Get your Chile Going, Suckling Lamb Barbacoa Taco from 'Mexico from the Inside Out' by Enrique Olvera

Get your chile going,  moving beyond divorce, after Divorced Chilaquiles from  Mexico from the Inside Out by Enrique Olvera (Phaidon, $59.95, October 2015) , the first English language cookbook by chef from restaurant Pujol in Mexico City.

Suckling Lamb Barbacoa Taco, Taco de barbacoa de cordero lechal

 

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Chile Poblano Tortilla

2 cups (480 ml) corn oil

1 chile poblano

1 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste

½ cup (20 g) cilantro (coriander)

½ cup (140 g) Corn Dough (pg. 39)

Chile Guajillo Adobo

1 pound (500 g) lamb bones

2 cups (100 g) chiles guajillo

1 large garlic clove

¼ white onion

1 heirloom avocado leaf

1 tbsp. corn oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

Lamb Barbacoa

½ agave leaf

1 white onion

1 large garlic clove

1 heirloom avocado leaf

1 pound (500 g) boneless milk-fed lamb egg

1 tsp. fleur de sel

4 cups (960 ml) water

1 cup (240 ml) Chile Guajillo Adobo

Guacamole

1 Hass avocado, peeled, halved, and pitted

½ cup (105 g) frozen peas

Thawed leaves from 2 sprigs cilantro

½ chile serrano, chopped

1 tsp. kosher salt

Plating

4 pea shoots

20 cilantro criollo sprouts

8 cilantro criollo flowers

4 squash blossoms

Suckling lamb

Instructions

Chile Poblano Tortilla

Place the oil in a small pot and heat to 375 °F (190°C). Fry the chile for 3 minutes, then transfer to an ice bath. Drain and remove the skin and seeds. Bring 2 cups (about 500 ml) water to a boil in a small pan and add ½ teaspoon salt. Blanch the cilantro, drain, and transfer to an ice bath. Blend the chile, cilantro, and the remaining salt and strain. Mix with the dough and adjust the salt. Divide into 4 (1-ounce/25 g) portions and shape into balls. Using a tortilla press, form into tortillas. Cook on a comal over low heat, turning 3 times, for 35 seconds on each side for a total of 1 minute and 45 seconds.

Chile Guajillo Adobo

Roast the bones on a baking sheet in a 355°F (180°C) oven for 1 hour. Core and seed the chiles and soak in 2 cups (about 500 ml) hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and blend. In a large pot, sauté the garlic, onion, avocado leaf, and roasted bones in the oil over medium heat. Mix in the guajillo paste and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add for cups (960 ml) water and cook over medium heat. Adjust the salt, strain (sieve) and cool.

Lamb Barbacoa

Toast one side of the leaf directly over a gas burner set to medium heat. Place it in a baking dish and add the onion, garlic, avocado leaf, and lamb. Dissolve the salt in the water and combine with the adobo. Pour the adobo over the lamb and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Roast in a 475°F (250°C/Gas Mark 9) combi oven for 40 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 195°F (90°C/Gas Mark 0), with 65 percent humidity, and roast for 10 hours longer. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Remove any connective tissue from the lamb and return the beat to the Chile Guajillo Adobo. 

Guacamole

Using a blender, combine the avocado with the peas, cilantro, and chile until homogeneous. Adjust the salt. Place in a pastry bag or squeeze bottle and refrigerate.

Plating

Arrange 4 tortillas on plates and place the lamb on top. Place 3 large dollops of guacamole in a triangle on each tortilla. Place the shoots, sprouts, and flowers over the lamb. Finish with the squash blossoms.

(* Reprinted with permission from Mexico from the Inside Out by Enrique Olvera -Phaidon, October 2015-Photo by Araceli Paz)


Don't Let Garden Mint Go to Waste, Lamb and Mint Sliders from 'Flavors of Summer'

 Don't Let Good Mint Go to Waste with this 2nd recipe from Flavors of Summer (Ryland Peters & Small, April 2015) after Pissaladiere...

