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Archive for February, 2013

…Out Like a Lamb

Stewed lamb shoulders

Stewed lamb shoulders

farmfresh veggies

farmfresh veggies

 

Cold and dreary at times, these last weeks of winter beg for excuses to turn on the oven and hang in the kitchen. Pick one of those meals our Moms heated the whole house with. Shepherds’ pie is a dish that can be as difficult or as easy as you wish. Sometimes best composed entirely of leftovers, today we present one drawn up from scratch. Do not limit your pie to the ingredients here, add your favorites – corn, lima beans … Chopmeat, also, can be used in place of the stewmeat. It will be necessary to add some wine or stock to the chopmeat to make the gravy. While we photograph the dish with wine, this is great served with iced cold beer. Good Stuff!

Stewed Lamb Shepherds’ Pie

1 pound lamb shoulder steaks or other stewmeatPlated hot with big red wine

1 large onion, coarse chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 stalks celery, coarse chopped

2 carrots, coarse chopped

1 cup red wine or hearty beer

3 cups stock (chicken, beef, lamb, no matter)

2 bay leaves

2 cups shelled green peas (frozen will work)

3 pounds red new potatoes

1 stick butter, softened

Brown the lamb well in a small amount of oil in a high sided pan or pot with a cover. Remove and add vegetables to the hot oil. Cook well, add wine, bring to a boil and reduce shortly. Add stock, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Return stewmeat to the pot, add bay leaves, cover and place in a 300 degree oven for 2-3 hours, until the meat is quite tender. Remove from oven, remove meat from the stew and separate away the bones. Strain the liquid and return to the pot. Skim off the fat and return meat to the pot. Thicken with a slurry of water and flour until quite thick. Add the peas and reserve.

While the stew cooks make the mashed potato crust. Boil 3 pounds red new potatoes until tender. Strain and mash. Season well with salt, pepper, and 1 stick of butter. Allow to cool somewhat before working half of the potatoes into the bottom of a large nonstick pan. Be sure to work well up the sides and to try to keep a uniform thickness. Add the stew, also easier to work with if slightly cooled. Spread the remainder of the potatoes over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes until golden brown and quite hot in the middle. Serve soon and often. Good Stuff!

 

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Rolled and cut with biscuit cutters

Rolled and cut with biscuit cutters

Carefully slide off floured spatula

Carefully slide off floured spatula

Montauk_Fat Tuesday

In my working class Polish Catholic family, the day before Ash Wednesday has always been doughnut day. Pancake day, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras,… pretty much all the same. Last night we had some lovely lemon doughnuts with boiled lemon icing and some holes with powdered sugar. Do not make too many of these things, they will kill you. Be sure to use fresh oil or oil that has only been used for sweets. We took care to replace the fish cake oil and wash the fry pot very well. Last night we had them with brandy, but they go great with iced cold milk and hot coffee. Good Stuff!

 

Allow the doughnuts to drain and cool completely before icing or dusting.

Allow the doughnuts to drain and cool completely before icing or dusting.

Iced with boiled lemon icing and holes tossed with 10x sugar.

Iced with boiled lemon icing and holes tossed with 10x sugar.

Lemon cake doughnuts

2 cups cake flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1 egg

7 Tablespoons sugar

6 Tablespoons milk, warm

2 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter

Combine flour and baking powder and sift, add lemon zest, reserve. Beat egg until light and frothy, slowly add sugar. Scrape bowl with spatula before slowly drizzling milk and butter into the eggs. Now add the wet to dry in one shot and mix as little as possible. The dough should be sticky and messy. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. To cook, remove dough from fridge and allow to rest for one hour. Roll out with large amounts of flour to 3/8 inch. Cut into desired shapes and transfer with a well floured spatula to a well floured piece of was paper. Allow cut doughnuts to rest for up to one hour before cooking, this will allow them to resist soaking up oil while cooking. Carefully slide the doughnuts into 375 degree oil with the well floured spatula. Take some care to not get too much flour into the deep fryer. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, flipping carefully with chopsticks or tongs. Remove to several layers of paper towel, drain one side for 15-25 seconds and then flip and allow to drain the other. Doughnuts must be completely cool to ice, but if you will be tossing them in sugar or 10x they will be tossed while still slightly warm.

Boiled lemon icing

1 egg white

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon corn syrup

2 teaspoons lemon juice

pinch cream of tartar

Combine all ingredients and mix well. In a double boiler or a heat proof bowl over boiling water beat the icing well with hand mixer or whip for seven minutes, until icing firms up, comes away from sides of bowl, and begins to lose some of its volume. Remove from heat and continue to beat until icing is room temperature and stiff and airy. Spread on cooled cakes or doughnuts with a small spatula or use a pastry bag to apply. Good Stuff!

 

 

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