Tag Archives: lamb

Lamb Shank Tagine + Chocolate Chip Fougasse


Happy Friday! Spring may be just around the corner, but it still feels like winter here in Reno. We got almost a foot of snow overnight and it is still snowing! It is beautiful and makes me want to hunker down for a cozy day at home.

This week’s Cook the Book Fridays dish was hearty and warming; perfect for a chilly night. Lamb Shank Tagine is a delicious blend of lamb, dried fruits (apricots and raisins), and warm Moroccan spices.

I have always loved lamb shanks, but I don’t make them very often. Lamb Shank Tagine was the perfect way to enjoy the fall-off-the-bone tender meat. The spices and dried fruits really complement the meat nicely. I was able to enjoy this delicious dish for two dinners and a lunch.


I served the lamb with the suggested Lemon-Pistachio Israeli Couscous and it was the perfect accompaniment. It was reminiscent of Dorie’s Beggar’s Linguine, but lighter and fresher, and I liked it better.


I also made Chocolate Chip, Hazelnut, and Dried Sour Cherry Fougasse. I loved the more-traditional Olive Fougasse we made for French Fridays with Dorie, so I was looking forward to trying this one. This bread is flavored with semisweet chocolate chunks, hazelnuts, dried sour cherries, and orange zest. A sprinkling of flaky sea salt on top brings it all together.


I actually didn’t like this one as much as I thought I would. I am not crazy about fruit-laden breads, and something about the nuts, dried cherries, and orange zest took it over the top for me. I would have been happier with just the chocolate chunks and sprinkling of sea salt.

If you would like to try your hand at any of these recipes, you can find them in My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz.

What’s the weather like where you are?



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Spiced Meatballs with Sriracha Sauce


Who doesn’t love meatballs? We sure do. This week’s Cook the Book Fridays recipe was a delicious take on meatballs.

Spiced Meatballs with Sriracha Sauce are David Lebovitz’s attempt to recreate the flavor of merguez sausages at home. These are heavily spiced meatballs: the spices include fennel seeds, coriander, cumin, cilantro, garlic, paprika, Sriracha (or harissa), cinnamon, allspice, and sumac. The recipe suggests ground beef or lamb, or a combination of the two. I used lamb, but I am sure beef would be delicious too.

Despite all the herbs and spices, these meatballs were quick to put together. I appreciated that there was no “filler” like breadcrumbs since we have a non-grain eater in the house. I also like that Mr. Lebovitz gave us several options for cooking the meatballs (pan, grill, or oven). I took the easy way out and baked these in the oven.

The Sriracha Sauce was even easier to make than the meatballs. Simply mix together mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce and there you have it!

I served Spiced Meatballs with Sriracha Sauce with roasted cauliflower for a simple dinner. The flavors of the meatballs were a little too sophisticated for my daughter, but my husband and I loved them. I will definitely make them again, with beef or lamb.

This post participates in Cook the Book Fridays, an online cooking group making our way through David Lebovitz’s book My Paris Kitchen. You can find the recipe on page 74 of his wonderful book.


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Lamb and Dried Apricot Tagine + Tartine de Viande des Grisons

Lamb and Dried Apricot Tagine

Happy French Friday!  How is your December going?  Mine’s been busy, but with fun stuff like a birthday party for my daughter and Christmas preparations.  I’ve been decking the halls and trimming the tree!

Thank goodness for last week’s easy French Fridays with Dorie recipe, since I doubled up this week with it and the current week’s recipe.  I also have a little bonus at the end of this post!

Lamb and Dried Apricot Tagine

Lamb and Apricot Tagine

This week the group made a Moroccan-inspired dish called Lamb and Dried Apricot Tagine.  Lamb shoulder, onions, tomatoes, and dried apricots were braised slowly in broth infused with exotic spices, including garlic, saffron, ginger, cumin, and cinnamon.  To finish, each serving was sprinkled with toasted almonds and chopped cilantro.  I served it with plain couscous, which was perfect for soaking up the flavorful sauce.

