Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lamb Shanks

Lamb is good. But usually, it is very expensive to order lamb at a restaurant. Here is an easy way to cook lamb shanks. It takes some times, but it is not hard to do, and it is a lot cheaper than eating out.

  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 5 baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup wine
  • salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme to taste

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Season and brown the meat in olive oil over hi heat for about 5-6 minutes on each side.

Transfer the meat into the oven safe pan.

Caramelize the onions and garlic in the remaining oil on the pan. Add sugar.

Place caramelized onions over the meat to prevent it from drying out on the oven. Put carrots on top of onions. De glaze the pan with wine and pour over the meat and onions as well.

Bake covered for 2 hours. Uncover and add chopped mushrooms. Continue baking for another 20 minutes uncovered.

Serve with mashed potatoes. Use the sauce to pour over the meat and potatoes.

Get your own lamb:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stuffed Peppers ala Zorana (Serbian= Punjene paprike/ Пуњене паприке)

Ever since I moved to WA, I've been craving stuffed peppers. Since Svetlana is not around to make them for me, it was becoming obvious that I had no other option but to make them myself. So, here it is, I can finally challenge Svetlana's recipe.

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1lb ground beef (85/15)
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 5 red bell peppers
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1 cup wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • seasoning salt (ex. Vegeta) to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tomato, sliced

Preheat the oven to 450F.
Heat the oil in a pan and add cut up bacon pieces. When bacon starts to cook, add onion, garlic and carrot. Cook all together for a couple of minutes stirring often.

Add meat, bay leaves and seasoning. Stir the meat well to break up all the larger clumps. When the meat looks cooked, add rice. Mix together for a couple of minutes. While this is cooking, core the peppers.

Turn off the burner and stuff the peppers with the meat/ rice mix. Separate the bay leaves.

Close peppers with the tomato slices you cut out earlier.

Please the peppers in a oven safe deep dish. Cast iron baking dishes are especially good for this type of cooking.

De glaze the pan whit wine and water. Mix in the tomato paste. Once you made a homogeneous mixture, poor it into the cast iron dish over the peppers. Ideally, you want the sauce to cover about 1/2 - 2/3 of the peppers. Depending on the size and shape of your dish, you might need to add more water. If you have too much sauce, just cook it uncovered, and it will evaporate.

Cover the dish with the lid and bake for 1 hour at 450F. Then open the lid, pour some of the sauce into the peppers and bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes.

Serve with sour cream and bread.

Here is a link to Svetlana's stuffed peppers for comparison:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rice Pilaf with Quinoa

This recipe doesn't require exact measures. You can use any veggies or meats you like or have in your fridge at the time. Its a great "clean up your fridge" dish.

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1/2 quinoa
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 2 mushrooms
  • pork tenderloin, sliced thin
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Vegeta or another kind of mixed seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1.2 cup water

Heat oil in a pan and add rice, onion, garlic, carrots, tomato and jalapeño.

Stir in Vegeta and add salt to taste, depending on how salty your seasoning mix is.

Add sliced mushrooms. It could be any kind of mushrooms. I used crimini mushrooms. They are good for cooking as they retain the texture and don't release too much water.

Add pork. This can be any meat. Pilaf can be meatless as well. I actually used some left over pork loin that we grilled a few days ago.

At this point the rice should start sticking to the bottom of the pan. De glaze it with wine and water.

When the water starts to boil, add quinoa.

Lower the heat and cover.

Cook for another 15 minues with occasional stirring. Add more water if needed. The amount of water really depends on the kind of rice you use.

Serve as a side dish or a main dish, or take to work for lunch. I'm taking this for lunch tomorrow...