Lamb and Mint Sliders
 with Roast Potatoes and Watercress

Create a roast-lamb dinner
 in miniature form with these gourmet sliders. They taste great in a bun, but even better served inside roast potato rounds.

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 roughly-equal rounds of potato, unpeeled

200 g/7 oz. lean minced/ground lamb

6 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon beaten egg

a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

a handful of watercress or rocket/arugula

4 cocktail sticks/toothpicks

Lamb Mint Sliders

Makes 4

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the oil on a baking sheet and lay the potato slices on top, turn to coat and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Put the lamb in a bowl with the mint, breadcrumbs, egg and salt and pepper. Work together with your hands until evenly mixed. Divide the mixture into quarters and shape into four slider patties. Press each slider down to make them nice and flat.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan/skillet and fry the sliders over medium–high heat for 4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Put one potato round on each serving plate and put a cooked slider on top of each. Top with a few leaves of watercress and finish with another potato round. Put a cocktail stick/toothpick through the middle of each slider to hold them together and serve. 

(Lamb and Mint Sliders from 'Flavors of Summer' -Ryland Peters & Small, $24.95- Recipe credits:  Miranda Ballard,  Photo credits: Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small 2015)                                                                           

 


Lamb & Beef Stuffed Artichokes with Pine Nuts from Olives, Lemons and Za'atar

I eat my artichokes cool with homemade vinaigrette for dipping or warm with melted butter finished with dash of red vinegar. 

With her recent cookbook Olives, Lemons & Za'atar (Kyle Books, February 2014), Rawia Bishara of Tanoreen restaurant opens a new artichoke path, for me at least, and offers to all of us a step by step 'how to clean fresh artichokes'.

Lamb & Beef Stuffed Artichokes with Pine Nuts

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

Nobody in Nazareth prepared artichokes this way; my mother brought the idea back from a long weekend away in a nearby town. When I arrived in the States, I found that my Syrian friends had long been making stuffed artichokes with spiced meat and pine nuts—and I realized just how much my mother’s cooking was influenced by neighboring nations. In Galilee, artichoke season was roughly March through May. Of course, these days every vegetable is available almost all year long, but there is something poetic about eating certain foods for a short time each year. My father would buy a box of fresh artichokes for my mother, who would spend the afternoon peeling and cleaning the large, spiky vegetables in order to stuff them. I loved to help her. Using frozen artichokes is much faster—and a perfectly acceptable way to make this dish. The heart will have a slightly different texture but it is still delicious! Serve with Rice and Vermicelli Pilaf, page 182.

Ingredients:

8 (8-ounce) fresh artichokes or 16 to 24 frozen, depending on the size (size 8 is the largest, 24 is the smallest)
1 cup corn oil
41/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch cardamom (optional)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground lamb from the leg or ground beef
1/2 to 1 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 to 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 large lemons, halved
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 cups Seasoned Chicken Stock (page 90) or low-sodium chicken stock
Rice and Vermicelli Pilaf (page 182)
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Stuffed artichokes (1)

Clean the fresh artichokes, if using (see opposite page). Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Heat the corn oil in a large skillet over high until hot. Slide the artichokes into the pan and saute on the stem side for 3 minutes. Using tongs, turn the artichokes over and fry on the open side for 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined tray, open end down, to drain. Arrange the artichokes, stem end down, in a large baking dish and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the allspice, pepper, nutmeg and cardamom, if using. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and half of the spice mixture, stirring to combine, and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat loses its pink color. Toss in the pine nuts and almonds, the juice of 1 lemon and the salt. Stir to thoroughly combine and turn o% the heat.

Divide the meat mixture among the artichokes, filling them to almost overflowing and tucking in between the leaves. Reserve any remaining meat mixture.

Add the juice of the remaining lemon and the stock to the reserved spice mixture. Drizzle the seasoned broth over the artichokes and pour the rest into the baking pan.

Distribute the reserved meat mixture in the broth in the pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour if using fresh artichokes, 20 minutes if using frozen.

