Moroccan Spiced Lamb

7 10 2009
A few notes to start.

Costco has boneless leg of lamb for a really good price. It takes a little butchering to remove the silver skin (which just ends up tough and chewy if you don’t remove it, but isn’t too hard to take off). To remove the silver skin, take a small knife and slide between the silver skin and meat and then angle the blade upwards and slide along the meat. If you get a 5 lb lamb leg, remove the silver skin and then cut it in half and freeze half to use later.

This recipe is really spicy. Just a warning for those who aren’t a fan of spice.

Cut about 2 1/2 lbs of lamb into chunks. Put in a gallon ziploc.

Add to the ziploc:

1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbs cumin
2 tsp turmeric *
1 1/2 tsp corriander *
(* can sub in 1 tbs curry powder if you want it less potent)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

Shake to combine and let rest for 5 minutes or so.

Put a large skillet on medium high heat and add 3-4 tbs coconut oil. Once it is hot, brown the lamb chunks.

Add 2 diced medium onions and 3-4 cloves of minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Take 8 oz of pitted dates (1 cup) and cut into thirds. Add to lamb mixture along with 2 cups of chicken broth (get the natural kind or make it yourself). Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes until dates plump and lamb is tender.

To finish, toast about a half a cup of pine nuts and toss on top. (Optional)

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I serve with:

1 large butternut squash that I peeled, removed the seeds, cubed and boiled. Then I drained the water and smashed it like potatoes and sprinkled a little cinnamon.





Chicken in Avocado Green Chile Sauce with Spicy Butternut Squash

7 10 2009
2 chicken breasts

put in pan with water and cover on med high heat for 15 minutes. Pull chicken out and shred. Set aside.

Sauce:
2 cloves garlic minced
dice half an ancho chile
4-5 diced tomatillos
cilantro to taste

Put in saucepan with 1 tbs canola oil and heat over medium heat until tomatillos start to break down. Once sauce is cooked, add in: 1-2 ripe avocados mashed with 1 tbs lime juice

Mix chicken into sauce

I served with:
Butternut squash, peeled seeded and diced that I boiled and smashed with a little olive oil and the other half of the ancho chile. If you want the squash sweeter (which I may do next time), roast the squash in the oven at 350 with a little oil on it instead of boiling to bring out the natural sugars to caramelize a little.





Spicy Garlicy Chicken “Spaghetti”

7 10 2009
First split a spaghetti squash with a machete. I’m not kidding, these puppies are tough.  Ok, so if you don’t happen to have a machete lying around the kitchen, get a cheap Chinese-style butcher knife (see picture).  Cut a small slice from the squash side so that it can now lay flat.  Put the blade along the squash vertically.  Take a wooden or rubber mallet and tap the top of the knife to push the blade through the squash until it is split.  Please do not ruin any good knives over these beasts!
 Scoop out seeds. Put foil on a baking sheet and place squash flat side down on the sheet. Put in oven at 375 for 45-minutes to an hour or until the outside looks a bit brown and you see brown oozing goodness coming out from the squash. Trust me, the caramelized goodness of the baked version is so worth it.

Or, if you have no patience, put the halves flat side down in a microwave-safe dish with about an inch of water and microwave until inside is soft and stringy. Oh, and poke some holes in the round side of the squash before you microwave it.

In either case, when the squash is cooked, use a big spoon to scoop the stringy deliciousness into a bowl or onto plates. Season with a little salt and pepper.

For the chicken:

2-3 large chicken breasts cut into palm-sized pieces
4 cloves garlic minced (I like garlic, what can I say)
2 small or 1 medium onion, diced
1 cup red wine
1 12 oz can crushed tomatoes (find a brand where the ingredients are: tomatoes)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tbs Italian seasoning
2 tbs olive oil

Put olive oil in a pan and heat up over medium high heat. Brown chicken pieces on both sides. Remove. Add garlic and onion and cook until translucent. Add spices. Add wine to scrape up brown bits. Add can tomatoes. Put chicken back in. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer in sauce for about 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Serve over squash.