Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Roasted Shrimp with Feta

If you have read my blog long enough, you'll know that I hope to be Ina Garten in my next life and pretty much worship the ground she walks on. She entertains in her pimp little Hampton's pad effortlessly, eats basically whatever she wants all the time, can make a dinning room table look absolutely amazing and runs a successful catering business. And that's her JOB! She gets paid to do all that!

Anyway, in my boring life, our feta was about to turn and I needed a recipe to use it all up. I decided to test this one out and I added some red onion and red peppers to it as well and toasted some french bread to serve on the side. Delicious. Oh, Ina...

Roasted Shrimp with Feta

Serves 4

Good olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced fennel (1 bulb)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon Pernod
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 pounds (16 to 18) shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tails left on
3 ounces feta cheese, preferably Greek or French, coarsely crumbled
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (see note)
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 lemons

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in 10- or 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Add the fennel and garlic and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits clinging to the bottom of the skillet, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, Pernod, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the skillet. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Arrange the shrimp artfully in one layer over the tomato mixture in the skillet. Scatter feta evenly over the shrimp. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, and lemon zest with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle evenly over the shrimp.

5. Bake the shrimp for about 15 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through and the bread crumbs are golden brown. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the shrimp. Serve hot with wedges of lemon.

Assemble the shrimp right in a 10- to 12-inch stainless-steel sauté pan, and then put the pan in the oven for 15 minutes before serving.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lamb Meatball Curry

While we have been doing more than our fair share of grilling this summer, I have been on a serious Indian kick. I think it's because I discovered the cuisine so late in life that now I am doing everything to make up for lost time. I mean, this stuff is so freaking tasty. Cooking it, on the other hand, scares me a bit. Is it the amount of ingredients in each recipes? Or the lack of amount of experience I have with some of these ingredients?

Well, it's time to get over it and start making this stuff at home. I looked around and found this recipe at Essentially Healthy Food via Saveur . Wish me luck.

Lamb Meatball Curry
Serves 4

500g Lamb Mince
10g Fresh Ginger
1/2 Red Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
25g Ground Almonds
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Curry Sauce
1/2 Red Onion, roughly chopped
25g Fresh Ginger
2 Cloves of Garlic
150g Fresh Tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Tsp Ground Turmeric
15g Coconut Oil
4 Whole Cloves
4 Cardamon Pods, crushed
3 or 4 Small Pieces of Cinnamon Bark
1-2 Chillies
400ml Coconut Milk
50ml Water
8 Curry Leaves
1 Tsp Garam Masala
Juice of ½ a Lemon

Coriander Leaves, to garnish

To make the meatballs
1. Finely chop the onion, ginger and garlic in a food processor. Add to the lamb mince together with the ground cumin, ground almonds and a little salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.

2. Divide into 20 even sized pieces and roll into balls.

To make the curry sauce
1. Place the red onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, ground cumin, coriander and turmeric in a food processor and blitz until a paste is formed.

2. Heat a shallow saute pan, approximately 5cm (2") deep and 25cm (10") in diameter. Heat the coconut oil and then gently fry the spices until their aroma is released. Add the paste and cook for a few minutes. Then, add the coconut milk, water and whole chillies. Stir well, bring up to the boil then cover and gently simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in the garam masala, curry leaves and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

To cook
1. Pre heat the oven to 180℃/160℃ Fan.

2. Brown the meatballs in a non stick frying pan. Drain any excess fat on kitchen paper. Place the meatballs in a single layer in the pan with the sauce.

3. Cover and cook in the oven for 30- 40 minutes.

To serve
1. Garnish with coriander leaves.