Warming Slow Cooked Lamb Ragout for Cold Winter Nights

The French have a long tradition of preparing slow-cooked stews, dishes that require a little extra time, but reward with their fork-tender meat and vegetables. Ragouts, as they are often called, are meals in themselves, and can be served alone or ladled over pasta, potatoes, polenta, or other grains of choice. Oh, and did I mention that these all-in-one dishes can be prepared ahead, and actually improve in flavor after resting in the fridge for a couple of days? Slow Cooked Lamb Ragout with Fennell, Tomatoes, and Garlic has all  these qualities, and is perfect to stave off the cold of winter, especially here in New England where I live.

I’ve made this ragout several times this month for cooking classes and for friends. On each occasion people have commented on the tenderness of the braised lamb and vegetables and appreciated the lightness yet hearty accent of the sauce. To prepare it, lamb stew meat is Continue reading

Delicious Last-Minute Tomato and Onion Confit

Lamb Chops with Tomato Onion Confit 1 1686x1198My son, Mike, is a talented cook, and during our family’s summer vacation, he and I teamed up to prepare the evening meals. Often we went to the market, chose what looked good, and decided how we’d use if after returning home. That was certainly the case with a colorful tomato and onion confit we whipped up one night.

A cache of plump, ripe summer tomatoes, a mound of garlic heads, and a bag of onions, were the inspiration for a simple but vibrant tomato and onion garnish. We chopped the onions into large pieces, sautéed them until golden, and then added tomatoes and a hefty accent of pressed garlic. Cumin, turmeric, and cayenne pepper added heat and color to our mélange. We served this quick confit with couscous and grilled Moroccan merguez sausages (easily found in France where we were staying). Back home I substituted lamb chops marinated with the same spices used in the confit with equally delicious results. Continue reading

Great Flavors at a New Thai and Rotisserie Grill in NYC

Uncle Boon's NYC 1 interiorDuring a quick visit to The Big Apple last week, my husband and I had dinner at Uncle Boon’s, a new Thai and Rotisserie Grill downtown in Nolita. It took several tries to book, since this modest-sized restaurant sets aside only a few reservations, encouraging walk-ins instead. I persevered on line, booking a table for two, and hit the jackpot! Cozy and unpretentious, Uncle Boon’s delivered tempting dishes with bold, multi-layered flavors.

Crispy Frog Legs with Noodles, Lemongrass and Thai Herbs Salad 1 P

Crispy Frog Legs with Noodles, Lemongrass and Thai Herbs Salad

I started with a sautéed chopped lamb salad with cucumbers, mint, shallots, and chiles, a dish with plenty of heat, My spouse tried crispy frog legs served over glass noodles garnished with a lemongrass and Thai herb salad. Both were delicious. For mains my boneless beef short ribs were fork tender and extra spicy. But, definitely, the winning dish of the evening was my husband’s roasted duck leg served in a sublime soy anise broth along with a caramelized tangerine and a steamed duck egg. (I went to sleep dreaming about that beautifully seasoned broth!)

Duck Leg in Soy Anise Broth Uncle Boons NY 1

Roasted Duck Leg in Soy Anise Broth

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Spicy Lamb Chops–Weeknight Quick and Easy!

Lamb Chops with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce 1It’s a recurrent theme at our house and maybe at yours too. Does this sound familiar? You’ve worked all day and arrive home feeling as if the last thing you want to do is cook. The temptation looms large to order a pizza or take out from the local Chinese or Mexican place, but what you really crave is something homemade for supper.

Because I play out that scenario often, I’m always searching for easy homemade fixes for weeknight meals. When I discover a new dish such as Spicy Lamb Chops with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce I love to share it with my readers. Continue reading

Lamb, Date, and Red Pepper Brochettes

Okay, it’s May, and that means it’s finally warm enough here in New England to pull out those grills that have been sequestered for months in the garage. We can start seriously cooking outdoors once again. And, I have the perfect recipe to initiate the new season. Lamb, Date, and Red Pepper Brochettes are easy, colorful, and quick to prepare. Continue reading