Remove the foil from the pan, reduce the heat to 300°F and bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the broth has thickened. Arrange the artichokes on individual plates with the rice and vermicelli pilaf. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

HOW TO CLEAN FRESH ARTICHOKES

1. Working with one artichoke at a time, hold it by the stem. Using kitchen shears, snip off the top quarter inch or so of each leaf on the artichoke (this will rid it of the barbs).

2. Lay the artichoke on its side and, using a sharp knife, slice off the top inch or so of the artichoke to reveal the choke.

3. Slice off the stem at the base of the artichoke, taking care to keep it level so that it will sit up straight in the pan.

4. Using a melon baller, dig out the center, including the feathery fronds, so that the center is clean, empty and ready to be stuffed; squeeze lemon juice all over the artichoke, inside and out, to
prevent it from browning. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.

(* Recipe reproduced from 'Olives, Lemons & Za'atar' by Rawia Bishara -Kyle Books, February 2014- Photography by Peter Cassidy, all rights reserved...)


Strong Feelings on How to Cook Meat, Poached and Grilled Lamb from 'Coi' Cookbook

Following Inverted Fromage Blanc Tart recipe from 'Coi' cookbook (Phaidon, October 2013) by Daniel Patterson, we continue our exploration of Alchemy of Taste and Smell with a meat dish.

POACHED AND GRILLED LAMB           

chard leaves and stems, garum, rosemary

INGREDIENTS 

(Yields 6-7, with extra lamb jus, poaching oil and chard) 

Lamb Jus

  • 375 g lamb scraps
  • 75 g onion, sliced
  • 50 g carrot, sliced
  • 250 g white wine
  • 1 kg AP stock (see page 48) 

Chard Stems

  • Bunch of golden chard with large, broad stems
  • 175 g vegetable stock (see page 49)
  • 40 g pure olive oil
  • 4 g garum
  • Salt 

To Serve

  • 1 rack of lamb
  • Bunch of rosemary
  • 1 kg pure olive oil for poaching
  • Water
  • Fruity olive oil
  • Champagne vinegar
  • Garum
  • Salt 

Coi Poached Grilled Lamb

INSTRUCTIONS 

Even though I don’t cook (or eat) much of it, I have strong feelings about meat cookery. For meat that’s cooked to temperature (as opposed to braised or confit) like this lamb, I like to cook it once, without cooling, as you would with sous vide. I think the taste is fresher and the meat is juicer. Often times, like here, we cook in two stages, first at low temperature and then finishing on a hot grill. This allows us to control doneness, and also the internal temperature, which should be high enough to activate the juices. Meat that’s overly rested is boring to eat, like some abstraction of perfection. I like a sheen of moisture and fat shimmering across the top of the meat, the juices bursting when chewed. 

Trim the lamb, but leave plenty of fat. Don’t like fat? Choose another animal. Lamb without fat is no fun. At Coi we French (remove the fat and clean the bone) only about 1-inch (2cm) at the top of the bone. It’s a nod to tradition, and to show that we know how to do it, but we want to leave the best, most fatty part of the rack attached to the loin, because it tastes great. 

Brown the scraps of bones and meat deeply. The intensity will be tempered by the other ingredients in the sauce. Add the onion and the carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and a little browned. Add the white wine and be sure to scrape up the fond, the bits of meat that cling to the bottom of the pan. It’s the good stuff. When the wine has reduced to almost nothing, add the AP stock and simmer until flavorful, but don’t skim. Strain through a chinois and reduce in a pot that’s taller than it is wide—you want as little surface area as possible. Reduce, skimming, until it achieves sauce consistency, just thick enough to cling to the meat. Don’t season it. 

Cut the leaves off the chard stems, and trim the leaves into 1 to 2-inch (2.5 to 5-cm) pieces. Peel the stems. Combine the vegetable stock, pure olive oil and garum, season with salt, and vacuum in a bag with the chard stems. Steam at 185°F (85°C), until the stems are tender, about 45 minutes. Cool and slice into ½ inch (10cm) pieces. Reserve in the cooking liquid. 

