Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rosie Had A Little Lamb.

After Easter, Rosie had a bit of lamb leftover. I put some feelers out (I asked Marion.) and she offered several suggestions as to what to do with my lamb. I decided to go with Julia Child's Moussaka from From Julia Child's Kitchen. Please check out Julia Child on Good Morning America when she prepared moussaka back in 1987. It's a classic. So sit back and enjoy my preparation of moussaka, which, btw, is nothing like Julia's. Does that surprise you? Julia's recipe called for ground lamb. I used slices from a leg o' lamb. Julia's recipe called for eggplant. I used squash and zucchini. OK, so I didn't make moussaka. I made Lamb Moreovers.
I started out by cooking some garbanzo beans until just tender.
One onion, one celery stalk, and about 7 cloves of garlic. Chop the celery and onion and mince the garlic.
Add to hot pan with extra light olive oil and butter. Just sweat the onions. About 2 minutes.
Chop up the lamb ...
... and add to pan.
Cook for a few minutes.
I'd saved the lamb gravy, so that got added next, along with a few globules of fat. I removed most of the fat, but a little bit adds some extra flavor.
Next, I poured in beef broth.
Crushed tomatoes.
And a 12 ounce can of tomato paste Be sure to rinse it out with water to get every last bit.
Mr. Hawthorne decided it needed another celery stalk.
Our secret ingredient - V8. I cooked this over a low simmer for about an hour.
Then I added the garbanzo beans ... ... butter beans ...
... and the leftover green peas from Easter.
While the lamb stew was at a bare simmer, I started on the eggpla - eh - the squash and zucchini.
Mr. Hawthorne sliced the veggies into rounds ...
... which I took pictures of ...
Don't forget the mint.
I know. Sometimes I get carried away shooting pictures.
Squash and zucchini went into pan with extra light olive oil and butter. Saute a minute or two.
Then I decided it needed a sliced onion. Salt and pepper.
I grated Parmesan cheese and Mozzarella. Now I'm ready for the assembly of my Non-Moussaka.
At 12:00 is the grated cheese. Continuing clockwise, chopped mint, casserole dish with sauteed squash, zucchini, and onion, saute pan with veggies, and lamb mixture. This is a layered dish. I started with the veggies, a sprinkling of mint then the lamb, and the cheese. And two more layers of the above.
More veggies.
A third layer of squash and zucchini ...
... mint ...
... lamb mixture ...
... and the final layer of cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees until it's nice and bubbly and cheese looks like this.
I loved this. The flavor of the lamb was even better than the lamb at Easter. I loved the nuttiness of the garbanzos. Squash and zucchini and onions worked very well with this dish. The V8 gave the tomato mixture a kick. Butter beans were buttery. Green peas were a taste of spring. Then you have the ooey-gooeyness of melted cheeses.
What's not to love?
My apologies to Julia for saying this was her recipe. Her recipe was my starting point and I went off on my own tangent, as so often happens. But I tell you what - Julia would approve of this, if only because she inspired someone to get in the kitchen and cook. You don't have to follow a recipe exactly. (Nix that if you're baking. Baking is chemistry.) Most importantly, have fun cooking. Enjoy it. You're feeding yourself. You're feeding your family. You're feeding your soul. And if Julia herself were here at my home for dinner, I'd be happy to serve her my Lamb Moreovers and I'd bet she'd enjoy it every bit as much as I did.


zzzadig said...

Boy, that looks good. I see a leg o' lamb in my future just so I can have left overs to make this with. Betcha could have washed out that sauce can with V8. Sorry, the devil made me say it...

Anonymous said...

That looks great !

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Zzzadig, I'm going to make a conscious effort (as opposed to an unconscious one) to wash my tomato cans out with wine and V8 every chance I get. Thank you.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Oh, and Zzzadig, it's not leftovers.