I was planning to use some of the lamb leftover from our Easter feast to make Shawarma but, unfortunately, the roast in question was not suitable for carving into appropriate slices and so I decided to try something a little different. I had bread dough leftover from making pizza and I thought that I could use some of this to make something along the lines of the stuffed Chinese buns known as Baozi. As a twist, however, I went with a filling that was more middle-eastern, and thus Shawarma-like, in spirit… Read more
Posts tagged ‘Lamb’
For our recent Easter feast, I vacillated between duck, goose or leg of lamb, but the realities of northern living settled the issue for me as I could find none of the above and had to settle for a lamb shoulder instead. Thus far, I have only bought the shoulder so as to cut it up for use in curries or Chinese dishes involving bite size pieces, and I have to confess to never having cooked one whole. When I was bemoaning the fact that I could find neither lamb leg or even chops for our Easter meal, Stefan over at Stefan’s Gourmet Blog suggested that I do the shoulder sous-vide or braise it, but since the former is technically beyond my equipment-wise, and since my wife prefers roast lamb, I decided to go ahead and do it in the oven using a herb-spice combination known as a Gremolata.
A Gremolata is similar to another well-known preparation known as a Persillade, which, in its simplest form is just parsley minced with garlic. The essential difference between the two is that a Gremolata includes lemon zest but, like the persillade, there are many variations on the basic theme. Some versions include sage, thyme, rosemary or mint, and in Milan, I gather, anchovy paste is sometimes used. Oil, chiefly olive oil, may also be added depending on the intended use for the finished preparation. For today’s dish, I am keeping my Gremolata fairly simple… Read more
If you have a look at the Wikipedia definition of Kebab, you will find that it has a much wider range of culinary expressions than the skewered meat chunks most westerners expect. All across the ‘kebab’ world, from Turkey, through the Middle East, to India and Pakistan, lamb is the primary choice but beef and chicken are also used; sometimes in large pieces, other times smaller chunks, and, quite often minced, or ground.
The ‘Shahi Kebab’ is a relatively common restaurant offering and generally consists of highly spiced ground lamb or beef that is then grilled, or sometimes fried or baked, in a sausage shape around a long skewer. The word ‘shahi’ is Hindi for ‘royal’ and the term is vague enough to allow for almost any combination of ingredients to fit the description. Some preparations are quite elaborate, containing cream, nuts, or even saffron in the meat mix, but I am going to do a much plainer version along the lines of a very nice appetizer I enjoyed at the Café Shafali on my last trip to Ottawa… Read more
The above picture is reproduced with kind permission of Suanne over at the Chowtimes blog where she has recently been posting articles about a trip to China. The picture shows some dumplings she saw being cooked by a street-market vendor in the Muslim quarter of Xian. I was inspired, after seeing these interesting little delicacies, to have a go at making them, especially as the method of wrapping is considerably simpler than many Chinese dumplings and should be fairly easy to follow even for novices.
Suanne said that the dumplings were available with a variety of different meats and were served with a chili paste on the side as a condiment. Since lamb is very popular amongst the Muslims in China (pork being avoided), I decided that I would use it for this attempt at reproduction. Beyond the very basic information from the picture and Suanne’s description, I don’t know a great deal about these treats so I am largely going to be ‘winging’ it. As such, this should be prove to be a very interesting little experiment and, since I don’t even know the name used by the street vendor, I am simply going to call mine ‘Xian Market Dumplings’… Read more
I decided to do a lamb curry in order to try out the Malaysian style Sambal Belacan I featured in a recent post. Given the spirit of the dish, I have named it after Sarawak, which is a state in Malaysia. I don’t know if they actually cook anything like this there but obviously they are going to have to start now…. Read more
I love dumplings of all kinds and I decided to use some of the leftover lamb from our Easter dinner to make a nice little supper for me and the wife. I have had lamb dumplings at a few different restaurants, both boiled and fried, and I generally find them a little bland. Cumin really goes well with lamb so I thought I would add some to these ones for a little extra flavor… Read more
My wife and I both love roast lamb. We don’t have a whole leg very often as it is a lot of meat for one meal and lamb, unlike pork, or even beef for that matter, just doesn’t seem to heat up well a second time. The cooked meat does have some interesting uses, however, and as we wanted a nice lamb roast for Easter I decided to go ahead and get one with a view to using the leftovers for a couple of future experiments… Read more
Lamb is not terribly popular in Southern China but it is quite common in the North and in the cuisines of the far West. When sautéed with scallions, it is a frequent addition to menus in many restaurants, particularly those featuring Beijing cuisine, where the English name usually appears in Chinese as 蔥爆羊肉 (pinyin: cōng bào yángròu). This, in translation, is ‘Scallions Explode Lamb’ but the actual dish is less alarming than it sounds. The second character in the Chinese name, bào (爆), can indeed mean to ‘burst’ or ‘explode’, but in the culinary sense it merely means to flash-fry at high temperature.
I bought a small lamb roast a few days ago with the intention of cutting it up for a few different dishes to feature here at my blog. It wasn’t a great cut by any means, and yielded a pretty meager quantity of meat after I trimmed away the fat and gristle, but I had more than enough to give this Northern Chinese favorite a try… Read more
While perusing the Chowtimes food blog, I came across a recipe created by co-author Suanne for something she called Naan Pizza. Basically, this was a standard cheese pizza that used a piece of cooked Naan bread instead of the more standard rolled dough. In another post, her husband, Ben, visited a Vancouver restaurant featuring Uighur cuisine from the semi-autonomous Xinjiang province in Western China. The Uighur people are largely Moslem and their cuisine features lamb, spices not commonly used in the rest of China, and a type of bread that is very similar to Indian Naan. Ben sampled a dish composed of a lamb-topped chunk of this bread and referred to it as ‘Xinjiang Pizza’.
Ben mentions that chili and carrot were added to the meat I was inspired to try a fusion of Suanne’s ‘Naan Pizza’ with what I saw in his post. My idea was to combine the richness of a western cheese laden pizza with the more exotic tastes of the Far East. This is what I came up with … Read more