Stir Fry and Soup

Sundays are for cooking, Mondays are for working my butt off at karate, and eventually Tuesdays are for sitting down for a few to write. Sunday I made meals for both days since yesterday was going to be a cooking impossibility with karate and soccer at the same time. I also made the time to sit down and make a menu for the week; my husband and I were both fortunate to have time off for the holidays this year and so I’ve been lax on the menus, but not the cooking. 

While I was skimming recipes I came across a lamb stir fry. My eldest has a fish allergy and we unfortunately regularly served him Chinese food when he was young and the allergy was mild, we ignored the “I don’t like it claims” not realizing it was actually making him sick. Sadly he is still resistant to eating Chinese food and I don’t get nearly enough stir fry to suit my taste. The reason this caught my eye is because he likes lamb as much as I do; it is a stir fry, but there is nothing Chinese about it, it has a Middle Eastern flair. 

The recipe is pretty good as written, but I strongly recommend a longer marinade than the recipe’s 15 minutes. I cleaned the leg of lamb and then let it marinate in the fridge while I made the soup for tonight’s dinner. It took me about 30 minutes to break down the leg and cut it into stir fry pieces, I’m pretty discriminating when I trim. It was a 3.5 lb. bone-in leg and when done I had about 2.7 pounds of meat so I doubled everything. Along with my son’s fish allergy he also has a tree nut allergy so I deemed the pistachios to be optional and promptly omitted them. 

I served it over brown rice following a Greek salad. 

   
 
As mentioned I made soup for Monday while the lamb was marinating. It is a hearty soup, but simple and delicious. I like it with the chicken. I added the sage to the cold soup and then heated in a small pan, one bowl at a time based on our schedules. I topped with crumbled goat cheese (easier with the multiple dinner times) and the pancetta. It also freezes well so the other half is frozen for when I need/want it. 

  
Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt
Prep 1 hr ∙ Cook 15 mins ∙ Makes 4 ∙ Source Bon Appétit | March 2014
INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1½ pound boneless leg of lamb, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into ½” wedges
  • Cooked rice (for serving)
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios (optional)
  • Fresh oregano, mint, and/or cilantro leaves (for serving)

DIRECTIONS

Toast cumin and coriander seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Let cool, then finely chop. Toss lamb with cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic, vinegar, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill at least 2 hours; return to room temperature prior to coooking.

  
Whisk yogurt and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook lamb, tossing occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes per batch; transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.  

   
Add onion to skillet and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown and soften, about 3 minutes. Add ½ cup water; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender and water is evaporated, about 3 minutes.Return lamb to skillet and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

  
 Serve lamb over rice, topped with yogurt, pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and herbs.

Do Ahead: Lamb can be marinated 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Butternut-Corn Chowder

Prep 30 mins ∙ Cook 30 mins ∙ Makes 8 to 10 servings ∙ Source Bon Appétit | November 1999
INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces pancetta, sliced ¼” thick and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2¼ pounds butternut squash, roasted, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head garlic, roasted
  • 2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chilies
  • 4½ cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 cups frozen sweet white shoepeg corn (unthawed)
  • ½ rotisserie chicken, shredded (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 4 ounces chilled soft fresh goat cheese, cut into ½” thick rounds

DIRECTIONS

Cook pancetta in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. 

  Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels. Add onion to drippings in pan; sauté until just tender, about 4 minutes. Deglaze with wine then add butternut squash, garlic, broth, chilies, and 1 cup of corn; simmer until squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. 

   
 Transfer soup to blender; puree, or puree with immersion blender. Mix in remaining corn; simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix in sage. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with pancetta and cheese.

NOTES

Roast the squash halves at 350°F for 35 minutes. (Cut it after to make it easy to scoop into the soup.) The garlic can be roasted in a foil packet with a bit of olive oil while you roast the squash, just set it off to the side of the squash.

   
 Pancetta and soup (prior to adding sage) can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover pancetta; chill. Chill soup uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Bring pancetta to room temperature and return soup to a simmer before continuing.

Optional: Add shredded roasted chicken with second addition of corn. Also, you can adjust the amount of chipotle to suit your taste.

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