Monthly Archives: February 2011

Morrocan spiced pastitsio with lamb and feta


from bon appetit magazine,with a few minor changes.. A bit of a potchkie but very good

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium-large red onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 lb ground lamb
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp dried mint
1 1/2 Tbsp ras el hanout **
3 tsp ground cumin divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups whole milk divided
8 tbsp butter divided
6 Tbsp flour
3 eggs seperated
8 ounces crumbled feta
1 lb penne pasta
3/4 cub parmesan cheese divided

Heat oil in a large skillet add onion and garlic and cook until softened. add lamb and cook until browned. stir in canned tomatoes with their juice,tomato paste,ras-el-hanout,mint,2 1/2 tsp cumin and the cinnamon. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low.  cook until thick,stirring often  15-18 minutes

while the lamb is cooking heat 2 cuts milk to a simmer in a saucepan. when warm cover and set aside. In a heavy large saucepan melt 6 Tbsp butter. add flour and whisk until smooth. reduce heat to medium and cook stiring often about 3 minutes until a pale golden brown. slowly add in the warm milk,whisking until smooth. whisk the remaining cup of milk with the egg yolks in a small bowl and then add to the sauce. whisk the feta and 1/2 tsp of cumin into the sauce. brink to a boil,whisking often. reduce heat to medium low and simmer until slightly thickened,about 5 minutes.  use a potato masher to break up any cheese clumps while heating.

preheat oven to 400. spray a large baking dish with non stick spray. cook pasta according to package directions until firm. drain and return to the pot. stir in 2 Tbsp butter,the egg whites and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.

spread 1/2 the pasta into the baking dish. spread the lam mixture on top. add the remaining pasta. spoon the white sauce over the pasta. sprinkle with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.

Place dish on rimmed baking sheet to catch any drippings. cook in over for 40 minutes. remove from overn and let sit 10 minutes to set up.


serves 10


** Ras-el-hanout is a morrocan spice mix. I bought mine at the savory spice shop in austin but it may be available elsewhere.


Pork Chops Saltimbocca


heres a quick meal thats great for a weekday. goes great with sauteed spinach
this serves 2 but can easily be doubled

2 center cut bone in pork chops 1-1 1/2 inch thick
2 sage leaves finely chopped
2 thin slices italian fontina cheese (can use danish or swedish if you cant find italian)
2 thin slices good prosciutto
1 Tbsp olive oil

preheat oven to 450
with a sharp knife cut a wide deep pocket in each pork chop
sprinkle 1/2 the sage in each chop
stuff with the cheese and prosciutto
pat dry and season with salt and pepper
heat the olive oil in an ovenproof skillet until shimmering
saute the chops 2 minutes
flip and saute  2 minutes more
transfer skillet to the oven and cook 8-10 minutes or until chops are done.

serves 2,can be doubled

Baked Chicken with artickokes


chicken,artichokes and lemon. a natural combo

2 cans artichoke hearts,drained and sliced in half thru the stem end
juice of 3-4 lemons (6 Tbsp)
1 chicken cut up
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 fresh sage leaves
2 large shallots finely chopped
1/4 cut white wine
fresh ground pepper

preheat the oven to 425
trim excess fat from the chicken and cut the breasts crosswise into 2 pieces
in a large saute pan melt the butter and add the olive oil. Over medium high heat brown the chicken on both sides until lightly browned 4-5 /side. Brown in batches so you dont crowd the pan
place the chicken skin side down in a roasting pan.
tuck 4 of the sage leaves under the chicken
season the chicken with some fresh ground pepper
in the saute pan reduce the heat to medium and saute the  shallots 3 minutes pour in the wine and  deglaze the pan,stiring up any browned bit. bring to a boil and pour over the chicken. pour over the chicken.
sprinkle 3 Tbsp of the lemon juice over the chicken
place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes,basting 1/2 wat thru with the pan juices
turn the chicken over and cook 20 minutes or so longer, until the juices run clear again basting 1/2 way thru
using tongs transfer to a serving plate.
place the roasting pan over a burner on the stove. add the remaining lemon juice and reduce slightly over medium heat. Pour over the chicken. Garnish with the remaining sage before serving.

serves 3-4


Spaghetti with Amatriciana sauce


a very easy italian sauce to make good on spaghetti or any similarly shaped pasta.  Makes enough for 1 LB of pasta


8 oz Pancetta (italian uncured bacon) diced
1 28oz can tomatoes (use san marzano tomatos for this sauce,it makes a difference)
1 medium red onion diced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 dried cayenne pepper or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat warm the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook stiring occasionally for 15 minutes,or until crisp
meanwhile run the canned tomatoes and their juice through a food processor using the grating blade.
when the pancetta is crisp remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside. saute the red onion in the oil/pancetta grease for about 5 minutes or so.  Pour the tomatoes into the onions and add the red pepper. stir to mix well,add salt and pepper to taste.
simmer for 20 minutes.
while the sauce is simmering prepare 1 lb pasta according to package directions.  when the pasta is done drain but dont rinse. pour back into the pan you boiled it in.
Add the cooked sauce to the pot with the pasta. stir to mix well and add the set aside pancetta. cook over medium heat 1 minute stirring continually.

serve hot with plenty of grated parmesan cheese.