To serve, blend the rosemary and pure olive oil, reserving one piece of rosemary for he sauce. Put the oil in a metal container and warm to 150°F (65°C) by setting the container inside a water bath controlled by a circulator. Put a mesh rack at the bottom. Salt the rack of lamb and let it stand 20 minutes at room temperature to melt the salt, before dropping it into the oil. Cook to a uniform pink inside, 30-45 minutes. Remove the lamb and grill over charcoal to brown the outside; to raise the internal temperature to make it juicy; and to give the fat and meat a whiff of smoke. 

While the lamb is grilling, simmer the chard leaves with the cooked stems, salt and a little water and fruity olive oil, covered, until tender. Drain on a paper towel and then arrange on one side of the plate. 

Make the sauce by combining equal parts lamb jus and chard cooking liquid and reduce at a rapid boil. This will temporarily emulsify most (but not all) of the oil into the sauce. Reduce it until the flavor is concentrated, adding the reserved piece of rosemary towards the end. Season with champagne vinegar and more garum if necessary. It should be light and flavorful, sweet and sour, complex from the fermented fish. When it’s right the parts meld into an indivisible whole—it’s hard to explain, but there’s an “aha” moment where it suddenly becomes a great sauce. This is a difficult sauce to make perfectly and it has to be done in the moment, because it will change quickly. Ladle a spoonful over the chard to dress it, and two more next to it for the lamb. Slice the lamb into chops, and lay them in their sauce, not touching the chard.

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Coi' Stories and Recipes by Daniel Patterson -published by Phaidon, October 2013- Photography by Maren Caruso)


Follow with a Nap, Four Hour Lamb Shoulder Recipe from 'Take One Pot'

Are you up to the challenge of cooking a dish for 4 hours or would you rather go for a run?

Give slow cooking a chance with this recipe from Take One Pot (Kyle Books, October 2013) by Georgina Fuggle...

Four-Hour Lamb Shoulder

Tender lamb falling apart with a gentle nudge from the back of a spoon must be any carnivore’s fantasy (certainly mine). Serve with something fresh to lighten the plate—crème fraîche and some well-seasoned greens for example. Just a thought… you can also run a marathon in four hours. Both activites might require

an afternoon nap and a glass of red wine afterward!

Prep time: 20 minutes, Serves 6, Cook Time: 4 HOURS

I shoulder of lamb (approx. 41/2 pounds), bone in, trimmed of excess fat

3 or 4 rosemary sprigs

2 heads of garlic, cloves peeled and papery skin removed

2 red onions, each cut into 6 crescents

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rounds

2 turnips, peeled and cut into chunks

2 (141/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes

2 fresh bay leaves

2 cups red wine

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Four hour lamb shoulder

1 Preheat the oven to 325°F.

2 Prepare your lamb by making 10 to 15 incisions all over the top of the meat. Poke peeled garlic cloves and sprigs of rosemary into the holes, then season well all over.

3 Place the onions, carrots, and turnips in the bottom of the roasting pan and nestle the lamb on top. Add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, and red wine to the pan. Season again.

4 Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and then foil, and place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours.

5 Reduce the heat to 300°F. Remove the foil and paper from the lamb, baste the meat, and return to the oven to cook for another 2 hours (check after 11/2 hours in case you have a ferocious oven). The lamb will be ready when the meat is falling away from the bone. Skim off the fat and serve directly from the roasting pan.

Tender lamb falling apart with a gentle nudge from the back of a spoon must be any carnivore’s fantasy (certainly mine). Serve with something fresh to lighten the plate—crème fraîche and some well-seasoned greens for example.

Just a thought… you can also run a marathon in four hours. Both activites might require an afternoon nap and a glass of red wine afterward!

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Take One Pot' by Georgina Fuggle- Kyle Books, October 2013- all rights reserved- Photo by Tara Fisher)


Appetizers to Lamb to Vegetarian, Slowly Organizing Our Recipes in 15 Categories

After sharing recipes for a few years, I thought it was time to find a way to allow visitors to the site to narrow their search.

