Monday, March 8

Couscous Meats Lamb

The young tongue spent days on the beach and was delighted with the piquant and brackish taste of saltwater. Fatigued over the weekend's frivolities, I decided to cook something swift for today's lunch.

While feeding the young tongue with couscous and meatballs, she gave me this quizzical look. It's as if she knew it lacked mint jelly! The little one was so jubilant with the addition of this one ingredient, makes me does a young tongue know at such an early age? Hesitant whether she loved just the mint jelly or the combination of all the flavors, I mixed them all up until it turned to baby mush. Oh the lengths I would go just to be able to discern better...If there's anyone out there with a baby guide, a cheat sheet, or pocket notes on how to judge your baby's cryptic reactions to your home cooking, please let me know! Recipes below...

Apricot Couscous

You'll need:

3/4 cup Couscous
1 1/2 cup boiling Water
1/2 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 piece Onion, chopped
1 piece Garlic, chopped
10 pieces Apricots
1 Tbsp. Pesto
a bunch of Parsley and Basil leaves, torn
Salt and Pepper, to taste

1. On a hot pan with olive oil, saute the onions until it turns translucent. I usually add a pinch of salt and cover it with a lid. Adding salt will help let the onion sweat and release it's flavor.
2. Add the garlic and cook until golden.
3. Toss in the couscous and add the boiling water and butter. Stir.
4. Once the couscous has absorbed the water, check if it has softened. Cooking this much couscous might take about 3 to 5 minutes. Once soft, it is cooked.
5. Add the apricots and pesto into the couscous.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Add the parsley and basil.
8. Remove from the pan and place in serving bowl.

Couscous serves about two adults.

Lamb Meatballs

You'll need:

a patty of Lamb (ask your butcher for 125 g ground lamb)
1/4 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Marjoram
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
Salt and Pepper, to taste

1. In a hot pan (with no oil, I oil), place all the spice and allow it to release it's own oil. You'll know that it started to release it's own flavor when you can smell the spices in the air.
2. Remove the spices in the pan and massage this mixture into the lamb. Season to taste.
3. I usually have a hot pan with some oil and at this point, I test some of the meat. Fry about a tablespoon-sized meat and check if your seasoning is right. If it's turned out okay, curve them into 1-inch balls by rolling it in between your hands. If the taste isn't quite right, add more seasoning and repeat the procedure.
4. Marinating this overnight will intensify the flavor but it's not necessary when you're in a rush.
5. In a hot pan with drizzled oil, cook the lamb balls. You'll know its done when there are hardly any bubbles in your pan or when you can hardly hear the oil touching the meat. Also, the color has turned out brown and crusty outside.
6. Please note that it isn't advisable to eat ground meat medium rare or rare. You should eat them well done because you avoid bacteria that can give you a bad tummy.

Makes about 3 meat balls, good for one adult.