Tag Archives: lamb

and at it again: herb-jalapeno lamb patties in pitas with cucumber yogurt sauce, arugula, and baby tomatoes

lamb pitas with herb jalapeno lamb patties, cucumber yogurt sauce, arugula, and baby tomatoes

Apparently I am having a tough time deciding between tree hugger (KALE! QUINOA!) and burly carnivore, because nipping at the heels of a meat-ball-esque meal, I’m back extolling the virtues of another meat-in-ball-form dish.

lamb patties - perfectly sliced cukes

But I really somehow think you’re going to be OK with it. These bad boys are goo-o–o-ood!  Hear me out:

lamb patties - jalapeno!

Take lamb, add plenty of bright green jalapeno and fresh herbs, make patties and fry them till golden and crisped, then stuff them into warm and toasty pitas filled with creamy and cool cucumber sauce, peppery arugula, and sweet baby tomatoes. Some sliced red onion (because, duh) and a sidecar of vinegary hot sauce, and you’ve got yourself something really special in not a lot of time (and, I’ll add, with not all that much effort).

lamb patties - ground lamb

In non-ground form, lamb is generally prohibitively expensive for more than just the occasional meal; I don’t know about you, but my other/better half has mucha hambre after stomping around avocado groves all day, and seeing as he can put back a cool 7 or 8 lamb lollipops, we’re not exactly dishing those guys out on a random Tuesday.

lamb patties - fresh herbs ready to be chopped

But ground lamb is very affordable, and infinitely more forgiving when it comes to cooking temperatures (because really, is there anything more sad than a gorgeous lamb lolly that’s been cooked even a smidge past medium rare?), and as these pitas come together in less than a half hour, they’re just what the weeknight Dinner Doctor ordered.

lamb patties - herbs!

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insignificant as they might be: old school spaghetti and meatballs and a simple tomato sauce (with lamb, pork, and beef)

the best old school spaghetti and meatballs and a simple tomato sauce, by cory at eatandrelish.com

I was all set yesterday to tell you about one of my favorite things to make and eat when  I crave something simple, nostalgic, and just so freaking tasty, but then….suddenly these meatballs just weren’t important anymore.  There is nothing more to say that hasn’t already been said about the tragic events of yesterday, and I can’t pretend to be eloquent enough to put into proper words that sick feeling we all carry in our guts, or the fiery rage we have yet to be able to direct at any one person or organization.

whol garlic ready to be minced

A marathon runner, I am most definitely am not, but being from Cape Cod, the Boston Marathon is an event that I grew up with, and one that has served as a point of pride and celebration for Bostonians and Massachusetts residents alike.  At any marathon, there are of course the elite competitors, those more casual “weekend warrior” athletes, the yearly pacemakers and medal collectors, and the slew of first-timer-gotta-knock-it-off-the-ole-bucket-list runners. There are those who come to stand on the sidelines and cheer for someone who is running to support a cause that is dear to their hearts, and those who come every year to cheer for no one in particular, but instead for everyone who impressively puts their mental and physical reserves to the test by donning a number and vowing to finish.

starting to cook down the grated onion and tomato paste

The entire event encapsulates just so much good, and encourages and fosters a strong bond within the community; on Marathon Monday, it’s not just about physical fitness and the fanfare of winning a first place medal, but about the words of encouragement, the triumphant faces of those who’ve overcome and endured a massive  commitment, and the brotherhood that comes along with sharing a struggle. Essentially, so many things that make up the Boston way. The American way. For a monster to come in and senselessly and cowardly take that away from the runners, from Boston, and from all of us….is soul crushing.

bright green parsley

President Obama said today “If you want to know who we are, who America is, how we respond to evil — that’s it: selflessly, compassionately, unafraid.” I know my hometown of Boston is woven of a strong and hardy bunch, and that they will, eventually, recover.  Even still, it’s of little solace in sad times like these, and my heart and mind, along with the rest of the country, and the world, will continue to be with the people and families who were so deeply affected by this despicable and senseless act.

always lots of grated parmesan cheese

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a last supper: crispy lamb & lentils with poblano peppers and yogurt

crispy lamb and lentils with poblano peppers and yogurt

And just like that — I am a bonafide resident of Cali-for-ni-a!

