Happy New year! and Xmas dinner 3 weeks late
Happy new year! so apologies for being MIA and not posting for a while. I moved to DC as most of you know, then I was apartment searching, then I went through this phase (that I’m sort of still stuck in since it’s what I had for dinner tonight) where I only made soups, but alas! I have finally moved into my own place with a fantastic kitchen (that has a double oven!!!). So to start off the year right I decided to throw a little Jewish xmas party at my place for which I bought my first skillet (which I was so excited for!) and made all things I had never made before.
- Light Mediterranean Salad with Lamb Chops
- Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots and Gremolata
- Apricot Couscous
- Goat cheese pizza with sautéed red onions and mushrooms (see following posting on pizzas)
- Creamy Lemon pie with fresh whipped cream
Light Mediterranean Salad with Lamb Chops:
Having never made lamb before, and wanting desperately to buy a skillet after my friend’s boyfriend suggested I get one (he won me over with how after you use it for a while the skillet absorbs all the previous seasoning and everything tastes yummy out of it) I decided Xmas would be the perfect holiday. I did some research on recipes and decided that given my affinity to things with paprika and Tabasco I would choose this one. Overall I followed the recipe except instead of marinating for only 20 min I decided to do it over night.
What you need (for 2 servings):
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 loin or rib lamb chops, cut 1 inch thick
For the salad:
- 3/4 cup peeled and diced (1/4 inch) cucumber
- 1 diced (1/4 inch) green bell pepper
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced (1/4 inch)
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
For the dressing:
- 1/2 tablespoon plain nonfat yogurt
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 small clove of garlic, grated
- Salt and pepper
What to do:
1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the chops, coat well and refrigerate, covered, to marinate for at least 20 minutes, but like I said I did it for 24 hours.
2. Meanwhile, combine all of the salad ingredients in a single large bowl.
3. Combine all of the dressing ingredients, then fold into the salad. Refrigerate the salad for up to 2 hours before serving, if necessary.
4. Remove the lamb chops from the marinade. Broil or grill about 3 inches from the heat source for 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare meat. Serve immediately with the salad alongside.
easy peasy and oh so yummy.
This couscous recipe was a huge hit! Especially with my friend Brett. Since Xmas I’ve made it again. Super easy and good hot or cold. Didn’t take long to make either so very good party recipe.
What you need (serves a bunch of people):
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion, small dice
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup whole almonds toasted, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth, warm
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 scallions green parts only
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped plus leaves for garnish
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
What to do:
In a medium saucepan add a 2 count of extra-virgin olive oil. Add the red onion, apricots and almonds and saute gently over low heat until translucent and slightly fragrant. Add the couscous then dump in the warm broth. Stir with a fork to combine, add lemon zest and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes, then uncover and add the scallions, mint, and cilantro. Fluff again with a fork. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots and Gremolata
What you need (serves about 6-8):
- 1 1/2 pound(s) green snap beans, fresh, trimmed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 6 medium shallot(s), peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 2 Tbsp parsley, fresh, chopped
- 2 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
What to do:
- Heat a large pot of water to a simmer. Place green beans in a steamer and steam over simmering water until tender, about 5 minutes. Run steamed green beans under cold running water for 30 seconds to stop cooking; set aside.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add shallots and cook, stirring often (and adding a little water to prevent sticking if necessary), until golden and tender, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to make gremolata, combine parsley, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl.
- Add green beans to skillet; toss over medium heat until heated through. Season with salt and pepper; toss to mix and coat.
- Place green beans in a serving bowl or platter and sprinkle with gremolata. Yields about 3/4 cup of green beans and 1 teaspoon of gremolata per serving.
Creamy Lemon pie with fresh whipped cream
This was the easiest dessert to make and I think, had it just been slightly less sweet (which I’m not sure how to do) it would have been amazing! That being said it is very tart and definitely requires some whipped cream.
What you need:
- 6 whole reduced-fat cinnamon graham crackers
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 11 oz fat-free sweetened condensed milk
- 2 large egg(s)
- 1/2 cup(s) fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 small carton of whipping cream
- a little bit of powdered sugar
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Grind graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Or place crackers in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Place crumbs in a small bowl.
- Melt butter on stove top or in microwave and pour over graham cracker crumbs, mixing with a fork until completely moistened. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom of a 9-inch pie pan; place crust in refrigerator while preparing lemon filling.
- In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk and eggs; mix until smooth. Add lemon juice and zest; stir until incorporated and pour into prepared crust.
- Bake pie for 15 minutes. Cool completely and for best flavor, serve chilled. Yields 1 piece per serving.
For the whipped cream:
If you’ve never made whipped cream from scratch it is super easy and very perfect for this pie.
Basically, pour some whipping cream into a bowl or blender and either using an electric mixer or the blender, blend on high until it looks like whipped cream, at some point add a little sugar (though you don’t need much) and tadah! there you have it.
Since this post is so so long I’ve decided to break it up and put my pizza posting next! But since it’s so late I may wait till tomorrow. Till then, enjoy!