Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Crispy Potatoes

 

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Sometimes, in life, all we need is a huge, fatty, pre-historic looking hunk of protein. And when that happens to me, not just any meat will do. I need the meatiest, most succulent, incredibly tender and packed with flavor protein ever. That can only mean one thing…

LAMB.

Not just any lamb, but a whole roasted lamb shoulder. It is so good that truthfully if you just stuck into your oven for a few hours with out any spices or seasoning it would still taste good. But, if you want to up your lamb game this is the way to go.

I have no idea how this idea popped into my head. I was racking my brain trying to come up with all sorts of ways to cook my lamb. My first thought was to put it in a huge roasting tin on top of the potatoes.

Oh, sorry. Let me back up a minute. We need to talk about the potatoes.

Lamb has tons of fat. When you cook the fat it melts. So, you could either let all the fat sit in the bottom of the pan, or you can use that fat to flavor something else. Therefore, potatoes.

Ok, back to the lamb.

I could have just plopped it on the potatoes and let it cook like that, but then what about the bottom of the lamb shoulder. I wanted 360 degrees of lamb crispiness with a completely tender inside. Then it hit me. Why not use my actual oven rack as a way to cook my lamb. This way I can allow the heat to reach the entire lamb evenly, and I can catch  all those amazing fat drippings! Then I though, wait!!!! Why catch the drippings in an empty pan when my potatoes can soak up all the salty, earthy, fatty goodness! So, that is exactly what I did.

And it was AMAZZZZZZZZING!!!!!

 

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It was sooo good! The outside of the lamb was seasoned incredibly and was irresistibly crispy. The inside was oh so tender that we were actually pulling the meat of the bone with our fingers. And the potatoes. Oh. Those potatoes. Crispy, crunchy, salty, soft on the inside, and completely addicting. 

I went with very traditional lamb seasonings. I have to say, I was a bit nervous about the rosemary, because I often find it very overpowering but it worked so well here. The lemon zest, although not traditional, balanced the rosemary and the earthiness of the lamb so well. It really all came together to make a show stopping main course. 

With the winter rapidly approaching, we’re all going to need a meatfest pick-me-up every now again to help keep us cozy and warm! 

For the full and printable Roasted Lamb Shoulder recipe, click here

 

 

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Sherry Braised Short Ribs

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Short ribs are the perfect meat.

They need to be cooked low and slow so, you don’t have to stand over them mixing and turning. They can go sweet, savory, garlicky, asian-y, mexican-y, italian-y etc. Which means there are endless variations that you can make to satisfy any mood you are in. And, anything leftover, if there even are any, can easily be repurposed into another delicious meal. 

I like to take my leftover short ribs shred them, and make tacos, or stuff them into egg roll or wonton wrappers. It’s the perfect side dish or appetizer. I sometimes even make and fill the wontons and then freeze them raw. This way, if I have last minute company, which happens pretty often around here (you know who you are), I can just pop out how ever many I need and fry ’em up.

This recipe is amazing on it’s own and repurposed. The sherry wine, which I pretty much put in everything because it’s amazing, gives it such a good rustic full-bodied but still light, flavor. It’s a really nice change from red wine braised short ribs and even though its basically a huge chunk of meat, it really doesn’t leave you feeling as heavy.

You are definitely going to want to serve these with something to soak up the insanely heavenly juice. I served mine with rice, because in my house, a meal wit out rice would cause a small riot, but think mashed potatoes or even really good crusty bread.

If you actually do have any leftovers, besides for just eating them cold out of the fridge, you can definitely put these into wontons. Serve them with a really good horseradish dipping sauce, and BOOM, best appitizer ever! In fact, double the recipe and make extra, just so you can do that. It’s worth it!

For the printable recipe click here.

Hope you all enjoy:)

Peas out,

Danielle

 

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Cross-hatched Broiled Eggplant

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The first course is my favorite course of any meal. Those few minutes before everyone comes home from shul, when the table is set beautifully, and there are tons of appetizers, dips and salads plated and scattered so precisely and elegantly over the table top brings me pure joy. My hours spent cooking in my small, Israeli, not-enough-counterspace-or-cabinets-kitchen all become worth it. I look at my table, breath deeply and think to myself how beautiful shabbos really is.

Then they come home.

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Within minutes every single toy has come off the shelves, out of boxes and thrown all over the floor only to be abandoned seconds later to the more fun, fort building using every one of the blankets taken off of the freshly made beds.

Even with the all this chaos swirling around my house, when we finally make it to our seats and I see all the mouthwatering dishes confetti-ed across the table I remember what a privilege it is to cook and feed the people we love.

               img_5494 Now that we’ve established just how important the first course is to me, lets talk about what it actually takes to put out such an array of food.