We started today with 15 categories listed with their respective links in right column of 'Serge the Concierge' after mother category Recipes.

The 15 categories (listed in alphabetical order using model Recipes: Appetizers) are Appetizers, Baking, Chicken, Chocolate, Cocktails, Fish and Seafood, Gluten Free, Ice Cream and Sorbet, Lamb, Non Alcoholic Drinks, Pork, Salads, Soups, Vegan and last Vegetarian.

Some recipes like Chilled Tofu with Crunchy Baby Sardines are referenced in 2 (or more) groups for Tofu with Sardines both under Appetizers and Fish and Seafood.

Panelle-1 (2)

So far about 40 to 50 recipes have been updated to reflect this friendlier way.

We will add the rest as quickly as we can and hope to be done by September 1st, 2013.

Let us know how you like the change.

(* Illustration is photo from Panelle, Sicilian Fritters, Gluten Free recipe from The Country Cooking of Italy by Colman Andrews- Chronicle Books, Fall 2011- reproduced with permission of the publisher- all rights reserved- Photography by Hirsheimer and Hamilton)


Apricots, No Pork, Salad of Curried Lamb Prosciutto from 'Smoke and Pickles'

No pork, no problem with this recipe from Smoke and Pickles, Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen (Artisan Books, Spring 2013) by Brooklyn born, Louisville based chef Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia ...

Salad of Curried Lamb Prosciutto
With dried Apricots, Pine Nuts, Fennel, and Tarragon Vinaigrette

Fennel is a nice foil for salty curried lamb. Here the fennel adds brightness to the salad, while the apricots lend a layer of sweetness. But you can be creative with the mix: Try it with fresh figs, washed-rind cheeses from Alsace, or pickled watermelon rind. And enjoy the salad with a crisp Pinot Blanc.

Feeds 4

Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, finely minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, stalks removed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 to 10 slices Curried Lamb Prosciutto (page 36)
4 dried apricots, sliced very thin
¼ cup toasted pine nuts

39_Salad of Curried Lamb Prosciutto

1. To make the vinaigrette: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until emulsified. (The vinaigrette can be made ahead and stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)

2. To make the salad: Using a mandoline, shred the fennel as fine as possible. Transfer to a large bowl, add the salt, and toss gently. Allow to wilt at room temperature for 15 minutes.

3. Toss the wilted fennel with enough of the vinaigrette to just moisten.

4. Arrange the lamb slices on a plate. Layer the fennel on top and scatter the apricots and pine nuts over it. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.

( Excerpted from Smoke and Pickles by Edward Lee (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Grant Cornett.)


Pan Seared New Zealand Lamb Loin Chops, Recipe Video Inspired by Whole Foods Madness Sale

When I was invited to contribute a recipe video showcasing one of the items on Whole Foods 'Madness Sale' selection, I accepted the challenge.

I want to thank John and Christina of Le Salbuen Cafe Market who opened their doors to us for video shoot.

This video could not have happened without A'layeah Thompson who was behind the camera and edited 28 minutes of video to around 4.

Here's the result below.

 

Watch the Video on Facebook for chance to win Whole Foods Market Basket of Madness.

Thanks to Paper Chef for the parchment cooking bags.

(* This video was made on the invitation of Whole Foods PR Team. Recipe and its content was created by Serge Lescouarnec of 'Serge the Concierge' in collaboration with John of Le Salbuen.)


Lamb Shakshouka Recipe, Straight from the Pan Teaser before Peter Gordon 'Everyday' Interview

Yesterday afternoon, I took advantage of my 'office' day (not in car on road all day) to catch up with New Zealand born London based chef Peter Gordon and discuss his latest book Peter Gordon 'Everyday' (Harper Collins in New Zealand and Australia, Jacqui Small in UK, Fall 2002, no U.S edition yet).

My previous interview with Peter, The World on Your Plate, Peter Gordon Fusion Journey was published in April 2010.

