Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snow days

There is never a good reason to worry about getting stuck indoors when a nor'easter is heading your way for the second time in 1 month. After the first storm, you should know that running to the store to buy bread you will never use is fruitless. What you should be buying is the ingredients of a wonderful dinner to make easily, giving you time to do something during the day like putting your photo album in order. The best part, all the family is with you at dinner (a rare thing with adult children living at home). I don't know about you, but I can always grab the attention of anyone with a good meal. snow day meals are a bit special in that everyone seems relaxed in knowing they cannot go anywhere, do not need to go anywhere and find something simple to do, like eating. The snow dinner consists of:
  • Spinach salad with sauted mushrooms, cucumbers, red onion and roasted beets
  • Roast leg of lamb with special Armenian marinade
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Lemon risotto
Spinach salad (a recipe I got from my cousin's restaurant in Armenia):
  • Bag of baby spinach (buy the pre-washed stuff)
  • Bunch of beets (do not discard the leaves as they are going into the salad)
  • Portabella mushrooms (again, buy pre-sliced but rinse them)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
Cut & wash the beet tops Mix with the spinach Boil the beets, until the skins come off easily. Add to the salad Saute the mushrooms in butter for about 4 minutes (add water to avoid burning if necessary). Drain most of the mushroom's liquid, then add to the salad. Dressing (the most important part) 1/3 cup olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice 1 large clove garlic, crushed (I eyeball salt and the pepper) about 1/2 tsp salt about 1/4 tsp pepper Mix well and add to the salad just before serving. Using lemon instead of vinegar makes all the difference. Lamb Roast: About 4 lbs leg of lamb, de-boned. Have the butcher roll and tie it. Marinade for about 5 hours: 1/2 cup olive oil 1 TBS ground coriander 1/2 TBS paprika 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper (Note: do not add any citrus like wine or lemon) Set oven to 425 degrees. Put lamb in for 25 minutes uncovered Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees and cook until meat thermometer registers 155 degrees (about 2 hours in total). Let meat rest for about 15 minutes and carve. Risotto: 1 onion, chopped 1 cup risotto 1/2 cup white wine about 2 - 3 cups chicken broth 1 1/2 lemon juice 1/3 cup grated romano cheese Saute 1 chopped onion in some olive oil add 1 cup risotto, mix Add chicken broth 1 ladle at a time until risotto is not hard add lemon juice finish with grated cheese. Let rest about 10 minutes serve The end result is a happy me with a happy family, full of good food: Lovely