Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Cookbook Challenge - Week 11 - Mixed

The theme for this weeks cookbook challenge is mixed, definitely one open to interpretation.  I am making 2 recipes where the ingredients are mixed up.  The first mixes savoury lamb with the sweet fruit pomegranate.  I know it's nothing new to mix fruit and savoury and it's always a winning combination so what makes this recipe different for me is that I have never worked with a fresh pomegranate before.  Now that I have I love them and will be rushing back for more, it was so sweet and lovely and the crunchy texture was brilliant.  Overall this dish was a winner, a little bit time consuming to prepare, even having to start the yoghurt the day before but in the end worth it.  I also have a confession to make, I was a little tired after a morning/afternoon out breakfasting at Hellenic Republic, strolling down Lygon street doing a bit of shopping and finishing off doing the groceries at Barkly square so I actually got Michael to make this dish.  Isn't he fantastic, from someone who really couldnt cook other than from a packet or jar when I met him let alone follow a recipe, I can now hand over a recipe and feel confident that he will pretty much be okay even if he does make a shocking mess of the kitchen!  I did prepare the yoghurt and plate up so I did lend a teeny bit of assistance.

Lamb kibbeh with parsley and pomegranate salad - Recipe from a recent (?) issue of Gourmet Traveller

230g burghul, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
1 onion, finely chopped in a food processor
2 tblspn finely grated lemon rind
2 tblspn finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 tspn each of allspice and ground cinnamon
1/4 tspn groound chilli
450g minced lamb
Olive oil, for shallow frying
Hummus, to serve
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Flatbread, to serve

Mint Yoghurt Filling

500g plain yoghurt
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves, coarsley chopped
1 tspn dried mint
1 clove garlic, coarsley chopped

Parsley & pomegranate salad

2 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
1 tbspn lemon juice
2 tspn pomegranate molasses
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tspn sumac
1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, torn
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, torn
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

For mint yoghurt, combine yoghurt, fresh and dried mint, garlic and 1 tspn sea salt in a food processor and process until smooth, then place in a muslin (or chux as I did) lined sieve, tying the ends up.  Place over a bowl and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight, to drain.

Drain burgul through a sieve, then transfer to a clean tea towell and twist to remove excess water.  Place in a large bowl with onion, lemon rind, parsley and spices and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.  Using your hands, mix to combine.  Add lamb, mix until well combined then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Divide mixture into 18 portions.  Roll each into an oval shape, make an indentation with your thumb and shape into a thin hollow shell.  Place 1 tbspn of yoghurt filling into each cavity, then moisten edges with a little water and press to seal.  repeat with remaining lamb & filling, then place on a tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Shallow fry lamb in batches for 3-4 minutes or until brown and cooked through.  Drain on absorbent paper.

For salad, combine oli ce oil, lemon juice, molasses, onion and sumac in a bowl, toss to combine.

To serve, spread some hummus on a flatbread, top with kibbeh and scatter with salad.

The second recipe for the week was chocolate and beetroot muffins, this time I'm mixing sweet chocolate muffin with savoury beetroot which of course is a vegetable.  I have been wanting to try out this combination for a while now so this seemed the perfect opportunity.  See how bright & pink the uncooked mixture is, very pretty, cooked they still have a pink tinge but look quite ordinary, lets face it most muffins even if they taste spectacular look a bit dull, especially compared to say, a dazzling iced cupcake.  They were nice, especially when you hit the big chocolate chunk in the middle, you could really taste the earthiness of the beetroot though not in a bad way so it was okay.  Overall I wasnt completely in awe of them so I probably wouldnt make them again, just nice to try once.

Beetroot and Chocolate Muffins - from Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion

Makes 12.  Preheat oven to 180c.  Grease a 12 hole muffin tin with melted butter.  Grate 1 large beetroot & set aside 250g.  Sift 175g plain flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.  Lightly whisk 2 eggs with 1/4 cup milk.  Process 60g softened butter, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup caster sugar & 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar in a food processor until smooth & creamy.  Gradually add egg mixture then add to flour mixture & fold through. Stir in beetroot.  Spoon mixture into muffin pans.  Break 100g of dark chocolate into 12 squares & poke 1 in each muffin.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until well risen and springy to touch.  Cool in tin for a few minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool. 


Hannah said...

I definitely want to try the beetroot and chocolate muffins, but I have to admit that when I was reading this post, I actually thought the muffin mixture in the tin was the kibbeh. I thought "that's an interesting way of doing it, although the meat looks a tad worryingly gloopy".

I was quite relieved, though a tad embarrassed, to discover my mistake...

Iron Chef Shellie said...

WOW! I really want a bite of that lamb kibbeh with parsley and pomegranate salad.

Excellent work =D

Agnes said...

Haha, Hannah, I also thought the mixture in the muffin tins was the kibbeh!

I'm very intrigued by beetroot/chocolate, so I think I'm going to have to try making a beetroot chocolate cake one day.

chitchatchomp@yahoo.com.au said...

Would you believe I had the exact same thought as Hannah - that the muffin mixture was the meat and I was thinking I might have to try this way of cooking! The Kibbeh looks and sounds absolutely delicious!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

Haha, I had that same thought too!

Both look really good. Am loving that lamb kibbeh dish though, it looks really delicious. Hope the kitchen didn't take too long to clean :)

Rilsta said...

It's quite handy to have someone else in the kitchen cooking on the days you don't feel like it!

I don't particularly like beetroot so I think I would be a bit hesitant to try this muffin! I think I would just go dig out the chocolate piece in the middle! Hehehe! :)

Cherrie Pie said...

oooh... Ive always wanted to try beetroot in a sweet dish. Looks lovely

Ange said...

Hi Hannah - not to worry & the lamb was fantastic so do give it a go

Shellie - sorry def no leftovers to share!

Agnes - I cant believe everyone thought my muffins were kibbeh - it must be the weird sounding name of the dish. Try the beetroot/chocolate combo - you will either love it or hate it but you have to try it out

Chitchatchomp - ditto on the lamb

Conor - thanks - kitchen wasnt too bad - its sometimes easier than looking after the 2 kids no matter how much of a disaster Michael leaves it in!

Rilsta - you should try a choc/beetroot combo - it might surprise you & you could double up on the chocolate to make sure :)

Cherrie Pie - please do - i want everyone to taste this unique flavour experience