Yesterday's chat will probably be published next week.

In the meantime, here's a teaser excerpted from Peter Gordon 'Everyday'.

Lamb Shakshouka recipe

More often than not this classic North African dish (which is now also a classic of modern Israel thanks to the Tunisian Jews who settled there) is vegetarian and, much as I am happy to eat it that way, I prefer this spiced-up version containing lamb – although simply omit it if you prefer.

Lamb shakshouka For 4

3 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp sesame seeds
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 red capsicums, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
¼ tsp paprika or cayenne pepper
150 g minced lean lamb (optional)
salt
6 ripe tomatoes, diced (or 1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes and a little tomato paste)
4 eggs
50 ml plain yoghurt
1 small handful picked parsley, mint and coriander

Shakshouka

1. Ideally you want to serve this in the dish you cook it in, so a large frying pan with a lid is good. Heat up the pan and add the olive oil, cumin and sesame seeds.

2. Once they begin to sizzle, add the onions, capsicums, garlic and paprika or cayenne pepper. Sauté until the vegetables collapse, stirring frequently.

3. Add the mince (if using) and a little salt. Cook until the lamb crumbles, stirring all the time.

4. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, then cook over moderate heat for 6–8 minutes, at which point much of the juice will have evaporated.

5. Make four impressions in the mixture and break an egg into each ‘hole’.

6. Spoon the yoghurt on, put a lid on the pan and cook until the eggs have begun to set, but still have runny yolks.

7. Scatter with the shredded herbs and serve immediately straight from the pan.

(* Recipe from 'Everyday' by Peter Gordon with a little help from his friend Grant Allen, photography by Manja Wachsmuth, reproduced by permission of Harper Collins New Zealand)


Lamb Baked in Delicious Thick Sheep's Milk Yogurt from Florina, Yiaourtotapsi Florinis Recipe

We are back in Mediterranean region with second helping from The Country Cooking of Greece (Chronicle Books, September 2012) by Diane Kochilas.

First serving from this book was Roasted Red Pepper Saganaki, a Greek mezze.

Lamb Baked in Yogurt from Florina, Yiaourtotapsi Florinis

Serves 4 to 6

In northern Greece all sorts of meats—from chicken to savory meatballs to lamb and goat—are cooked in sauces based on the local delicious, thick, strained sheep’s milk yogurt. This dish comes from the traditional cooking of the Vlachs, at one time an itinerant shepherd tribe, and is sometimes called vlachiko.

2 tbsp extra-virgin Greek olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb/455 g boneless leg of lamb or goat, cut into 2-in/5-cm chunks
4 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup basmati or another long-grain rice
1/2 cup/120 ml dry white wine
1 cup/240 ml water
Salt and pepper
2 large eggs
2 cups/480 ml thick Greek yogurt
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
3 tbsp grated kefalotyri cheese (optional)

323. Lamb Baked in Yogurt from Florina 2

Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C/gas 4.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, wide pan over medium-high heat and brown the lamb pieces, turning to color them evenly. Add the scallions and cook, stirring, until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for a few minutes to soften. Add the rice and pour in the wine and water. Cover, bring to boil, and reduce to a simmer. As soon as the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, season the contents of the pot with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl until foamy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt and flour. Whisk the eggs into the yogurt mixture and stir in the chopped mint. Season lightly with a little salt.

Spread out the lamb mixture in a casserole dish with a lid or divide evenly between individual ramekins, about 3 in/7.5 cm deep. Spread the yogurt mixture evenly over the meat. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, until the yogurt is set and lightly browned on top. Cover and cook for another 45 minutes, or until the lamb is tender. If using ramekins, check after 25 minutes. Ten minutes before removing from the oven, sprinkle, if desired, with grated kefalotyri cheese. Serve immediately.

(* Recipe reproduced with permission of the publisher from 'The Country Cooking of Greece' by Diane Kochilas- Chronicle Books, September 2012- Photos by Vassilis Stenos- all rights reserved)