It takes a few days of being extremely organized to create a truly spectacular first course. Dips and sauces take time to prepare and if you leave it all till Friday, there just won’t be time. So, I usually start by making anything that is ok sitting in the fridge or meant to be served cold, first. That could include salad dressings, dips, and marinated salads (think carrots or peppers). Next I move on to my more time-consuming elements.  I”ll boil any grains that I’m going to include in salads and roast any vegetables. Lastly, I make my mayo because it has raw eggs and cook my fish so that its as fresh as possible. Then before lunch, all I have to do is cut up whatever fresh vegetables I need and I’m good to go.

All that is fine, until you have a week where everything is going wrong and cooking becomes an afterthought. So, you have to pull a meal together in an hour. In those situations I make four fast and easy dishes. I make mayo, salsa, tahini and this eggplant.

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It is so simple and so delicious. The cooking time takes about an hour but the active work takes less than 5 minutes. You get so much flavor for such little effort and it looks so insanely beautiful on the table. In fact, I don’t only make this when I’m short on time because no matter how many people you are serving, it always gets finished! 

Cross-hatching the eggplant adds tons of little corners to the eggplant that get perfectly crispy and it makes it so easy to just scoop out the actual flesh. I like to serve it with a drizzle of tehini, some fresh parsley and when I want to get fancy I’ll sometimes add some chopped tomato and shallots. 

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For the printable Cross-hatched Broiled Eggplant recipe click here.

For my Tehini recipe click here.

Hope you all enjoy!

Peas & Love,

Danielle

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Bourbon Caramel Apple Pull Apart Loaf with a Honey Glaze

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Am I the only person who has been through an insane amount of flour already, this holiday season?

Oh wait, whats that?

The holidays didn’t even start yet? Oh I didn’t realize. Because when every holiday starts on a Sunday, the day after shabbos, you need to start cooking a month in advance. So, in my house, it’s been erev Rosh Hashana for the past two weeks. And first on my to do list, challah.

Why start with challah?

Continue reading “Bourbon Caramel Apple Pull Apart Loaf with a Honey Glaze”

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PSA: Where to buy prepared food in Jerusalem

Gourmet Glatt.

Ha, just kidding. Nothing is that simple in this country!

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In the past there have been a few places in Geula, Ezras Torah, Bais Yisroel and Rechavia that have sold mass-produced prepared shabbos food, if you can call it food. There have even been a few makolets and other places that have attempted to make fresh shnitsel and roasted chicken that were actually delicious until they were shut down for illegal production. So, over the last few years, lots of talented, young married girls started creating menus or cooking specialty items and selling them to tourists that come in for the holidays or vacations. Truthfully, if you’re organized enough to know how much food you need, and what you are going to want to order, this is really your best bet. Even though most of the food will be made in advance and therefore frozen, it is usually the most delicious choice. These girls care about the product they are giving you and will provide you with real home cooking. However, there was no place, that was both CLEAN and had a good hechsher, where you could buy everything you needed, last minute, for  shabbos, and know that you were buying food that people would actually be happy to eat. 

Until now.

Meet “Shabbos Bistro”.

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Continue reading “PSA: Where to buy prepared food in Jerusalem”

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Pumpkin Pie Babka with Lotus Spread Crumbs

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What do you get when you cross the fall with jewish holidays? Pumpkin pie babka. Duh. Its the perfect marriage between the warming spices in a pumpkin pie and the sweet yeasty babka dough. 

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Lets be real, though, for a minute. Most regular pumpkin pies are pretty gross. They usually end up resembling something closer to a baby food pie than anything else. The only good pumpkin pies are the ones that basically don’t look like pumpkin pie at all. They’re topped with mile high mounds of sweet crunchy pecans, crumbled ginger bread cookies or mountains of whipped cream. The soft but not smooth texture of a plain ol’ pumpkin pie just doesn’t cut it. 

The flavors of a pumpkin pie, on the other hand, are AMAZING. Have you ever noticed that every single food in the supermarket that could be turned into pumpkin pie flavor, comes out in the fall? From Oreos to lattes, jello to teas, and energy bars to granola you can basically buy a pumpkin pie in any form.

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So, what do you do when you want to make your own pumpkin pie to serve at the end of your amazing holiday meals? Do you just buy a pack of pumpkin spice oreos and call it a day, or do you serve a mushy baby food version of pumpkin pie?

No way!!!!!!!!!

You take a piece of your challah dough (or you buy a pre-made dough), and you roll up your pumpkin pie into the most comforting of desserts. A huge yummy, warm babka. Then, as if babka-fying your pumpkin pie wasn’t enough, you then decide to up your game a little more and take it over the top with a lotus cookie spread crumb. Now every bite of your pumpkin pie babka is accompanied by the most delicious crumb topping that is laced with the deep dark buttery (but not dairy) caramel-y flavors of the lotus biscoff cookies.

So, this holiday season, that falls out in the depths of apple picking and pumpkin eating season, change things up a little and  turn your pie into a babka!

For the printable Pumpkin Pie Babka recipe, click here.

 

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