We liked this!  My husband wasn’t sure about the apricots when he saw them, but it turned out he had nothing to worry about.  I loved the variety of flavors and textures.  A hit for sure!

Tartine de Viande des Grisons

Tartine de Viande des Grisons

Next up is a simple open-faced sandwich: Tartine de Viande des Grisons.  The hardest part about this one was finding the bresaola, a dry-cured beef from Italy.  Interestingly, I looked for this at Whole Foods and they didn’t have it, but when I returned a week later they did!

Like I said, this one is simple.  Lightly toast a slice of country bread, butter it generously, top with a layer of bresaola, drizzle with a bit of walnut oil, and strew on a few pieces of walnut.  Cut and eat!

Yum!  This made a lovely little lunch that I enjoyed very much.

Bonus: Red Kuri Soup Redux

Red Kuri Squash

Finally, I found a “real” red kuri squash while in Seattle for Thanksgiving.  I brought it home and re-made the red kuri soup from a few weeks ago.  If you recall, I wasn’t convinced the squash I found here in Reno was really a red kuri squash.  Or it least it wasn’t the kind you can find in France.  As you can see, the one I found in Seattle looks more “authentic”.

Red Kuri Soup

I made the soup again with my new squash.  It definitely had a different flavor and we liked it much more.  My husband wasn’t comparing this version to boxed soup.  Whew!  However, I don’t think we liked it as much as the French seem too.  I think I will stick with my favorite butternut squash soup recipe.  But I am glad to have tried this with the second squash.

I hope you all have a good weekend!


Filed under Cooking

Navarin Printanier

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe is called Navarin Printanier, which roughly translates to “Spring Lamb Stew”.

The day I made this stew I was obsessed with reading The Hunger Games.  The fact that I was making a lamb stew brought to mind the lamb stew that Katniss Everdeen enjoyed eating so much.  The more I thought about it the more I realized how blessed I am to be able to make something like lamb stew for my family.  That it’s not a luxury out of reach to me.

Navarin Printanier would have been a perfect dish for this cool spring we’ve been having.  Except that the day I made it we were having hotter than normal temperatures.  It was 90 degrees!  I was so hot making this, and eating it did nothing too cool me down.  It still tasted good!

Despite the heat, I loved Navarin Printanier.  The lamb was tender, the broth rich and flavorful, and the vegetables were perfectly cooked.


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Braised Cardamom-Curry Lamb

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe is Braised Cardamom-Curry Lamb (which I nominated this month!).  It is a traditional stew with untraditional flavors.  The traditional:  lamb, onions, garlic, and potatoes browned in olive oil and then braised on the stove for over an hour.  The untraditional: mint, curry powder, cardamom, honey, dried figs, and apple.

Braised Cardamom-Curry Lamb

The end result is a delicious stew that I served over rice pilaf with peas on the side.  I loved the complex flavors.  My 7 year old daughter LOVED this!  She often shies away from red meats, but this one she devoured.  A hit with the whole family!

Not so much a hit was last week’s FFWD recipe (which I made but never got around to posting about):  Spiced Squash, Fennel, and Pear Soup.  On paper it sounded delicious.  Roasted butternut squash was cooked with onion, fennel, celery, spices, and pears.  The whole thing was pureed and served with a drizzle of cream.  While we didn’t hate this (actually my daughter may have hated it) we didn’t love it either.  I have made other butternut squash soups that we like better.  One thing I particularly didn’t like was the overpowering flavor of the orange peel (I wasn’t sure if the peel was to be removed before pureeing the soup; I didn’t remove it, but definitely would next time).

Spiced Squash, Fennel, and Pear Soup

Next week’s French Friday is “cook’s choice”.  I will be catching up on a couple of FFWD recipes I missed and my whole extended family will be the guinea pigs.  I can’t wait!

Finally, I want to apologize to my fellow bloggers for not reading and commenting on your blogs much lately.  I have been having trouble finding the time to read my blogs and it doesn’t look like I’ll have much time until after Thanksgiving weekend.  Hopefully the week after Thanksgiving I will have some time to catch up.  I have missed you guys!


Filed under Cooking