New Zealand Boneless Lamb Leg with herbed Potatoes and Sherry wine

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Chef Chichi is back!

I took a small hiatus..sometimes it is good because I have time to expand my mind!

Let us talk about my new masterpiece….New Zealand Lamb Leg tends to be smaller and milder in flavor than their larger American counterparts, but I prefer the size of American lamb legs. They’re more festive, and it makes it much easier to end up with a nice ROSY RED center and crisp exterior. Yum!!!!

There are many flavor combinations that go well with lamb—a good North African ras el hanout rub or a slathering of harissa paste with minced garlic. My goodness how I love harissa!!!! Ras el hanout is a spice I always have with me in my kitchen! By the way, I did make an olive paste with mediterranean herbs. 🙂

Even if you want plain old salt and pepper, you can do that if all you want to do is taste the meat.

Today, I’m going with a classic combination of fresh garlic, rosemary, oregano,parsley, olives, lemon zest, salt and pepper, with extra virgin olive oil. I also added my arab spices with some green onions, and potatoes..such a sweet mix. 

It is the holidays and I am feeling adventurous. Playing in the kitchen is one of my favorite things to do. I am sure you are aware.

I like my lamb slightly more well done than I like my beef/carne—a medium/medium-rare 130°F to 135°F is about right. The lamb’s internal temperature will continue to rise by about 5°F as it rests outside of the oven. 

If you have never made Lamb,go ahead and try it. You will be glad you did. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2018 to all!

Chef Chichi ❤

 

 

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JAMBALAYA FOR THE SOUL

I decided to make some Jambalaya and listen to BB King while I was cooking. I need good music,and a nice glass of red wine to get me creating. This is surely one dish that is exceptionally simple to make. I used diced chicken breasts,shrimps,and sliced andouille sausages. A triple combo that are joined together making harmony. I like my Jambalaya spicy…very spicy. There..I said it!IMG_20170725_234008_764

If you would like to know, Jambalaya is similar to (but distinct from) other rice-and-meat dishes known in Louisiana cuisine. Gumbo uses similar sausages, meats, seafood, vegetables and seasonings. However, gumbo includes filé powder and okra, which are not common in jambalaya. Gumbo is also usually served over white rice, which is prepared separate from the rest of the dish, unlike jambalaya, where the rice is prepared with the other ingredients.Étouffée is a stew which always includes shellfish such as shrimp or crayfish, but does not have the sausage common to jambalaya and gumbo. Also, like gumbo, étouffée is usually served over separately prepared rice.

Jambalaya has its origins in several rice-based dishes well attested in the Mediterranean cuisines of Spain and France, especially in the Spanish dish paella (native toValencia) and the French dish known asjambalaia (native to Provence). Other seasoned rice-based dishes from other cuisines include pilaf, risotto and Hoppin’ John.

Now that you have been informed,stay tuned for my next creation. Coming soon…

Chef Chichi

Mediterranean Naan

Today I was inspired by my roots,and I decided to spread some fresh hummus on top of the Naan bread,sliced some Kalamata olives,purple onions,sweet roasted red peppers,tomatoes,cotija cheese or you can use feta cheese,basil and parsley. I then drizzled some extra virgin olive oil right over it. I put it in the oven until the Naan was nice and crispy,and I squeezed some lime right over that. Cooking does not have to be complicated. It is exciting,adventurous and fun. I am constantly being inspired!

Now,go ahead and enjoy my Saturday creation…Mediterranean Naan.

 

Chef Chichi

 

SHAKSHUKA

Earlier today,I have been wanting to make some Shakshuka. Shak-what???? It is a traditional dish that circulates in the Middle East. I have recently been digging deep into those roots which come from my grandmother. I recently saw a film which has inspired me even more to make this type of cuisine. First,you julienne one or two red peppers, and white onion moons..you sautee it with extra virgin olive oil and after a few minutes,add three cloves of garlic,and sautee some more. Then,add paprika,cumin,black pepper and salt,and sautee it all together. At this point,add fresh diced tomatoes in its juices,chopped roasted red peppers, diced red chile, feta cheese,and cotija cheese. Let all these flavors dance together on the sautee pan for about ten minutes. Now is the best part! Make some circles into the sauce and crack 5-6 eggs on top of the Shakshuka. Cover the pan for 6-7 minutes until the eggs are nicely poached. Sprinkle fresh cilantro over the eggs. Serve as a whole pan or individually. Grab some sliced challah bread and get to eating!!!!

Chef Chichi

Ropa Vieja (old clothes) and herb Couscous

IMG_20170416_221535_755Tonight I had extra flank meat on hand..and decided to make ropa vieja. I had someone ask me what do I do to make it different?

I love making it on a dutch oven. Braising the meat and reserving the juice/drippings from the meat. Julienne yellow peppers,red peppers,cubanelles,and red onions. Sautee them until tender and toss in the shredded flank meat that was braised and slow cooked. Add some fresh tomato paste,and two cans of tomato sauce,garlic,paprika,organic ,oregano, black pepper and some himalayan salt. Toss together….and add 1 cup of the reserved beef stock, 1/2 cup of red burgundy wine,green olives,roasted red peppers, parsley, and yessssss….capers!

Let it simmer until all components come together….serve with couscous and lime. I promise it will be delicious!!!

Chef Chichi

Shrimps & Proscuitto tossed with Rice Noodles

Honestly, I need to make more time to get on my site. I have been trying to find myself again ever since my mom passed away. I think I am discovering many things now. Tonight,I had tiger shrimps on hand,some proscuitto,and roma tomatoes. I wanted something light..

I seasoned my shrimps with garlic and herbs and sauteed them in some EVOO.

I then added proscuitto to get crispy together with garlic,diced shallots,and diced roma tomatoes…I then brought back the shrimp to the pot and stirred it together with some fresh cilantro,lemon,and chardonnay.

I boiled hot water and let the rice noodles stand for 8-10 minutes in the water. I drained the noodles and combined it all.

It was superb and quite simple really. Don’t complicate it,keep it simple. 🙂

Chef Chichi