Roast lamb with lemon and herb crust

I can’t quite remember where I saw the idea of lamb with a lemon, thyme and garlic crust but it tastes absolutely delicious. All you need is lemon zest, lemon thyme and garlic, finely chopped and mixed together with some olive oil. I covered the lamb after an hour in the oven to avoid it burning. I love the combination of lamb and lemon, it is very light and fresh and a nice change to the usual lamb in mint.

Here is the recipe for my roast lamb (for two)

Buy half a leg of lamb, wash and dry it. Rub it in a bit of salt, plenty of freshly ground pepper and place in a roasting pan.

Cut into small pieces:

2 leeks
Half of a celeriac
4 carrots
3 cloves of garlic
1 onion
1 tomato
1 parsnip

Brown the lamb in a hot pan from all sides together with the vegetables. Then place the leg in a roasting pan with the veggies around. Put the zest, garlic, herb and olive oil mixture on top of the lamb. Add a pot of fresh lamb stock and a pot of fresh vegetable stock; (add some water to make sure the veggies are more or less covered), some peppercorns, a bay leaf and a twig of rosemary. Place in the oven, gas mark 6.

After about half an hour take out the rosemary (otherwise it is too overpowering). The lamb will take about one and a half hour or longer depending on the weight. When the lamb is ready, take it out and let it rest for good ten minutes. Strain the liquid in a pot and mash all the veggies through the strainer. Reduce the gravy to half and then season.

I like roast potatoes with it and green beans as well as creamed horseradish.


Cucumber mint dip

This is different from my normal cucumber, dill and sour cream salad as it has a bunch of herbs in it.

½ a cucumber finely chopped
1 tbsp. finely chopped flat parsley
1 tbsp. finely chopped chives
1 tbsp. finely shopped mint
1 clove of finely chopped garlic
two big dollops of sour cream
about half a plain yogurt
freshly ground pepper
freshly ground sea salt
a few drops of olive oil

Just mix everything together. It goes well with any barbecued meat, especially lamb. I also make it when we are having curry and I want something fresh to balance out the heat from the curry.

Pasta with Fresh Crab, Chilli and Garlic

I made this for the first time yesterday for dinner and I’m going to make it again! I love crab and the combination of crab meat with lemon juice and fresh herbs is ideal for a summer evening when you don’t want to eat too heavy but still want something that fills you up.

Ingredients for 4 people

500g bag Pasta (dried)
2 tbsp olive oil 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 tsp Crushed Chillies
2 freshly cooked dressed crabs
Juice of 1 lemon plus lemon wedges to serve
1 small bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 small bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
3 small tomatoes for decoration, roughly chopped

Cook the pasta following the instructions on the pack and drain well, reserving a little cooking water in the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the garlic and crushed chillies over a low heat for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic has softened slightly, but not browned.

Add the crab meat, lemon juice, dill and parsley, season well and heat through until piping hot.

Add the pasta to the crab mixture, along with the reserved cooking water, and mix well.

Last but not least add the chopped tomatoes and garnish with some dill.

German food

My sister Christine was very mean to me this morning… she sent me some pictures of her recent lunch with our parents. Just looking at the pictures made my mouth fill with saliva and my stomach rumble.

May time is white asparagus time in Germany and I can tell you that the salad (below) tastes as nice as it looks. Traditionally for our family it was served alongside pork chops and potato salad.

Making pizza is fun!

Especially when you have your own pizza oven in the garden like my friend Pete has. We were lucky enough last Sunday to be invited over to make some pizza and it was one of my best Sundays this year!

Pete made pizza dough based on a recipe from the book “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the art of extraordinary bread” , a wonderful book with lots of different bread recipes and suggestions.

All we needed then were some ingredients to put on the pizza and a helping hand to stretch the pizza base and we were ready to go! We used semolina and flour to make sure the pizza wouldn’t stick to the tray.

Once everything was on the pizza it went into the oven (temperature by then was around 700 degrees Celcius). It only took a few minutes for the pizza to cook.

Absolutely delicious!

Coronation Chicken

The recipe originates from the coronation of Queen Elisabeth II in 1953 but I have based mine loosely on the recipe of my friend Chris who puts carrots into his coronation chicken. A lot of people put raisins or sultanas into it (shudder), I don’t. I put pineapple into mine.
Here is the recipe for a small bowl, enough for one person for lunch:

1 grilled chicken breast
3 slices of tinned pineapple
1 grated carrot
1 big dollop of light mayonnaise
1 tsp of curry powder (do not use turmeric or otherwise it will taste bitter)
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tiny dollop of ketchup
salt and pepper to season

Cut the chicken breast into small pieces and put into a bowl. Add the grated carrot, mayonnaise and the rest of the ingredients and mix well. I also put a little bit of juice from the pineapple to it to make it a touch creamier.
This is an ideal sandwich filler but also goes well with a baked potato for example.