kicks up the flavor of lamb which is served with a
yogurt sauce with garlic and herbs.
vegetables; I encourage meatless mains as often as possible.
But sometimes you just need to splurge. Our family adores
lamb. Grilling makes it even better. For a small group, Ill
make lamb chops; for a larger crowd, boneless leg of lamb
impresses and proves super easy.
comes from sheep less than 1 year old, meaning almost all of
the meat is tender. I look for lamb with a fine grain,
bright red color and pinkish (not gray) bones that look
moist. I prefer a little marbling on the meat, so I opt for
leaving a thin fat coating, which adds tremendous flavor
possible, I buy meat that was raised right: Fed a vegetarian
diet (preferably grass for the best flavor), allowed to
range and not given antibiotics or hormones. Buying lamb
from the farmer at a farmers market proves satisfying
because the money goes directly to the folks responsible for
the care of the animal. Many supermarkets sell Australian or
New Zealand lamb, which tends to come from smaller animals
than domestic lamb. A boneless leg of lamb from these
animals will be about 5 pounds, just right for a group of 8
to 10, with some leftovers.
to grill boneless leg of lamb because its speedy
cooking time is less than 30 minutes and carving is a
breeze. Most butchers will remove the leg bones for you with
advance notice. If you do purchase a bone-in leg of lamb,
removing the bones proves easier than it sounds: Simply keep
your knife as close to the bones as possible while you
gently loosen the meat from around them. Once loosened,
simply twist out the bones. After boning, I cut the meat
into two equal-size pieces for easier handling on the grill.
marries perfectly with garlic. Sweet spices such as cardamom
and cinnamon likewise complement. I mix all the above with
aromatic coriander, cumin and fennel.
to serve the grilled lamb with a condiment made of shredded
cucumber and plain yogurt. Labneh, the Middle Eastern
yogurt, tastes especially rich and satisfying. The combo
reminds us of gyros, so we serve it with flatbreads, toasted
until warm on the grill.
off a great meal, we all gather round the kitchen counter
and make a family favorite: Fresh rhubarb and strawberry
takes a family to do all this cooking!
AND SPICE GRILLED LEG OF LAMB
8 hours to 3 days
10 servings with leftovers
boneless leg of lamb, about 8 pounds
3 to 5
large cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
cardamom pods, crushed, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
teaspoons each: ground coriander, ground cumin, salt
teaspoon each, ground: cinnamon, black pepper
teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, optional
cherry or apple wood chips, optional
yogurt sauce with garlic and herbs, see recipe
the boneless leg of lamb into two even pieces. Use a very
sharp small knife to cut small slits in the lamb at regular
intervals; insert a sliver of garlic into each slit as you
go. Combine all the spices in a small dish. Rub the spices
into the lamb on all sides. The lamb can be refrigerated in
a glass dish, covered lightly with butcher paper, for 8
hours or up to 3 days.
Prepare a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium hot.
If using, soak wood chips in water to cover, about 30
minutes. Then drain and periodically sprinkle the chips over
the hot coals. (If using a gas grill, set the chips on a
piece of foil and place the packet over the heat source.)
Spray or brush lamb on all sides with olive oil. Place the
lamb directly over the heat source. Cover the grill; cook,
12 minutes. Turn lamb over. Cover grill; continue grilling
until a meat thermometer registers 140 degrees when inserted
in the thickest portion, 11-13 minutes more. Transfer lamb
to a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil; let stand,
a very sharp knife to slice the lamb thinly. Serve with the
information per serving: 445 calories, 16 g fat, 6 g
saturated fat, 213 mg cholesterol, 1 g carbohydrates, 69 g
protein, 627 mg sodium, 0.5 g fiber
YOGURT SAUCE WITH GARLIC AND HERBS
about 2 cups
large seedless cucumber
2 to 3
ounces labneh or plain Greek yogurt
tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, mint or chives (or a
Peel off and discard about half of the cucumber skin. Put a
four-sided grater into a colander. Use the largest holes to
shred the cucumber into the colander. Crush the garlic into
the cucumber strands; stir in the salt. Let everything drain
in the sink or over a bowl, about 30 minutes. Use your hands
to squeeze as much water as you can out of the cucumber.
the squeezed cucumber mixture into a bowl. Stir in the
labneh and herbs until well mixed. Refrigerate up to 2 days.
Stir well before serving.
information per tablespoon: 20 calories, 1 g fat, 1 g
saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 1 g carbohydrates, 1 g
protein, 77 mg sodium, 0 g fiber
DEEP DISH PIE
One 10-inch pie, serving 8 to 10
recipe pie crust for a double-crust 10-inch pie, well
chilled, see recipe
pounds fresh rhubarb, trimmed
cup quick-cooking tapioca
fresh small strawberries, hulled, halved
sugar for sprinkling
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Have a deep 10-inch glass or
ceramic pie plate and a baking sheet ready.
Roll out the larger disk of pie dough between 2 sheets of
floured wax paper into a thin circle about 14 inches in
diameter. Carefully fold the dough in half, then place it in
the pie dish. Unfold it and fit it over the bottom and up
the sides of the pie dish. Trim the overhang to leave about
½ inch all around the pie dish. Refrigerate.
Roll the other piece of dough between 2 sheets of floured
wax paper into an 11-inch circle; place it (still between
the wax paper) on the baking sheet and refrigerate it.
the filling, cut the rhubarb into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in
a large bowl. Add the sugar, tapioca and salt. Mix well.
Gently stir in the strawberries. Let stand about 10 minutes.
Spoon the rhubarb mixture and accumulated juices into the
dough-lined pie dish. Carefully place the top crust over the
fruit. Use your fingers to press together the top and bottom
crusts, trimming as needed. Use a fork to make a decorative
edge. Brush the top of the pie and the edges with the
half-and-half. Sprinkle everything generously with the
coarse sugar. Gently poke steam vents with a fork into the
top of the pie in several spots.
Bake pie at 425 degrees, 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature
to 350 degrees. Now slide the baking sheet under the pie to
catch any drips. Continue baking at 350 degrees until the
top crust is nicely browned, 30-40 minutes more. Cool on
wire rack until barely warm. Serve warm.
information per serving (for 10 servings): 463 calories, 20
g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 26 mg cholesterol, 68 g
carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 472 mg sodium, 4 g fiber
FAVORITE, FORGIVING PIE CRUST
Enough for a double-crust 10-inch pie
vegetable shortening for easy dough handling and maximum
flakiness; unsalted butter adds rich flavor.
cups all-purpose unbleached flour
cup unsalted butter, very cold
cup trans fat-free vegetable shortening, frozen
flour, sugar and salt into a food processor. Pulse to mix
well. Cut butter and shortening into small pieces; sprinkle
them over the flour mixture. Use on/off pulses with the food
processor to blend the fats into the flour. The mixture will
look like coarse crumbs.
ice cubes into about 1/2 cup water and let the water chill.
Remove the ice cubes; drizzle about 6 tablespoons of the ice
water over the flour mixture. Briefly pulse the machine just
until the mixture gathers into a dough.
Dump the mixture out onto a sheet of wax paper. Gather into
two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten the
balls into thick disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate
until firm, about 1 hour. (Dough will keep in the
refrigerator for several days.)