Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts

Has anybody ever had undercooked eggplant? As far as I know, it’s the only vegetable that is absolutely disgusting if it’s not cooked to death. Slight crunchy carrots? Delicious. Asparagus that retains its crispness? Awesome. Chewy eggplant? Nasty.

When I saw this recipe in Food and Wine for Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts, I was excited but wary.
I loved the idea of using cinnamon, lemon, tamarind and sugar to create a salty sweet balance. However, the idea of piling the lamb on top of the eggplant without hollowing it out terrified me. Undercooked eggplant alert! Therefore I carved out the eggplant and roasted the shell and the chopped up insides separately for 40 minutes ahead of time.  I then mixed the chopped eggplant with the lamb and loaded the ‘eggplant boats’ up and roasted for another 20 minutes until I was absolutely certain it was cooked.

This makes for a hearty dish so I served with an arugula, pomegranate and pecan salad for some color as well as a bit of hummus.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lentil Soup with Toasted Coconut and Cilantro

Back to back work trips stink for a lot of reasons. I miss my family, my fake exercise classes (Zumba!) and my own home. I also miss cooking and eating the type of foods I enjoy. Because of the nature of my job, eating in the field is divided into two categories: 1) Delicious but often incredibly unhealthy local street food like chicharron, fried yuca or empanadas and 2) overpriced hotel food that is often described as 'international' on the menu and tastes like an industrial-sized kitchen's spin on Olive Garden.

 Despite the total absence of anything green, I usually stick to the street food. However, on certain trips when I'm stuck in meetings or trainings, I don't have a choice but to sit down with everyone else for the buffet lunch. On offer is chicken with sauce, pasta with sauce and boiled-to-death vegetables....with sauce. It's awful.

 I have a few days in NYC between trips this weekend so I immediately turned to my favorite standby: lentil soup.

My first stab at this simple recipe turned out a bit sweet so I'm having it for breakfast. It's awesome though so I think next time around I'll bump up the red pepper flakes and add a bit more curry powder. Don't skip the toasted coconut flakes and cilantro. They make the dish. Now if only I could bring soup as a carry on.