjoy this fresh, healthy, wonderful vegetable side dish!  The lemon makes it so refreshing, and yet it is paired so well with the salty, tangy, WONDERFUL feta.  I love feta cheese.  😉  Sidenote…I LOVE asparagus with fish.  Fish is so light and flakey, and asparagus, while also fresh and healthy…is something satisfying to bite into.  It’s decently hearty I’d say!!  So hop on over to my last post, Simple Grilled Garlic Dijon Salmon for a fun pairing!

Try this recipe grilled or sauteed too!!

 

Asparagus Feta Salad 1

 

Mediterranean Frittata

This was a lovely little surprise.  I love frittatas and this one sounded interesting…and I looooove feta so I knew that part would be a win.  But the whole olive thing I was unsure about.  Well.  I can confidently tell you…that was SILLY of me.  This is by far my favorite frittata to date!!  It was pretty because of all the colors, and had a nice fresh taste to it.  It’s so nice to have a break from scrambled eggs and fruit smoothies!!  In fact, I have all the things in my fridge to make it again and have been wanting to for days now…but have been staying up late with the hubby and sleeping past breakfast, hehe!  Don’t judge me!  I’m only childless and jobless for so long!  Until tomorrow in fact.  Well, jobless that is.  Childless will hopefully describe me for a few more years 😉

Anywho!  This is perfect for breakfast or brunch…heck, it’s great for any meal!  You should really try it out!  It will quickly transport you to the East…sipping fresh pressed pomegranate juice, eating fish just pulled from the sea and exploring the open markets!!  Oh how I long to go there myself, I’ve only heard stories from my parents’ frequent trips to Israel.  Someday.  Someday I will go.  But until then I will be here, eating my Mediterranean Frittatas and going through my Rosetta Stone Hebrew course.  🙂

Note: This was my first experiment cooking with Ghee.  It worked real well!!

Adapted from this lovely book I have mentioned before.  I am quickly falling in love with it.  For real.  Loved everything I have tried.  You should get it and see for yourself, here’s a link if you wanna check it out!  Beautiful book with gorgeous pictures and even better recipes!

deliciously-healthy-vegetables

So, here’s what you need for my version:

  • 2 Tbsp Ghee (or regular butter)
  • 3 Tbsp Red Onion, Minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 6 Eggs
  • 6 oz Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Greek Seasoning
  • 8 Kalamata Olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 Tomato, chopped into large pieces
  • 4 oz Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tablespoons Cilantro, minced

I’m drooling already.

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Prep your veggies.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350*.
  3. Use a large cast iron skillet. (If you don’t have one, then make sure your pan is at least oven safe.  But for reals.  You should use a cast iron skillet.  It makes the bottom so browned and crispy, aaah!  I can’t imagine having it any other way anymore!)  Melt Ghee over Medium heat.
  4. Add Red Onion and saute for a few minutes, until they are starting to get tender.  Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
  5. Meanwhile, beat together eggs, Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, and Greek seasoning.
  6. When onions and garlic are done, spread them out evenly over the pan, and pour your egg mixture over the top of it.
  7. Sprinkle in your tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.
  8. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes, until the edges are starting to become solid.
  9. Move your pan into the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the middle is no longer runny and it is starting to brown.
  10. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve!!  Sometimes we sprinkle ours with hot sauce, too!  Or sour cream!  Whatever you can think of!

Well, what do you think?  Doesn’t that sound yummy?  What is your favorite Mediterranean style dish?

Here’s some pictures for you visual folks 😉

Meditteranean Frittata 5

Start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Melt your Ghee in the bottom of a large cast iron skillet, and begin sauteing your onions.  When they are just about done (3ish minutes), add your garlic, cook a minute more then distribute evenly throughout the pan.  Hopefully more evenly than this.  I wasn’t done yet 😉

Meditteranean Frittata 2Meanwhile, while you are waiting for your onions to become tender, whisk together your eggs, Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, and Greek seasoning till it is fluffy.

Meditteranean Frittata 3

See?Meditteranean Frittata 4Pour the mixture over the onions/garlic…

Meditteranean Frittata 6Now add your halved olives, tomato chunks, and crumbled feta.  Let cook for 3-5 minutes, until the edges are starting to get solid.  Now scoot it into your oven for about 15 minutes…or more importantly, until the middle isn’t liquidy any more, and it is starting to brown…crispy edges!!

Meditteranean Frittata 7Yummy!!  Sprinkle with fresh cilantro!

Meditteranean Frittata 8Little slice of happiness right there!!

I hope you enjoy!  You seriously need to try this!  Let me know if you make any fun changes! 🙂