lentils & lamb

what do we do at my house when we’re bored?

cook.

try new recipes that may or may not go together, but sound delicious! tonight we went for lamb kofta (meatballs) & bacon, mushroom lentils. while they we’re both extremely good, we agreed we would not pair them together next time. they’re both very filling & kinda heavy plus they are both work-intensive. the lentils could definitely be a main course. the lamb actually could be a good starter if they were made into smaller balls. you can do all the prep beforehand.

i found the lamb kofta recipe on tasteologie. the recipe is from the blog Ooh, Look. her pictures are much better…. and more detailed.

the lentil recipe is from another blog, Leite’s Culinaria. again, better pictures.

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lamb kofta

serves 4

ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 4 slices of white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 lb. minced lamb
  • 1/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • olive oil for frying
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 4oo grams Italian tinned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. basil, chopped
  • S&P
  • pinch of sugar
  • pinch of dried chili flakes

directions

for the sauce: place the oil and crushed garlic in a saucepan and stir over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.  add the tinned tomatoes and chilli flakes and season with salt. bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until slightly thickened. remove from the heat, taste and adjust seasoning. add sugar if the mixture is too tangy. set aside.
for the kebabs: soak the bread in cold water for 2 minutes, then drain and squeeze to remove most of the water. crumble the bread into a large mixing bowl and add the lamb, crumbled feta, pine nuts, spices, garlic, egg, parsley, salt and pepper.  mix the ingredients with your hands until well combined, but do not overmix.  shape into 12 fat, cigar-shaped balls.
preheat oven to 400F.
pour  1/4″  of olive oil into a large frying pan and shallow-fry the kebabs for 1 minute on each side until they are browned. remove from the pan and set aside on a baking tray.
for the zucchini: slice off both ends and then cut long, thin slices down the length of each zucchini. you’ll need about 12 slices (the same number as there are kebabs).  brush each slice with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  place a chargrill pan over high heat. when heated, lay the zucchini slices in the hot pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until grill marks appear.  remove to a tray to cool.
(note: we broiled the zucchini in the oven & it worked fine. fewer pans to clean & it helps preheat the oven.
wrap each kebab finger in a slice of courgette and arrange in a single layer in a baking dish. bake in the  oven for 8 minutes, until cooked through.
to serve, bring the sauce back to the boil, add the basil and stir through.  arrange the kebabs on serving plates and spoon over the sauce.

–just out of the oven–

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bacon & mushroom lentils

serves 4

ingredients

  • 1 1/4 c. lentils, green or brown, rinsed
  • 4 cups water or chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, chopped into bite-size pieces. try a mix of shitake, oyster & baby bella
  • 3 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 6 – 8 slices of bacon

directions

place the lentils in a large saucepan, cover with the water or stock, and bring to a boil. lower the heat and simmer gently until tender, at least 35 minutes or so. Drain well. (note: ours took about 30 mins. just keep tasting.)

heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onion and sauté just until softened, about 5 minutes. add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. add the butter, the remaining oil, and the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are tender. season with salt and pepper. add the lentils, the 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and heat, stirring, just until warmed through. taste and season the lentils accordingly with more lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

meanwhile, in a separate skillet, fry the bacon until crisp.

sprinkle the lentils with the parsley and bacon, left whole or crumbled into pieces, the more the better.

–finished product minus the bacon–

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and the final plate……

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