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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lamb Kofta

My mom use to have a fondue ever New Years Eve. As a child I would be downstairs watching movies and eating snacks while this went on. I just loved listen the droning sound of all the tipsy adults talking at once and the boisterous laughs and cackles. As soon as my mom would burst out a cackle the room would roar even louder to laugh at her cackling. It puts a smile on my face just to think about it.

My mom would put out a large dish of vegetables, chicken and beef and each person with there designated fondue colour sticks would cook those tasty bite sized morsels in the ever so unhealthy peanut oil. I cannot even fathom doing that today, as a nice mix of wine and bouillon is a healthier and lighter option. One of my favourite items she’d make for the fondue were her cheese stuffed meatballs. When dipped in the hot oil the cheese would melt and be so silky smooth in your mouth.

When I made these lamb koftas the melted feta cheese in them reminded me of those little melty meatballs. But it is not only the melted feta cheese that makes these koftas wonderful. The well balanced flavors and textures is what make these koftas a superb appetizer or dinner. The salty feta, tangy raisins, pungent cumin all mixed into the lean and tender lamb is a delectable combination. Grilling really heightens the aroma and flavour.

Lamb Kofta

1lb ground lamb or bison
1 small onion, peeled and grated
½ cup soft breadcrumbs
½ cup crumbled feta
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large egg
2-4 T currants or chopped raisins
1 T fresh ginger
1 tsp cumin
¼ t cinnamon
¼ t salt

Preheat oven to 400F. Soak some bamboo skewers in water for 10 min.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Shape handfuls of the meat mixture into flattened sausages about 3” long around the ends of the skewers. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast turning often until cooked through. Serve with couscous, or flatbread.

Makes 12 kebabs.

Grilling: I tried these grilled and the flavors and texture was even better than in the oven.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Nephew

On May 26, 2010 my sister gave birth to a little boy Kai William Levac. He was 7lbs 1oz.
This is my sister's second little boy and makes my sixth nephew.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Swiss Chard and Ricotta Cheese Quiche

My sister recently gave birth to her second little boy named Kai. He was three weeks early and 7lbs 1 oz. Because she was early she did not have all the time she thought she would to prepare some meals in advance. In addition she receives weekly delivery of fresh seasonal organic fruits and vegetables from a local farmers market. She had not had a chance to cancel the order and received two weeks worth of gorgeous vegetables. I was the lucky recipient of those veggies considering she had not time and considering the c-section the ability to cook.

I thought I would use some of her vegetables to make a few meals for the family. With the broccoli I made two large batches of soup. With the swiss chard, fresh parsley, onion and chives I made this delicious quiche. The family enjoys a lot of vegetarian meals so I thought this would make a perfect dinner one evening for them.

Swiss Chard & Ricotta Cheese Quiche
1 unbaked pie shell (9")
1 small onion, minced
1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
3/4 cup 1% milk
4 large eggs
20 oz of swiss chard chopped (or use spinach, kale)
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 lb ricotta cheese, light
less than 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
chopped up parsley and chives (optional because I had them)

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Microwave the swiss chard for about 3o seconds. Then chop it up into the size desired for the quiche.

Add oil to pan and sautee onion and chard with nutmeg, pepper. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl combine the cheeses. Add the cooled sauteed mixture. Add the milk and eggs. Mix well.

Pour into the pie pastry and place on a cookie sheet to catch any over spill. Bake for 15 min.

Then reduce the oven to 325F and bake for an additional 50 mins until it is set.