crispy lamb and lentils dried lentils

The past few weeks have been a blur of moving vans, paperwork, hardware stores, and stubbed toes, but after one twelve-hundred drive across half the country and about ten days spent feathering our new nest, I can now say I feel like I am actually at home.  And I absolutely love it.

crispy lamb and lentils ground lamb

You’d think that that many miles spent traversing the Northwest would give me a ton to tell you about, but as we saw Boulder turn smaller and smaller in our rearview mirror, I had no idea that our dwindling old hometown would literally be the last sign of civilization……until Reno, Nevada – one thousand miles later. Sure there were a few ramshackle towns here and there and the odd (sketchy looking) truck stop, but most of our journey was either across flat land for as far as the eye could see, or up over and around cavernous uninhabited landscape that quite literally looked like scenes from Mars.

crispy lamb and lentils poblano peppers

Our entertainment was limited to positively dull games of I Spy (….something that is brown. “A tumbleweed!!!”….womp womp womp) and debating the merits of Jimmy Johns over Subway as the best of the worst road-trip lunch fare options.

(Jimmy John’s always wins, IMO.)

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for a chillier day: slow roasted lamb shoulder with potatoes & parsnips

I’ve told you all just how wacky the weather here in Boulder can be before, but I am seriously just completely amazed at how variable it really is.  I am sitting here now beside the fire with slightly sunburned shoulders and very angry hamstrings…..why? 

Because I hiked Mt. Sanitas with a friend yesterday – without a jacket and wearing a workout tank and cropped pants.  With no jacket.  In cropped pants.  Wearing a tank top!

Yes.  Yesterday my car announced to me that it was a positively balmy 68 degrees (and even eeked it’s way up to 72 as I drove home from the Pearl Street Whole Foods).  It was a glorious still-winter day: there were eager Tuesday happy hour patrons spilling out of open windowed cafes, there were runners and hikers giddily pounding all the trails, and there were hordes of bikers shrink-wrapped in spandex whizzing all about like neon hornets (ahh, Boulder).  For a moment in time it was like we all forgot it’s not yet even Spring; the clocks have not even yet sprung forward, and it hit me upon my arrival home at 6 o’clock that it was still light out.

We passed dozens of hikers on our ascent up the steep (steep….steep…) trails, sunglasses were all but imperative to help shield my eyes from the bright and hot rays, and the pug shared my enthusiasm for a good number of iced-down Camelback breaks – I dare say the first time in months she has admitted that she too was tired.

(I should note Winnie’s favorite pastime, aside from hiking itself, is making you feel like a chump while she runs circles around your huffing-puffing-aching ankles.  The nerve!)

And so, my whole point being, that while yesterday was amazing, and got me thinking about open toes, picnics, and dining al fresco (swoon!), today our high is a measly thirty-six (!) degrees (!!), and they are calling for snowfall to start this afternoon (!!!).  The tops of the mountains are covered with a cold fog, and our deck was iced over as we shoved a totally unenthusiastic pug slip-sliding out to do her business at 6:15am.

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Going ‘In’ to Dinner: Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Scoring a table for four on a Friday night in the city is not always a simple task – especially if you’re attempting to do it off the cuff.  With over fifteen thousand restaurants crammed into the the 23.7 square mile island that is Manhattan, one could understandably presume that securing a table would be nothing short of effortless – however, that is often not the case.   Sure you can pop into one of the zillion forgettable pubs for a mediocre burger or a passable steak au poive, but if you’re looking to dine at prime-time-o’clock at a smart new restaurant buzzed about for its good food, service, and crowd du jour, it generally takes weeks of forethought….and that’s if you are lucky.

You can all but but forget about going anywhere that has been recently gushed about by New York Mag, and if Sam Sifton so much as breathes a kind word about the Lamb Bolognese at the next new ‘IT’ spot you can assure yourself that unless you share a name with one Colin Firth or one Natalie Portman….you just aren’t getting in. Now that’s not to say there aren’t a myriad of less flashy restaurants, hidden neighborhood gems, and yesterdays golden children (whose fanfare has since waned) who’d be able to accommodate you – it’s just that in this over-scheduled city that never sleeps it can be tough to lock in a last minute reservation anywhere.

{But Wait! There’s More!…}