Sunday, December 06, 2009
Lamb & Prune Tagine (with liberal studdings of Pomegranate)
"I only read it when you write your stories" says my mother. "I'm not really interested in the other things." So for my mother, I'm sorry. This blog has become an endless list of recipes, which seems to always be the case when I'm trying a new cook book. As much as I don't love the design of Nigella's Christmas book, the recipes are quick, easy and quite good. Last night my friends L & J came for dinner. They're old friends and easy and so there was no pressure to make anything particularly elaborate. "Gosh you're all gussied up, Luc" I said, staring in dismay at my jeans and Converse. "Oh is it only us? Goody!" she said. And so we sat at the kitchen table and drank a glass of Tiefenbrunner Pinot Bianco (a crisp and bright Italian wine I've just discovered, thanks to Costco). I cooked Nigella's Lamb & Date Tagine but I substituted the dates for prunes because I had a box of prunes in the cupboard. The tagine was served with thinly sliced red onions, marinated in some lime juice, drained and mixed with a little pomegranate juice, some salt, some chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves and a handful of pomegranate seeds (what are those little juicy pods called?). I threw in a green salad scattered with lemon zest, mint, chives, cilantro, pine nuts and some fluffy couscous. The Maharishi who, for a son of Lebanon has a surprising take it or leave it attitude to lamb, announced that it was the best lamb dish he's ever tasted. It has to be said that cooking anything in pomegranate juice, with prunes and ginger and allspice would be scrumptious, but do try this. It's incredibly easy...30 minutes prep and 2 hours cooking. And it's awfully pretty, topped with the pink onions, crimson pomegranate seeds and leafy green coriander. The Daily Fail has its own Nigella Food Special here, from whence I've culled many of these recipes.