My obsession with Alice Waters is getting out of hand.
I tried to find her biography on the internet today while thinking to myself, "God, if she was just in Us Weekly and on Perez Hilton, my life would be made."
Alas, the best I have is Waters' recipes, which I am more than grateful for.
And so my obsession with Alice Waters keeps growing and my obsession with Jamie Oliver is as solid as ever. So tonight for dinner, I consummated my "food parents." I planned the meal entirely around what I had on hand and recipes only from Jamie at Home and The Art of Simple Cooking.
No, I'm not that bored, just that crazy.
Oliver's Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs with Pistachios and Spicy Salad Wrap are the BOMB! Instead of using the food processor to grind up a neck fillet of lamb, I used ground lamb I had bought from Luginbill Farms at the Perrysburg Farmer's Market two weeks ago. I finely chopped the thyme and pistachios by hand and then mixed, by hand, them with all the spices and lemon zest (in place of sumac) with the lamb. The nutty spicy smell had me under a spell so much so I was considering eating the lamb tar-tare.
Oliver's spicy salad was easy too. I didn't have red onions on hand, but the spring onions that I had just gotten from Homestead Gardens were more than perfect substitutes. And we didn't have flat bread on hand, but we did have tortillas, which worked just as well.
Grilling the kebabs was stressful, though. First of all, watch for flare ups. Lamb is more fatty than most meat. Also, they wanted to slide right off of our metal skewers, so it was sometimes difficult to turn them, and they cook FAST! I was worried when a few of our kebabs (and we got 6, not 4 from a one lb of meat) started blackening. We pulled them off right away with silicone tongs. (Grab them in the middle of the meat. Oven mitts just don't work.) All the kebabs were on the grill for no more than 5 minutes. It was whirlwind well worth it. The charcoal flavor perfectly compliments the game-ness of the meat, the spicy salad, and the cool yogurt. All the stress is forgotten after the first bite, especially if you and/or guests love Middle Eastern food; just be ready to cook FAST.
Knowing I had my Jamie Oliver recipe all ready to go, I needed to pick an Alice Waters' one that would suit the Middle Eastern theme. I knew exactly what recipe I had to try in The Art of Simple Cooking: Lentil Salad.
Waters' Lentil Salad is absurdly easy and beyond flavorful. The red wine vinegar gives it a tang while the onions (I used my green onions from Homestead Gardens) add a little kick. We added diced cucumber to ours because I had one I had to use that I got from the BG Farmer's Market last week.
I made the salad in the morning and served it cold, and it was fantastic. I just added the cuke right before I served it.
What I'm learning to love about lentils is their versatility. They can be the main course. They can be a side. They are crunchy or can be mushy, if the recipes calls for so. They are sweet and sometimes spicy. They remind me of tofu's ability to take on any flavor well, but lentils have their own distinct flavor nutty, grainy flavor and texture.
I've been in a hormonally pissy mood the past two days (thanks to FD for putting up with me!), but I must say after eating this meal all feels right with the world, my body and my hormones again.
I'm sure that's strictly because my "food parents" are always looking after me and providing me with exactly the right food and nutrients I need.
Now if only I could say the same for Bella and Edward or Bella and Jacob.