Feb 20, 2010

lamb & oven veggies

the leg of lamb used to be attached to one of our neighbours' lawnmower, namely a lamb. the neighbours bought 4 lambs last spring to take care of their lawnmowing. late autumn when there wasn't any grass for the lamb to eat...well, the ugly thing happened. you figure out what, or not, if you don't want to.

here's certain someone starting his cooking school by trying to debone the leg of lamb







certain someone did a good job. the dog got his share in form of the bone later on







fresh mint, thyme and rosemary







there was some leftover tapas in garlic oil that i used as base for the marinade. poured all that into a sturdy plastic bag, added the peel and juice of one lemon, 5 smashed gloves of garlic, few sprigs of the above mentioned herbs and a few tbsp of olive oil







placed the meat into the plastic bag and gave, sorry, certain someone gave it a good rub. the meat was then placed into the fridge for approx 5 hrs, overnight would have been optimal







after 5 hrs i took the meat out, removed herb springs and lemon peels and made a rub out of minced thyme, rosemary, mint, parsley, salt, lemon juice and olive oil







did leave the dried tomatoes of the tapas in, added the rub and tied the meat into a tight package and placed it into a oven roasting bag (see, i've now learned something)







the meat took about an hour in 200C, inside temp was 70C. after taking it out of the oven, poured the juices into a saucepan, covered the meat with foil and a kitchen towel. defatted the juices and made a sauce with a slurry (all purpose flour + cold water) and cream







still slightly pink, very tender







as a side dish i roasted these, potatoes, eggplant, carrots, parsnip, sweetpotatoes with minced thyme and rosemary and olive oil







love oven roasted veggies, would have been happy with eating just these







this went nicely with the meat







as did this







my portion plated. still feel a bit qualm about the taste of lamb... will eat it if i cooked it myself but have never ordered it in a restaurant, anywhere. have probably missed quite a number of decent lamb dishes but what do you do...







as usual i had bought a big punch of parsley as it freezes great. took out the top parts, minced them and placed in ice cube tray for easy use later on







tied the sprigs into tight bundles, bagged them individually and placed in freezer. the bundles come in handy when making stocks and stews







ps. this morning we woke up to -22C temp and no cold water... oddly the warm water was running. by the time we were done with breakfast (salmon omelett) the cold water was running again. don't call this place shack for nothing...

Feb 19, 2010

snow

yesterday was a gorgeous, sunny winter day. those aren't my trancks, can't do it, keep falling on my butt



















apple trees looks pretty under all that snow, but they really should be pruned






today, as more snow started to fall, certain someone went up to the roof







to drop some of the snow down before the roof caves in...







as with any dog, you need to go and have a walk, even if it's freezing, snowing and windy







but you never know, there might hidden treasures under all that snow... wonder if the dog could be trained to find truffels?



video



side step from the path and you're in deep snow







the apple trees sure look pretty, but, hey, now would be the time to do something!



small wonders, and pancakes

got a letter day before yesterday from the hospital telling that my surgery is scheduled on march 12th!!!!!! after first being told that the waiting line is 6 months, then being told that it would probably take place sometime late march, early april, i'm ecstatic that it it's happening this soon.

there was a zillion things to plan and think about and i'm not a person to figure out plans up to D if i don't know even the approximate details or dates. i just plain won't plan anything, feel it's a waste of time and energy (could be that i'm just lazy...). had some leave scheduled in mid-march but was told yesterday that can be moved ahead so that i can have my leave before the surgery. now i can get a move on things that have been "waiting for the day" (like the pile of clothing going to salvation army).

also, i had a trip planned in mid-april, it seems i get to go as the first cast will be removed by then and the second cast will be considerably smaller and lighter. not sure what'll happen with rehab that was supposed to be the last week of march. there are good things going on, gotta be careful not to jinx it...

this morning, as a celebratory breakfast, made american pancakes for us (certain someone was home as he got his H1N1-shot yesterday and was feeling poorly). not sure where i got the original recipe (probably martha's) but over time it's become quite streamlined, this serves us two

1½ cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
2 dl sour cream
1 dl milk
2 tbsp melted butter

first mix the dry indredients, then add the wet, mix but stop when still slightly lumpy. you might have to add ½ dl milk if the batter looks too stiff. as i use non-stick pan i don't use any butter for frying, pan on medium-low heat. usually start by putting the pan on stove to warm, by the time batter is done, pan is heated and ready to go







on the very same day that i read isle dance's entry on goji-berries, got to taste some that a colleague brought to work. went and bought some myself and brought a bag to the shack as well. certain someone has picked up a habit and is using the berries in everything. i mean everything, it's a bad picture, but you get the idea. personally, i think the you'd need much more berries to counter-effect the amount of butter he puts on his pancakes...







ps. we're getting more snow... where will it all go when spring comes? spring will come, right?

Feb 14, 2010

no-knead bread

jim lahey's no-knead bread first appeared on new york times in 2006, i got to know about it on the martha show in 2007. i've made it a few times in the past but somehow it never stuck.

as i was so happy with lahey's pizza dough, thought i'd give the bread another chance. it really isn' that hard, it's just takes a bit of planning as the first proofing takes up to 18 hrs.

started my bread on friday night, first mixed the dry ingredients, then added the water, took about 4 mins and that was it. put the cover on my tupperware dough bowl and forgot about it







here's the dough after 18 hrs of proofing, looks and is quite wet







this is probably the most difficult part of the whole process of making this bread, how to get the very sticky dough shaped







my pastry scraper helped a bit







the kitchen towel needs a fair amount of either flour, wheat bran or rolled oats in order for the dough not to stick on it







after i managed to get a somewhat round blob of dough on the towel, i made knots with the towel to make sure the dough would not escape... and left it proofing for another 2 hrs. that was all the work needed, you barely touch the dough, and if you had 2 pastry scrapers you wouldn't have to touch the dough at all







by which time it lookes like this







have used all sorts of pots with lids, this glass oven dish has worked best







smell of baking bread was amazing, barely controlled myself (and certain someone) from cutting the bread while still hot from the oven







this was the first time i used flour this grainy, it worked great







here with fig jam and austrian bergkäse







wonder if certain someone could learn how to make this?


ps. happy valentine's!