Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Monday, March 29, 2010

Eat your carrots and then you can be excused

Before I was inundated with information about what to eat and what not to eat, I knew I was supposed to eat carrots. The debate has gotten more complicated in recent years as I try to incorporate new foods with supposed super hero powers. For example, I recently read the NYT article “The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating” ( and I now roast beets even more often, drown my oatmeal with cinnamon and hide mounds of dark greens in plates of buttery pasta. I draw the line at sardines though. Blah.

Carrots, however, have been a staple since the days Kraft macaroni and cheese with sliced hot dogs and Gorton Fish sticks filled my plate. Parents of the 70s were big proponents of carrots, although they were usually accompanied by frozen peas. I once hid my uneaten peas up my nose but that’s another story…

I wish I could pop baby carrots like candy as Ryan does or enjoy them roasted with brown sugar like many people do on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I just don’t really like them, unless, as I discovered last night, they are made into a soup.

1) Chop 2 pounds of carrots and two medium size onions.
2) Sauce for 10 minutes in one tbsp of butter.
3) Add 3 cups of chicken broth and let simmer until carrots are soft.
4) Puree and return to pot.
5) Add ¼ cup of squeezed orange juice, 2 tbsp chopped tarragon, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Keeping salads simple

The possibilities for salads are endless. I have made salads with every possible nut, fruit, and shellfish. I have served them warm and cold. Sometimes I make them with roasted quinoa or couscous to bulk them up. I’m constantly rushing out to buy champagne vinegar, sun roasted currants, or blood oranges. Admittedly, it’s hard to go wrong with salads. However, often times, I do go overboard and end up with something so complicated that ‘salad’ practically no longer applies.

Recently my friend Amie came over with a fresh Greek salad. Ryan had sent her a picture of one we had on our honeymoon to make for my birthday. She nailed it. And it was the perfect reminder that sometimes the simplest salads are the best. Especially when other people make them.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring is coming…cook with cream!

When the evenings start to shorten and I begin to realize that my days of wearing flip flops are limited, I cheer myself up by thinking of all the fall and winter dishes I will make that year. I begin to research lamb stews, braised short ribs, and cream-based pasta dishes. However, by the beginning of February I’m sick of heavy food and red wine and I start to fantasize about cold beers at the Frying Pan, grilled fish and crisp fruit.

The beginning of this week presented us with a hint of spring. I broke out the sandals (a bit prematurely) and bought spring vegetables (a bit prematurely). Last night, however, there was a bite in the air again. I decided it was a perfect evening to pay tribute to the last days of winter. So I headed to the store and bought heavy cream. Now that I can anticipate spitting watermelon seeds and BBQs on Brett’s deck, I suddenly don’t feel so tired of heavy winter food. In fact, I feel a desire to squeeze in a few more dishes before tucking the recipes away until next year.

1) Chop three shallots and sauté in 2 tbsp butter. Add ¾ cup chicken broth and stir for two minutes. Add 1 cup of heavy cream, cayenne pepper, and the zest from 2 lemons and 1 orange.
2) Add sugar snap peas (or another prematurely bought spring vegetable) and stir until heated through.
3) Add a bit of lemon juice and lots of chopped mint.
4) Toss with penne or another fun shaped pasta and serve with parmesan.